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Experiences in the World of Venture Capital

Speaker: 
Sterling Wharton
Affiliation: 
Georgia Centers of Innovation
Time: 
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: 
Student Center Sinclair Suite

Sterling G. Wharton, the Program Director for Georgia’s Centers of Innovation (COI) program, talks about experiences in the world of venture capital. Mr. Wharton manages a team of 20 staff members, coordinates all the activities of the centers and enables them to work effectively as a team with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), which houses the COI program. His focus is on program management and business development, forming strategic relationships and developing the various industries’ assets and resources.

Speaker's Bio: 

Sterling G. Wharton is the Program Director for Georgia’s Centers of Innovation (COI) program, which pairs high growth, technology-oriented businesses and entrepreneurs with applied research, technology connections and technology commercialization expertise to foster economic growth. The six Centers of Innovation offer industry-relevant research and a network of university and technical talent to industries within Georgia’s strategic industries. These strategic industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, agribusiness, energy, life sciences and logistics.
Mr. Wharton manages a team of 20 staff members, coordinates all the activities of the centers and enables them to work effectively as a team with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), which houses the COI program. His focus is on program management and business development, forming strategic relationships and developing the various industries’ assets and resources. He works with the individual centers’ directors to coordinate strategic planning and strengthen their connections with Georgia’s university system, government organizations and communities. In addition, He also coordinates the response to industry-wide technology challenges, develops thought leadership within Georgia’s strategic industries and increases the visibility of the centers.
Mr. Wharton comes to the Centers of Innovation with an extensive background as an organizational leader. With educational degrees from Georgia State and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has consistently been successful at improving operations, increasing revenue, expanding market shares and promoting dynamic market growth. He has most recently served as the CEO for Unitrends in Columbia, S. C.
At Unitrends, he improved monthly revenue by more than 500 percent, virtually doubling year-over-year revenue growth for two consecutive years, while more than doubling gross margins. At Alteon WebSystems, where he was Director of Worldwide Channels & Business Partners, he spearheaded a highly successful Channel and Partner strategy launching industry-leading channel program securing over 200 premier partners in all regions of the world. He also led expansion into international markets that generated over $100 million in revenue. Most recently, he has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Atlanta Technology Development Center (ATDC).