2021 Dealmakers Award Winners
Congratulations to the 2021 Charlotte Dealmakers Award Winners!
Kian Capital Partners
Scott Buschmann is a Parnter at Kian Capital and is active in all aspects of Kian's investment origination, structuring, diligence and portfolio monitoring efforts. Prior to Kian, Scott was a Director in the U.S. Private Equity Group of Arcapita Inc., a global investment firm with total equity invested of approximately $9 billion, where he was responsible for sourcing, executing and managing middle-market companies. Prior to Arcapita, Scott was a Senior Analyst in the Corporate Finance group at The Robinson-Humphrey Company, a leading middle-market investment bank based in Atlanta. Scott earned a B.A. in Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Expertise as a private equity partner CEO, with a core strength in business development. Always interested in creating a winning culture, while growing a sustainable business.
Co-founder & CEO
Emir is the CEO of Rabbu where he turned a spare bedroom above his detached garage into the genesis for a new asset class within Real Estate. Prior to founding Rabbu, Emir was a Senior Product Manager at NBC Sports which he joined as part of the acquisition of KYCK where he served as Vice President of Operations.
Emir was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly Yugoslavia), lived in Germany for 6 years and moved to the United States at the age of 12.
Ashley Gautreaux, Director at CreativeCo Capital, brings experience in operations and investments for high growth companies. Venture Capital has enabled her to follow her passion to empower others with ideas and capabilities to change the world as we know it. The CreativeCo mission is to provide early-stage founders with what they need most for growth - capital investment and product engineering resources. She leads investor relations, fund operations, and sources investments. Before joining VC, she spent 7 years as a leader at Tesla to help grow the organization from $204m to $24B, focusing on global acquisitions, new market expansion, and operations.
Founder & CEO
Cor is a 30-year veteran in the ERP technology sector. He worked closely with Walt Ruloff at InterTrans Logistics Solutions (ITLS), where Cor served in a number of roles during the company’s growth, becoming General Manager of ITLS’s Atlanta office in 1996. Following the sale of ITLS in 1998, Cor remained with the buyer, i2 Technologies, helping to grow the business and develop the technology platform further, becoming Director, Product Management. He left i2 Technologies in 2002 to join One Network Technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina, a SaaS company focused on hosted network supply chain solutions.
He served as Vice President of Client Services, as well as Vice President of Retail. In 2006, he joined Oracle in the firm’s retail business, where he built and led a strategic consulting big deals team for the Retail Global Business Unit. He moved from Oracle to IBM as a Partner with IBM Global Business Consulting Services where he led global enterprise transformation engagements for IBM clients in the retail, travel and transport, life sciences, and consumer products sector. Personally, Cor and his family have had an interest in the developing world, and he has made several trips to East Africa, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with his daughter to raise funds for a non-profit.
Plumb Line Capital
Matt founded Plumb Line Capital Partners, LLC (PLCP) and serves as Managing Partner. PLCP works with a number of long term focused investors / family offices investing, advising, operating, and helping to grow family / founder / entrepreneur owned companies. PLCP structures these deals as "direct deals" in order to bring in the most strategic investors, board members, industry experts, etc. to accelerate the growth / scale the operations of the company. PLCP works in board member / strategic / operational partnership roles to these operating companies.
Additionally, Matt is Managing Partner of Abatemaster, a leader in environmental services including asbestos surveys, inspections, & abatement, lead based paint removal, mold remediation, soda blasting, and demolition services in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia for 25 years.
He has previous experience working as a private equity investor at investment firms that focused on investments in family, founder, entrepreneur, and management team owned companies where he was actively engaged as a board member in the strategy and operations of portfolio companies. Previously, he worked as an investment banker where he provided public and private companies with mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity capital raising advice.
Chief Product Officer
Christine serves as Chief Product Officer at Aperture Education. She previously founded Ascend Goals, an EdTech company that was acquired by Aperture in early 2021. Her professional experience has largely been in digital product management, spanning transportation, travel, and financial services industries.
President & CEO
Brian is the President and Chief Executive Officer of T Sportline, a leading designer, tuner, marketer, and e-commerce retailer of enthusiast and performance upgrades for Tesla and other EVs. Reese is a veteran automotive aftermarket industry executive and the former CEO of Driven Lighting Group, CEO of Race Winning Brands, VP of Sears Craftsman, and VP of Comp Performance Group. A postgraduate of The Ohio State University, he has more than 21 years of experience fueling premium brands with innovative products, serving customers with best-in-class support, and mentoring the professional development of next generation leaders. He is a serial innovator and creator of new paths, with over 21 patents to his credit, various trendsetting online marketing successes, and directing over 22 startup or business acquisitions. Reese also serves on several corporate advisory boards and as a private equity strategy and acquisition advisor. Reese currently serves on the SEMA board of Directors and was the recipient of the inaugural SEMA Gen III Innovator award in 2012, the SEMA YEN Vanguard award in 2020, and has served on several SEMA select committees, task forces, and councils. Reese enjoys traveling with his family and is an avid endurance athlete and college football fan.
Dan is a co-founder of Charlotte's entrepreneurship center called Packard Place which was ranked as one of the 5 largest tech and innovation centers in the country and its community and alumni have raised over 2 Billion dollars in capital and created over 2,500 jobs in the Charlotte Region. Dan also co-founded the QueenCity Fintech program which is one of the top Fintech Accelerators in the World and has over 70 alumni companies with over $35M in raised capital.
Co-Founder & CEO
Dr. Derek Wang is Founder and CEO of Stratifyd, Inc. Dr. Wang earned a PhD in Computer Science from University of North Carolina Charlotte. He has held positions at Microsoft Research, Xerox, and Bank of America before becoming the Associate Director of the Charlotte Visualization Center where he worked on projects for Homeland Security and Bank of America, among others.
Founder & CEO
Catapult HQ, Inc.
Justin is an Iraqi War Veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force. He is the Founder & CEO of Catapult, an automated Request for Proposal (“RFP”) platform with over 1,600 companies worldwide utilizing their products to standardize there organizational experience for all types of RFx activity.
Kian Capital Partners, LLC
Caldwell joined Kian Capital in June 2017 and is primarily responsible for evaluating, underwriting and monitoring new and existing investment opportunities.
Prior to joining Kian Capital, Caldwell was an Associate at Harvest Partners in the Structured Capital Fund, a group dedicated to non-control private equity investments. Prior to Harvest Partners, he was an Associate at Arsenal Capital Partners, where he completed private equity transactions in the healthcare and industrial sectors. Prior to Arsenal Capital Partners, Caldwell was an Analyst in the investment banking division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, debt financings and equity issuances for public and private companies across multiple sectors within the Global Industrials Group.