Join us at The Collider for Our Summer Lunch & Learn Series

Twice weekly we offer skills-based workshops to improve your business. Our speakers also provide insights into the challenges businesses may face due to climate change, and the opportunities inherent within those challenges once you apply climate data.

We invite the Asheville business, entrepreneurial, and science community at large to join us and participate in trainings delivered by world-class business, start-up, and climate science experts on topics ranging from how to pitch investors to how climate change is a factor in the increased prevalence of mosquito and tick-borne diseases.

Learn the tools, mindsets, and skills needed to launch and grow your business while also better understanding how climate change impacts businesses and how climate data can help, so that we can scale solutions for climate change together.

This series is free to Collider members and available to the public at $20 per workshop. Friends of The Collider receive 50% off all Lunch & Learns. Learn more.


Emerging & Expanding Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases: Does Climate Change Play a Role?

This engaging presentation will provide an overview of mosquito and tick-borne diseases and their recent history of emerging and expanding across the US and how climate change may be a factor related to the increased public health threat.

Presented by Dennis Lenaway, PhD, MPH, Former Senior Advisor & Epidemiologist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


0 to 77: How Climate Interactive Spread its Climate Simulation to 77 Countries in Two Years

Learn how an invitation from the White House, a book about Swedish pirates, and a geeky computer model inspired an effort from the small team at Climate Interactive that has resulted in over 40,000 people pretending to be UN diplomats tasked with saving the world from climate change at nearly 1,000 around the world.

Presented by Ellie Johnston, Global Climate and Energy Lead at Climate Interactive.


Customer Success

In the world of SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, everyone expects Sales to drive aggressive growth and lead the company to new heights. But even when you hit your Sales numbers, it’s what you do next that matters most.

Presented by Mike Connors, Customer Success Director for startups. 


Evaluate a Startup: Sustainability Investment Series

Want to invest in a startup? How about in the surging electric vehicle industry? Upstart automaker known as Arcimoto intends to catalyze the shift to sustainable transportation, starting with its newly-launched “FUV” (see Fun Utility Vehicle). Business Insider calls Arcimoto’s FUV “the ultimate city vehicle.” Is the company a compelling sustainable investment? Get a behind the scenes look on how to evaluate Arcimoto from Isaac Pino.

Presented by Isaac Pino, Partner and Investment Manager at Huckleberry Capital Management.


Pitching Investors

Porter Bayne is founder, fundraiser, and head of product for Antenna, a venture- and angel-backed digital media & advertising startup. Having pitched over 200 venture funds, individual angels, and investor pitch events, he has a few funding hits and quite a few more misses and loves helping entrepreneurs find their way in connecting with a good funding match.

Presented by Porter Bayne, serial entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Antenna, a digital community engagement tool.


How Angel Investors Evaluate Deals

Go behind the scenes of the due diligence process and decision-making mindset used by angel investors when considering whether to fund your startup. Learn the 10 criteria angel investors evaluate, which ones matter most, and how to position your startup for funding success.

Presented by Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider and former Co-Founder and Managing Director of Asheville Angel.


Creating Opportunities Beyond You

Strategic alliances can be a powerful business development growth driver. External partnership initiatives range from short term, project-oriented cooperation efforts to longer term joint ventures. Insights and tips for finding opportunities, identifying partners, negotiating agreements and managing relationships will be provided.

Presented by Ken Cooper, Strategic Business Development Professional with large company, start-up, and international experience in the consumer products and energy industries.


Avoiding the HR Storm: The Startup’s Guide to Employment Law

Are your wage and hour practices in order? Did you know if they are not, there may be individual liability? Are your policies legal or did you simply coopt them from some internet site? Do you even have a handbook or is everyone one big happy family? Are you sure? This Lunch and Learn will explore the basics of employment law for small to medium size businesses. Presenter Jonathan Yarbrough is a partner in the national employment law firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete with 24 years’ experience advising businesses on employment law issues. Jon will be speaking on the most common ways that small to medium size businesses run afoul of employment laws and will provide practical advice on everyday employment issues as well as take your questions.

Presented by Jon Yarbrough, managing partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP.


Guerrilla Usability

Are you bending your customers to your process (like the DMV) instead of bending your process to your customers (like Apple)? What can you do about it when budgets are limited and deadlines are tight? Guerrilla Usability studies can reveal all of this, and it doesn’t need to be elaborate. Just you, your product, a plate of cookies, and a customer. And best of all, you only need 3-5 humans for 15 minutes each.

Presented by Dave Michelson, Applied Research Software Designer at UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC).


Climate Science to Climate Tech Startup – The CASE Study for DailyBreath

A digital health entrepreneur and a climatologist share their experience creating a commercial product based on climate science and data. Starting with a hypothesis and research, they created an evidence-based algorithm that translates climate science into a personal asthma warning system.

Presented by Eric Klos, HEATLHeWeather founder and creator of DailyBreath, and Marjorie McGuirk, climatologist and President of CASE Consultants International.


Diversity & Inclusivity in Your Organization

Why is diversity important to a growing business or non-profit, and how do you achieve inclusivity?
Susan Clark Muntean, Ph.D., will share research highlights to convince you that diversity within your business and board is very important to your organization’s success. Further, she will share resources to help your organization create and achieve inclusion goals.

Presented by Dr. Susan Clark Muntean, UNCA Assistant Professor of Management. 


Workshop presented by Matt Frazier, vegan marathoner and ultra-runner who runs the popular fitness site Details forthcoming.


Leveraging Public Relations to Influence the Influencer

To grow your business, you obviously need to influence your customers through targeted marketing programs. However, your customers are just as likely, if not more likely, to be influenced by their favorite websites, media outlets or bloggers than they are by you directly. This is why public relations is key to business success. In this session, Krista Valiante, a PR and marketing pro who has worked with companies including Intel and Microsoft, will give you a crash course in implementing effective PR strategies to complement your marketing efforts.

Presented by Krista Valiante, PR professional with companies including Intel and Microsoft



Lunch & Learn presentation is in development. Details forthcoming.


Workshop presented by Amanda Rycerz, Management Consultant at Acclimatise, the leading provider of climate change risks and adaptation services worldwide. Details forthcoming.