At its Wednesday, Nov. 5, luncheon meeting, Venture Connectors will host Tendai Charasika and Bobby Ferreri, two former economic development executives who have taken what they learned in their roles with Greater Louisville Inc. to now lead successful startup ventures. Charasika and Ferreri are former executive directors of GLI’s EnterpriseCorp, the entrepreneurship arm of the region’s leading economic development organization that is dedicated to fostering high-potential, early-stage companies. Both say their experiences with GLI are what inspired them to “just do it,” and strike out on their own.

Charasika and Ferreri will talk about their work at GLI, why they decided to take the leap toward entrepreneurship and how they continue to apply the knowledge they gained from supporting the Louisville entrepreneurial community to their new roles. There will also be a Q&A session after their presentation.

Charasika, TendaiAfter leaving EnterpriseCorp earlier this year, Charasika became CEO of SuperFanU Inc., which aims to be the top fan engagement platform for sports teams and brands around the country. His leadership responsibilities include guiding the vision and strategy of the company, while ensuring the execution of value-creating milestones. Prior to EnterpriseCorp, Charasika was the first person hired to help scale the sustainability division of the fast-growing, entrepreneurial firm, Summit Energy, which was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2011 for $268 million. Charasika was recently named to the board of directors for the Louisville Sports Commission and is the current president-elect of Venture Connectors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and an entrepreneurial MBA from the University of Louisville.

Ferreri, BobbyAfter his tenure at EnterpriseCorp ended in May 2013, Ferreri founded Ferreri Partners PLLC, a fast-growth law firm focused on workers’ compensation defense and corporate law. The firm has grown to include a team 11 professionals, two office locations and clients throughout Kentucky. As managing partner, Ferreri is responsible for driving the firm’s strategic growth for the benefit of its stakeholders. During his time at GLI, Ferreri was responsible for attracting more than 1,000 headquarter jobs to the Louisville region, developing leading-edge economic development cluster strategies, and raising more than $20 million in funding for early-stage companies. His work in entrepreneurship-focused economic development includes the founding of XLerate Health (a leading health-related accelerator), the transformation of the Vogt Awards into one of the nation’s first hardware accelerator programs, and the establishment of the Enterprise Angels Community Fund I. Ferreri serves on the boards of the Kentucky Association of Corporate Growth and Venture Connectors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University, and an MBA and juris doctorate from the University of Louisville.

Venture Connectors’ luncheon meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting runs from noon-1:15 p.m. Registration is required at: ventureconnectors.amplifylouisville.com.