Carter Cast, a clinical professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and venture partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, visited New Trier's Entrepreneurship and Management classes on Jan. 17 to share his expertise about the world of business.
"For every investment, a venture capitalist will see at least 15-20 similar concepts," Cast said while addressing the students, discussing various concepts and posing questions. "What is unique and special about yours?"
Cast has played a pivotal role in building multiple iconic consumer brands. He started as a marketing manager at PepsiCo, where he led the development of various Frito-Lay products, and then served as vice president of product marketing and marketing communications at Electronic Arts, where he launched products like The Sims.
After leaving Electronic Arts, Cast became the founding chief marketing officer of Blue Nile, a leading seller of diamonds and fine jewelry on the internet. He then became the CEO of Walmart.com and led the division to become the third-highest volume retailer behind Amazon and eBay.
Carter joined the faculty of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in 2011, where he teaches entrepreneurship, leadership and marketing and works on Kellogg's leadership initiative. He has received the Impact Award from his students every year since 2012, has presented the end-of-year Nota Bene address to graduating students, and was one of five professors nominated for Professor of the Year in 2015.
As a venture partner for Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Cast advises portfolio companies and assesses potential investments. He also released a new book this month titled, "The Right and Wrong Stuff: How Brilliant Careers Are Made," which discusses how to avoid career derailment by becoming more self-aware, more agile, and more effective.