Past Entrepreneur-in-Residence participants


Chris Mumford




Rob Irizarry









Greg Ruff












Steve Trautman



Shannon Stowell
















Gary Gannon

October 28-November 2, 2013

Chris Mumford is the founder of Joe Start up, a StreetSmart entrepreneurial education website which includes whiteboard animation, easy-to-use start up plan builder and social network. During the last 15 years, Mumford founded several businesses in the US and Asia. He served in roles as CEO, CFO, COO, VP Sales and VP Design while raising over $30 million from angel, VC and private equity for several projects. He was an investment banker for 7 years. His experience includes consumer products, technology, education, and social networks. Mumford is also the cofounder of Launch Chapel Hill, a venture lab and co-working space. He is on the faculty of Kenan-Flagler business school at UNC-Chapel Hill.

He grew up in Chapel Hill NC where he graduated from UNC-CH with a degree in Philosophy with Honors. Mumford has two children with his wife Joelle Permutt. He enjoys competing in triathlons, mountain & cyclocross biking, fly fishing and coaching. One day, he hopes to finish editing his novel about his experiences wandering around the world.

Spring 2013 (March)

Rob Irizarry has spent 25 years in the technology industry, working with hardware and software in the finance, garment and automotive industries.   He's worked in and with public and private sector organizations from 10 people to the Fortune 10 building systems, processes and teams in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa and spent a decade living in Asia.

After his stint in Asia, Rob returned to the US & joined an East Coast startup that pioneered smart card financial systems that were sold to banks, universities and the US Navy.  While working in this venture, he started using software from RightNow Technologies and joined the company shortly thereafter when the financial systems company was acquired by ICL/Fujitsu. 

Rob was an early employee at RightNow Technologies in Bozeman, joining in 1999 and working in a variety of roles in Sales, Product Management and the Customer Experience group.  RightNow was a pioneer in the multi-tenant Software as a Service revolution, providing Customer Experience software that served about 2,000 of the world’s largest consumer firms like Nike, Motorola and AMEX, becoming one of the world’s 100 largest web sites in terms of traffic.

After Oracle's $1.8 billion acquisition of RightNow in 2012, Rob moved to the next phase of his career, founding to help the Montana startup ecosystem grow, invested in a local software startup that uses machine learning to process large amounts of data from social networks and is in the process of launching a second, bootstrapped startup.

Rob has a Bachelors degree in Electronic Engineering and has three patents pending on technology he has helped develop.

October 15- 19, 2012

Greg Ruff is the founder of White Space Strategy, a strategic market innovation consulting firm based on the principles in his upcoming book White Space. Unlike other “innovation focused” approaches, Mr. Ruff’s White Space Strategy approach emphasizes identifying and capturing new, strategically important market opportunities in unaddressed and under-addressed market spaces to achieve rapid adoption and to subsume and extend existing markets. This “market innovation” approach to strategy ensures both strategic market potential and sustainable competitive advantage to build successful new companies and markets.

Greg has been consulting to high tech companies since 1987 when he joined Booz, Allen and Hamilton as a senior engagement manager after a 13 year career in sales, marketing and management at Hewlett Packard. At Booz Allen, Mr. Ruff consulted to industry leaders in companies ranging from American Express and IBM and led teams that restructured markets and companies. In 1990 Mr. Ruff left Booz, Allen and Hamilton to build a new Market Strategy Consulting Practice at Regis McKenna Inc., where he initially worked with Geoffrey Moore (Author of Crossing the Chasm) and became managing partner before leaving to found G.L. Ruff & Company, an affiliate of Mr. Moore’s Chasm Group in 1995. During that time Mr. Ruff Consulted to industry leaders such as Adobe, SCO, HP and BEA (now Oracle) and built strategies for startups that became billion dollar companies such as Informatica. In 2006 he founded White Space Strategy to focus on market creation and growth strategy. He took a leave from his consulting practice in 2007 to assume the CEO role for two of the start-ups he was consulting to in the robotics and on-line music markets.

Greg has written numerous articles for industry organizations such as Dealmaker Media and The Chasm Group and has spoken about Web 2.0, 3.0, Entrepreneuring and new market creation at events such as the Web 2.0 Expo and Summit, and Office 2.0. He has guest lectured at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, Santa Clara University and been a judge and mentor for companies presenting at the International Business Plan Competition at the University of San Francisco (USF).

Greg has a BSEE from the University of Virginia and an MBA in International Management and Finance from NYU.

February 21- 24, 2012

Steve Trautman is corporate America’s leading knowledge transfer expert. For more than two decades, he has provided executives at blue-chip companies and those in the nonprofit and public sectors with the simplest, most relevant and quick solutions for knowledge transfer. His pioneering work in the field of knowledge transfer and related risk management tools—which he began at Microsoft in the early 1990s—is now the nationally-recognized gold standard used by companies ranging from Boeing to Nike, Kraft to Zynga. And he continues to innovate. He has written two books, speaks internationally, and provides business leaders with consulting, presentations, and executive retreats. He is known for his high energy style that combines humor, street smarts, and board room wisdom.

November 29-December 2, 2011

Shannon Stowell is currently the president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). His personal and professional background is well suited for the adventure travel industry. He’s lived in Fiji, trekked Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and China, and has spent time in many places around the world including Taiwan, South Africa, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Brazil, Qatar, Norway, Mexico and Canada. Among the diverse adventures he’s enjoyed: summiting Mount Rainier & Mount Hood, diving in Mexico, sitting out a riot in Jakarta, being involved in Fijian kava ceremonies, caving in Thailand, and many more.

Shannon is an active traveler, trail runner, swimmer, mountaineer, skier and fly-fisher. He brings a special passion to this industry borne of experience and a desire to see others experience the world in a richer way. His 17+ years of business experience, connections, marketing insight, environmental science, vision and passion for adventure travel have prepared him well to serve and lead as the president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.

Early in his career, with a B.S. Biology from Seattle Pacific University, Shannon worked as a fisheries observer on ships in Alaska for the National Marine Fisheries Service. After a stint on the Bering Sea, and work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, he spent eight years at an environmental testing laboratory as a biologist/chemist. He was promoted into management to develop and spearhead the company’s international vision and Asian presence with the President of North Creek Analytical International.

Shannon then engaged in the dot-com revolution as a co-founder of, a successful outdoor and adventure travel gear retailer ( He directed the company’s business development, affiliate marketing and non-profit relations for six years. Despite the dotcom boom and bust, Altrec survived, then thrived. During his time at, he struck deals with, CBS Sportsline, National Geographic and National Geographic Adventure, Backpacker Magazine, Virtuoso, Nike, Gore-Tex, Outward Bound, Virtuoso and Mountain Travel Sobek among many others. He wore many other hats during his tenure, overseeing aspects of marketing, PR, affiliate programs, ad sales, advertising program development and development of Altrec’s sister site,

February 28-March 4, 2011

Gary Gannon has lifelong experience envisioning, forming, managing, and growing companies and organizations in diverse fields in the US and around the world. He has demonstrated a solid track record and leadership in anticipating global trends, and has built numerous businesses that both leveraged and added value to these emerging trends.

For the last several years, Mr. Gannon has devoted his full professional attention to helping solve difficult global problems. Mr. Gannon believes in building long-term relationships and trust by living ethically and maintaining transparent business practices. 

Currently, Mr. Gannon is involved in a number of businesses and philanthropic activities. On the philanthropic side, Mr. Gannon is working around the world to stimulate major cities to adopt sustainable economic, social, political, and environmental sustainable practices through the  Global Compact Cities Programme, for which he is an international advisory board member.

For more information about the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, please contact Scott Bryant,