MENTORS

Stoke mentors are here to help entrepreneurs, startups, and side hustlers navigate the world of business planning, strategy, customer validation, fundraising, branding, market size, and more. We host a mentor office hour at Stoke each weekday between 12-1pm. Meetings with mentors are held on a first come first served basis and are open to Stoke members and the public at large. For more information about each mentor and their specific areas of expertise and interest, read their bios below and check to see when they hold their office hour. Then, show up at noon on their day of the week to meet with one of our veteran entrepreneurs.

Tracy Irby -  Tracy   is a Small Business Advisor at TWU’s Center for Women in Business. She has been an entrepreneur for over 25 years, starting out as owner of one of the first Hometown Sears Dealer Stores.   Tracy spent 6 years with Small Business Development Centers where she helped more than 900 clients. She’s assisted businesses with everything from start up help, business plans, loan readiness and exit plans. She has her BBA & MBA in Marketing from Texas A & M – Commerce.   Tracy would like to help entrepreneurs with startup, social media marketing, loan readiness or business strategy.   Tracy is here on Mondays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Tracy Irby - Tracy is a Small Business Advisor at TWU’s Center for Women in Business. She has been an entrepreneur for over 25 years, starting out as owner of one of the first Hometown Sears Dealer Stores.

Tracy spent 6 years with Small Business Development Centers where she helped more than 900 clients. She’s assisted businesses with everything from start up help, business plans, loan readiness and exit plans. She has her BBA & MBA in Marketing from Texas A & M – Commerce.

Tracy would like to help entrepreneurs with startup, social media marketing, loan readiness or business strategy.

Tracy is here on Mondays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Patrick Peters  - Since 1989, Patrick has worked at the nexus of technology, media and data, as a founder, first-five team member, executive and mentor. He is a repeat judge of the Pollie Awards for excellence in political advertising and has twice been a member of teams nominated for an Emmy Award in innovation and technology. Patrick was a first generation board member of TechMill, and works in an advisory capacity with several local startups.  Patrick would like to mentor on business strategy, messaging for funding, sales, and marketing, and translating strategy and message into a feasible operational plan.   Patrick is here on Tuesdays from 12-1 at Stoke.    Read his mentor spotlight interview here  (linked)    !

Patrick Peters - Since 1989, Patrick has worked at the nexus of technology, media and data, as a founder, first-five team member, executive and mentor. He is a repeat judge of the Pollie Awards for excellence in political advertising and has twice been a member of teams nominated for an Emmy Award in innovation and technology. Patrick was a first generation board member of TechMill, and works in an advisory capacity with several local startups.

Patrick would like to mentor on business strategy, messaging for funding, sales, and marketing, and translating strategy and message into a feasible operational plan.

Patrick is here on Tuesdays from 12-1 at Stoke. Read his mentor spotlight interview here (linked)!

Simon Trask -  Simon is a creative entrepreneur. He followed a career in graphic design for 13 years that lead to being a partner in a branding and digital agency in Denton, TX. That agency was acquired in 2017, and he now lives the life of a solopreneur. In addition to brand strategy and design consulting, he has also built a portfolio of e-commerce brands.  His passions include helping small businesses thrive, community-focused efforts, and solving social problems through commerce.   Simon is here on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Stoke.    Read his mentor spotlight interview here  (linked)    !

Simon Trask - Simon is a creative entrepreneur. He followed a career in graphic design for 13 years that lead to being a partner in a branding and digital agency in Denton, TX. That agency was acquired in 2017, and he now lives the life of a solopreneur. In addition to brand strategy and design consulting, he has also built a portfolio of e-commerce brands.

His passions include helping small businesses thrive, community-focused efforts, and solving social problems through commerce.

Simon is here on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Stoke. Read his mentor spotlight interview here (linked)!

