Building a startup isĀ hard. Doing it alone is almost impossible. Every team needs to get advice and work with others that have been through the gauntlet. During the Crash Course each team will be assigned a mentor who has done exactly that. They will be your resource for advice and the sometime humbling truth that is needed to take an idea and turn it into a company that lasts.

Below are some of the amazing people who will be helping the teams throughout the Crash Course.

Andy Roth

Andy Roth has been an actor, a waiter and restaurant manager, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur. Having moved to the Triangle by way of Houston, Boston, and New York City, he’s been an employee or co-founder of several startups over the past 6 years and taken part in two accelerator programs. Andy is currently in charge of Customer Success for NeuroPlus, a Durham startup that makes attention-training video games. He does business and pitch coaching as well, and he’s very excited to be a part of #thebigidea project!

Ben Markoch

Ben is the Managing Partner, Operations Manager, and Lead Visual Designer at Paradigm Innovation. In this role he works with businesses large and small, helping them turn their ideas into successful and sustainable products and brands. He has also worked with numerous national and international institutions, businesses, and startups on projects involving visual design, user experience, and design strategy, and was named one of 10 Entrepreneurs to Look-out for in 2018 by Success Profiles Magazine. In his spare time you can find himĀ traveling, exploring new cities, reading, and attempting to learn new languages, amongst other things.

Jess Porta

Jess is the Director of HQ Raleigh, an entrepreneurial coworking community located in downtown Raleigh. Jess works to connect start-up companies with the business resources, network opportunities, and office space needed to grow and scale a team. Jess has a background in human rights and previously worked with Project FIGHT, an anti-human trafficking program in the Triangle. Jess also works as a consultant to help small companies and non-profits with growth, development, and grant writing. In her space time, Jess is an artist and children’s book author.

David Baxter

David is the Chief Pixel and Founder of Big Pixel, a Raleigh based UX, design, and development firm. Over the last five years David has designed, built, and advised the over 20 startups that have worked with Big Pixel. He has also mentored, coached, and shredded dozens of others as a coach, mentor, and advocate of startups at events all over the Triangle. He is known for his “brutal” honesty and passion for helping ideas become a reality.