University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Shuford Innovators-in-Residence to share diverse expertise and experiences with students

The inaugural Shuford Innovator-in-Residence Program will bring together a cohort of industry subject matter experts with an intentional focus on diversity of personal and professional backgrounds, experiences and identities.

The seven leaders, all Carolina alumni, will support students in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship through academic lectures, professional development initiatives, mentoring opportunities and candid conversations across campus. Each innovator will visit campus for one week per academic year and will continue to build connections and networks with the University and Shuford community beyond that week.

The inaugural class of 2021-2022 Shuford Innovators-in-Residence includes:

Soltan Bryce ’13: Healthcare
Eric Campbell ’12: Venture Capital
Courtney Couch ’08: Entertainment
Hannah Elly ’14: Design and Marketing
Dezbee McDaniel ’17: Healthcare and Communications Technology
Shruti Shah ’11: E-Commerce
Dedren Snead ’12: Tech and Afrofuturism
They will receive a $4,000 stipend along with up to $1,000 in support for travel and housing during their time on campus.

Meet the new Shuford Innovators-in-Residence
Soltan Bryce: Health care
Soltan Bryce is the Harvard Business School Leadership Fellow and special assistant to the COO & EVP of Strategy at Boston Medical Center Health System. During his time at HBS, he helped launch Plume, a venture-backed digital health company focused on the trans community, as head of growth. In his spare time, he advises venture-backed digital health companies focused on population-specific virtual care models and scouts for Gaingels, an angel investor network.

Eric Campbell: Venture Capital
Eric Campbell is the managing partner at Value Investment Group, a private family office focused on influencer-backed private equity and value investing. Campbell has deployed over $50 million in capital and invested in over 30 companies with seven exits to date, including Draftkings, Coinbase, Airbnb and others. He was recognized by Forbes as a 2020 “30 Under 30” recipient in Venture Capital. Prior to VC, he worked at Google and then Uber for almost four years. At Uber, Campbell was responsible for Regional Operations and Strategy for the Middle East and Africa.

Courtney Couch: Entertainment
Courtney Couch is focused on making meaningful connections, building better brands and strengthening her community. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008, Couch founded creative — executing events, activations and PR services for growing brands and professional athletes. Couch has partnered with some of the best and brightest talent and some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Adidas, Disney’s Black Panther, The Bail Project, Travis Scott, Rajon Rondo, T.I, and Rodger Saffold. Currently, Couch serves as the director of marketing at Atlantic Records, where she manages 12 artists, including multi-platinum rapper Don Toliver.

Hannah Elly: Design and Marketing
Hannah Elly is a first-generation entrepreneur whose expertise in social growth, customer communities and product design propelled Nugget from a tiny, three-person operation into America’s fastest-growing manufacturing company (Inc. Magazine; 2020, 2021). Her work has sparked new, industry-wide trends in both children’s toys and furniture, grown Nugget’s social following to more than 500,000 people, and been covered in publications like Parents Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed News. In her current role as chief creative officer, Elly supports Nugget’s product and marketing teams, creating visuals that are the perfect balance of fun for kids and beautiful for adults. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion and using social platforms for good.

Dezbee McDaniel: Healthcare and Communications Technology
Dezbee McDaniel is a career entrepreneur. He is an alum of Venture for America, a prestigious entrepreneurial fellowship, where he worked with technology startups across sales, marketing and operations. McDaniel has since founded and accelerated startups from inception, currently building CliniSpan Health, a software platform that diversifies clinical trial recruitment. McDaniel was a 2018 Forbes Fellow and was also recognized by Charlotte’s Inno “25 under 25” in 2021 as one of the best and brightest entrepreneurs contributing to the Charlotte region.

Shruti Shah: E-Commerce
Shruti Shah is an adviser, investor and coach to a handful of growing companies. She was previously the co-founder and COO of Y Combinator-backed Move Loot, an online full-service marketplace for buying and selling used furniture, where she led national expansion and general business operations. Over the course of three years, she and her co-founding team raised $22 million dollars. Shah was honored by Forbes as a 2016 30 Under 30 recipient in Retail and E-Commerce and the Aspen Institute as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar in reimagining capitalism. Prior to co-founding Move Loot, Shah worked for the New Schools Venture Seed Fund, a seed fund that invests in early-stage education technology companies, and she was also a public school teacher in Baltimore.

Dedren Snead: Tech and Afrofuturism
Dedren Snead is an emerging technologist, creative consultant and social futurist from Snow Hill, North Carolina, currently based in Atlanta. Snead’s creative studio work utilizes graphic novels, video games and animation along with mobile applications and augmented reality to build inclusive storytelling and cultural equity in Popular Media. A serial entrepreneur, Snead’s startup SUBSUME, a gamified learning platform, connects K-20 students to creative and technical training for future-ready workforce development. He recently accepted an Artist in Residence position with the Creative Media Industries Institute at Georgia State University for the Y22 school year.