Introducing: Garage Cotton

It’s always good to see Dukies ‘making a go of it’!  This week, my classmate (and now, Fuqua Alum!) Stefan joined the ranks of Duke Entrepreneurs with the launch of Garage Cotton.

Dedicated to providing “Premium super soft tees“, Garage Cotton is the brainchild of the Christman brothers, self-described as one “left-brained” Duke MBA and one “right-brained ‘talented designer’”.  Psychological mumbo-jumbo aside, all I know is this limited edition Duke tee from Garage Cotton that I’m wearing right now is probably the softest t-shirt I’ve ever felt, and definitely the best fitting.  I haven’t had an opportunity to test out a hoodie yet, but I can only imagine that they are the same high-quality feel.  Designed and made in the U.S.A!

I haven’t spoken with Stefan since Durham (time has really flown by since September…), but I can only imagine that even more high quality designs will be rolling out over the next several months.  In the meantime, like many web-only start-ups, Garage Cotton is focusing on developing a significant social media presence, including providing coupon codes through said channels.  Keep up with Garage Cotton at the following online locations:

Facebook Fan Page: Link (Be sure to check out the coupon code posted on the ‘Wall’ for Free Shipping until Sunday, Jan 9th!)

Twitter: @garagecotton

Stefan, best of luck with your new venture!  I wear size XL, just in case you are feeling generous (especially with one of those Buffalo shirts)…just no script Ohio, please.  ;)

DukeGEN Multi-City Networking Events: November 16th-18th

This post is a re-post of an email I received from the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network group on LinkedIn:

On November 18th, we’ll be hosting the 5th DukeGEN multi-city Networking Event.  If you have any questions, contact Matthew Yung, Director of Events, at .
Cities we’ve confirmed so far:  (Please check the RSVP page for city specific details)
  • Austin (RSVP here) – Stephen Portnoy ’89, Scott Thomas ’96, Kirstin Widding ’93 (Wed 11/17) @ Stephen F.’s Bar and Terrace
  • Bangalore (RSVP here) – Ashwin Haleyur ’08 @ Ebony
  • Boston (RSVP here) - Chris Wolfington ’96, Swetha Kolluri ’09 @ Brandy Pete’s
  • Charlotte (RSVP here) - Greg Simmons ’11 (Wed 11/17) @ Maggiano’s South Park Mall
  • Chicago (RSVP here) – Eric Goss ’92, Pere Rigo ’00 @ 3rd Coast Cafe
  • Cincinnati (RSVP here) - Linda Young ’94 ’04 @ Parkers Blue Ash Tavern (recent change of venue)
  • Los Angeles (RSVP here) – Tom Freestone ’11, Carolyn Nohejl ’10, Jennifer Beall ’05, Nicole Desrosiers ’05 ’11 @ Ye Olde King’s Head
  • New York (RSVP here) – Jozef Krakora ’10, Tom Powell ’09 @ Hotel on Rivington
  • Philadelphia (RSVP here) - John Neclerio ’90, Huyen Tran ’09 @ Con Murphy’s
  • Pittsburgh - cancelled
  • Research Triangle Park (RSVP here) - Howie Rhee ’04, Gautham Pandiyan ’08 ’09 @ The Speakeasy at Tyler’s Taproom in Durham
  • San Francisco (RSVP here) – Michael Cann ’95, Matt Koidin ’05 (Tue 11/16) @ Vino Locale in Palo Alto from 6-8pm.  Additional dinner discussion at 8pm (RSVP required) about early stage financings with Mike Pisetsky B ’08, L ’08 @ Vero in Palo Alto.  Vino Locale and Vero are a few blocks from one another.
  • Seattle (RSVP here) - Thomas Flemmig ’08, Ryan Luce ’94, Nishanth Lingamneni ’06 @ Rob Roy
  • Washington DC (RSVP here) - T. Reid Lewis ’84, Sara Allen ’01, Norissa Giangola ’92, Rachel Fefer ’95 ’02 @ One Lounge

To learn more or RSVP, click here:

Stay connected to DukeGEN:
– “Like” our page on Facebook –
– Follow us on Twitter –

-Howie Rhee
on Behalf of the DukeGEN Co-chairs and Matt Yung, Director of Events

For those of you who have never heard of DukeGEN, the main purpose of this group is to help those who are interested in entrepreneurship help network, find resources, and generally share knowledge and ideas about starting and developing new businesses.  I attended one of the DukeGEN events on Venture Capital during the Durham residency, and from my limited experience and everything I’ve heard, Howie Rhee and the many others involved always do a great job with all these events.  But of course, a forum/network like this is only as useful as those who take part…

I have RSVP’ed for the Philadelphia event, so barring any unforeseen work issues or Fuqua deadlines I’m not thinking about, I’ll be there.

Looking forward to meeting all of you entrepreneurs…drop a message in the ‘Comments’ section if you planning on attending Philly (or any other event for that matter)!

Tucker Blair and the Duke MBA

Growing up, both of my parents ran their own businesses. This upbringing shaped my entrepreneurial spirit from an early age.  So much so that it’s always amazing to me that so many people feel like they can’t run their own businesses, or are surprised to hear that not everyone works for a large corporation. 

Upon graduating from college, I returned to San Francisco and began working for my mother’s high-end catering company.  I did everything from washing dishes to driving trucks to basic food prep.  While some of these tasks weren’t very glamorous, looking back they were great experiences in learning the inner workings of a business.  However, after 3 years at the catering company, I decided it was time to develop a company of my own.  I had been working on a few ideas, the most promising of which was building an e-commerce site selling hand-stitched needlepoint accessories. 

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