Center for Entrepreneurship

Sun Devil Igniter Board

Carr Bettis

Dr. Carr Bettis is the founder and chief architect of numerous market-leading financial science and technology innovations, and businesses, five of which have been sold to multinational companies. Carr jointly owns intellectual property with Thomson Reuters via his IP firm, CB Partners, and is co-founder and chairman of Verus Analytics, a quantitative financial technology company.

He also serves on the board of directors of iMemories (a LifeTouch Company) and AudioEye (AEYE). He maintains an affiliation with Arizona State University as research professor of finance and is frequently cited in national and international financial media. His research has been published in prestigious academic and professional journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and the Financial Analyst Journal. He received his PhD from Indiana University in 1992.

Les Brun

Les Brun is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sarr Group, LLC, a diversified holding company for his investments. He is also Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor of G100 Companies, a unique business partnership that combines the world's best C-level learning communities with a handful of premier professional services firms. Previously, he was a Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations in the New York office of CCMP Capital Advisors.

Les also founded and was Chairman Emeritus of Hamilton Lane, the world's leading Private Equity advisory and management firm, focusing on the firm's strategic initiatives and direction, as well as its investment decision-making through his participation on the firm's Investment Committee. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Richcourt Group, a Hamilton Lane company specializing in hedge fund of funds management.

Les is currently Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE "BR") and CDK Global, Inc. (NASDAQ "CDK"), Lead Director of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE "MRK"), as well as Chair of the Compensation Committee of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE "HPE"). Les was formerly Chairman of the Board of Directors of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NYSE "ADP") until November 2015. He also serves on the Board of Directors of NXT Capital and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he was Chairman of the U.S. Small Business Administration's S.B.I.C. Advisory Council, and a member of the Committee for the Reinvention of the S.B.A.

With over 38 years of investment banking, commercial banking and financial advisory experience, Les began his career with Chemical Bank in Seoul, South Korea, where he was Assistant Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, followed by Managing Director and cofounder of the investment banking group of Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia, Vice President in the Corporate Finance Division of E.F. Hutton & Co. in New York, and Vice President of Lloyds International Corporation.

Les holds a B.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus, and is a former Trustee of the University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc. He is also a former Trustee of Widener University, as well as Episcopal Academy in Merion, PA. Most recently, Les was recognized by the NACD as one of America's top 100 Corporate Directors in 2015.

Thomas Cowan

Thomas Cowan is Associate Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University. This follows a career building software companies and working for IBM.

Tom has developed a role as a CEO/Entrepreneur in the world of thought leadership at an Ivy-League university. His market depth is enterprise software and data. Tom's thought-leadership focus is on sharp-edged, practical methods for leadership and execution in the strategic use and management of technology—he develops them, uses them, and writes about them.

Tom has served as CEO for software companies with revenues of $5M to $100M (e.g. OutlookSoft, acquired by SAP), as board director for private companies with revenues of $5M to $300M (e.g. Tivoli), and as board director for public companies with revenues of $300M to $500M (e.g. SMTC). He has also served on the boards of and

His career includes two decades at IBM (1977-2000), starting in Finance and moving to CFO and GM roles. Tom is currently Associate Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University (Dec 2015-present). He also serves as a board director and strategic advisor to a number of technology companies.

He is the author of From Idea to Business, Business Basics, and Leadership Basics. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina. He lives with his family in Connecticut and Arizona.

Allan Kaplan

Allan Kaplan has extensive experience building and investing in companies focused on next-generation data communications, Internet infrastructure, services, and software. As a co-founder of three successful technology companies and as a partner in a private venture fund, he has a proven track record in business development, institutional funding, and mergers and acquisitions.

Allan was a co-founder of Limelight Networks, Inc., an Internet platform and services company. Mr. Kaplan served on its board of directors from June 2001 to December 2007 and as its chairman from June 2001 to November 2006.

Prior to Limelight, Allan was a founder of Entera, Inc., an Internet Infrastructure company where he also served on the board of directors. He also co-founded Primenet Services for the Internet, Inc., which later merged with and changed its name to GlobalCenter, Inc. Allan became executive vice president and sat on the board of directors at GlobalCenter, which grew to become one of the largest Web hosting companies in the world in the 1990s.

Currently, Mr. Kaplan is the managing partner of KG Investments, which provides venture funding to Internet related technology companies, and Goldmark Venture Partners, which provides direct secondary investments to founders and executives of later stage pre-IPO technology companies.

Igniter Board

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Contact Us

Center for Entrepreneurship
W. P. Carey School of Business
P.O. Box 876506
Tempe, Arizona 85287
Phone: (480) 965-0474