Jon McCarry  - Jon worked in private equity for more than 15 years and is currently senior director of UNT’s Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Jon has worked as a senior group internal auditor at Nestlé, managed a venture capital portfolio in a Hong Kong UHNW family office and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Jon earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at UNT and an M.B.A. from Vlerick Management School in Belgium, and he completed the Oxford University – Peking University joint Private Equity Programme in China.   Jon is here on Thursdays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Jon McCarry - Jon worked in private equity for more than 15 years and is currently senior director of UNT’s Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Jon has worked as a senior group internal auditor at Nestlé, managed a venture capital portfolio in a Hong Kong UHNW family office and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Jon earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at UNT and an M.B.A. from Vlerick Management School in Belgium, and he completed the Oxford University – Peking University joint Private Equity Programme in China.

Jon is here on Thursdays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Marshall Culpepper -  Marshall is the co-founder of both Kubos, a satellite software startup in downtown Denton, and Techmill, a nonprofit organization for Denton tech builders. As the original organizer of the Denton Jelly, LittleDOCC, and Bootstrap Denton, Culpepper is an active member of the Denton Community, mentoring students and local entrepreneurs about writing software and building startups. Marshall serves as a member of Denton Angels, an Angel investment group based in Denton, TX.  Marshall would like to mentor on business strategy and fundraising.   Marshall is here on Fridays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Marshall Culpepper - Marshall is the co-founder of both Kubos, a satellite software startup in downtown Denton, and Techmill, a nonprofit organization for Denton tech builders. As the original organizer of the Denton Jelly, LittleDOCC, and Bootstrap Denton, Culpepper is an active member of the Denton Community, mentoring students and local entrepreneurs about writing software and building startups. Marshall serves as a member of Denton Angels, an Angel investment group based in Denton, TX.

Marshall would like to mentor on business strategy and fundraising.

Marshall is here on Fridays from 12-1 at Stoke.

Shannon Mantaro -  Shannon is an economic development professional with more than 20 years of senior management experience in planning and implementing strategic programs and initiatives. She currently serves as the Director of the Center for Women in Business at Texas Woman’s University. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.  Shannon has vast experience in economic development and developing and administering programs for female entrepreneurs.  Shannon does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.

Shannon Mantaro - Shannon is an economic development professional with more than 20 years of senior management experience in planning and implementing strategic programs and initiatives. She currently serves as the Director of the Center for Women in Business at Texas Woman’s University. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Shannon has vast experience in economic development and developing and administering programs for female entrepreneurs.

Shannon does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.

Daniel Abasolo -  Daniel   is a dedicated and experienced family law and business law attorney. Daniel graduated from Texas A&M University in 2007, and Texas Tech School of Law in 2010, and has practiced law in North Texas since passing the bar that same year. He has focused his career on Family Law, earning recognition as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2015 and 2016 in that field. Daniel has a passion for representing business clients, especially startups.  He is experienced with venture capital, entity formation, business transactions, and export control.  Daniel does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.

Daniel Abasolo - Daniel is a dedicated and experienced family law and business law attorney. Daniel graduated from Texas A&M University in 2007, and Texas Tech School of Law in 2010, and has practiced law in North Texas since passing the bar that same year. He has focused his career on Family Law, earning recognition as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2015 and 2016 in that field. Daniel has a passion for representing business clients, especially startups.

He is experienced with venture capital, entity formation, business transactions, and export control.

Daniel does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.

Juli James  - Juli James is a journalism educator at the Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas, and co-founder of the ed tech design firm, Playable Media. Before joining the North Texas team, she worked at the Arizona State University Center for Games & Impact where she developed and led a collaborative innovation initiative to teach journalists game design and development. In 2015, Juli and her partners won a Knight Prototype Fund Grant to design and build a narrative game engine called the Playable Media Story Builder.  Juli does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.

Juli James - Juli James is a journalism educator at the Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas, and co-founder of the ed tech design firm, Playable Media. Before joining the North Texas team, she worked at the Arizona State University Center for Games & Impact where she developed and led a collaborative innovation initiative to teach journalists game design and development. In 2015, Juli and her partners won a Knight Prototype Fund Grant to design and build a narrative game engine called the Playable Media Story Builder.

Juli does not hold a regular office hour, but acts as a substitute when one of the mentors in residence is unable to make their session.