The Duree Center for Entrepreneurship enjoys a rich legacy offering experiential and entrepreneurial learning opportunities for university students and company founders. In 2020, Lindenwood University acquired the Innovation and Technology and Entrepreneur Network (ITEN), which itself was founded in 2008. ITEN helped tech entrepreneurs launch successful new business ventures by offering educational programs and services, all without requiring equity participation. Throughout its history, ITEN assisted hundreds of startups whose companies created over a thousand jobs and raised millions of dollars.
The Duree Center will continue its focus on collaborative partnerships with other Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) to offer customized programs and services meeting the needs of the local, regional, and statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem. These services are in conjunction with Real Experience opportunities for students through delivery of programs in social entrepreneurship and seeding secondary education entrepreneurship.
The Center was established with a generous gift from Rick Duree, Lindenwood alum and dynamic member of the St. Charles business community.
Meet The Team
Jim Mosquera - Director
Jim arrives after a distinguished corporate career in telecommunications/technology/software development where he received numerous sales and technical awards and a United States patent. He founded and operated a consultancy offering alternative finance and debt restructuring for the SMB market. Jim also founded a publishing company where he authored eight books in both fiction (political thriller, fantasy/metaphysical) and non-fiction (financial markets/economics) genres and five audio productions.
He’s also been an editor for financial/investor journals including Examiner.com, Daily Reckoning, Seeking Alpha, and TalkMarkets. Most recently he served as VP of Corporate Development for a local Managed IT/Software Development/ Consultant provider.
His academic credentials include a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in Operations Research and Computer Simulation. During his degree program, he interned at BJC Health Systems as a Management Engineer. Jim has been an active investor, researcher, and lecturer in the digital money/cryptocurrency/blockchain space.
He serves on the board of directors for the Chesterfield Regional Chamber and Community Value Alliance. He also serves as the chamber's representative at Progress 64 West.
Jim, born and partially raised in Panama City, Panama, resides with his wife and son in Saint Charles, MO
Connie Gallagher - Business Development Manager
Bringing over 25 years experience from the startup space Connie is a versatile, accomplished business professional. Her experience expands over areas in account management, customer experience, operations, business development, sales and marketing and product development. Connie has contributed and played multiple roles in a variety of startups, including founding member of a K-12 Education startup as Operations & Director of Partnerships to a Mobile Healthcare startup as Director of Client Services & Implementation. Other industries that she has worked in include Automotive Manufacturing, E-Learning, and Sales & Marketing.
Devon Moody-Graham - Entrepreneur In Residence
Devon Moody-Graham, MBA is an International business strategist, author and community leader dedicated to seeing a positive shift in economic development through entrepreneurship in underserved communities. She’s the Chief Solutions Officer of CEOMom Empire LLC and Lead Strategist in Business Development to several companies, non-profits, and universities. She creates and facilitates transformational entrepreneurship programs and experiences.
Her experience and partnerships have brought over $4M in capital to small businesses. Devon created a community for mothers that aspire to start businesses and develop professionally. She has worked with over 500+ businesses and 15,000 youth and young adults in entrepreneurship and professional training over the last 13 years to bring awareness to the feasibility of wealth building. She has served on a select White House committee on technology and entrepreneurial resource access. In 2018, she was selected to represent the state of Missouri in the SCORE and Sam’s Club America’s Small Business Championship competition with her business and social development group CEOMom.
Jeff Nock - Entrepreneur In Residence
Jeff is passionate about helping startup, early-stage, and small to mid-cap companies achieve their goals. He's worked with over 400+ companies in the past three years and helped many of them achieve milestones such as successful exits, acquisitions, raising capital, strategic planning, branding/marketing, sales strategy and execution, project management, product development and most importantly, establishing and fostering positive company culture.
He has thirty years of leadership experience from CEO (twice) to startup entrepreneur (six startups), yielding a broad background from which to help company founders achieve their potential. Jeff has enjoyed two successful company exits and was part of a startup team that raised $127m in venture capital. He's also served as CEO during the acquisition of multiple companies.
The list of industries in which he's had experience is broad:
- Business intelligence (BI)
- Software development
- Healthcare & medical device
- Educational Technology
Other skillset include experience with EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), the Business Model Canvas, Agile Development, and methodologies that help companies scale.
Ultimately, Jeff enjoys working with business owners and their teams to customize the best way forward to scale their growth.
Quentin Ortega - Entrepreneur In Residence
Quentin is a serial entrepreneur, skilled in negotiation, commercialization, corporate relationship management, growth strategy, mobile applications, and vision development, which provides assistance to our ventures as he supports their progress toward successful market entry and growth stages.
Quentin is also the President of QCO Consulting and has involvement in the leadership of several other ventures.
Quentin is passionate about improving processes, growing companies, negotiating fair business deals, and seeing new thought leadership applied to organizations of all sizes.
Quentin has his MBA, a degree in Management and Information Systems, and a certification for Sustainable Business from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Pravina Pindoria - Entrepreneur In Residence
As co-founder of Tallyfy, Pravina helped raise $2.6m in seed funding from investors in St. Louis and Silicon Valley and went through accelerators 500 Startups and Alchemist in San Francisco.
Pravina has deep experience of UX, product management and scaling a tech startup with a remote workforce. Through Tallyfy, Pravina has consulted and helped other tech-enabled companies unlock further economic efficiencies and scale their operations. Pravina is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Saint Louis Zoo.
Prior to Tallyfy, Pravina spent 10+ years as a pediatric intensive care nurse with the NHS in England, setting up intensive care units in rural Africa and carrying out international clinical research trials in Australia.
Dr. Julie Turner - Academic Manager
Julie Turner is a Professor of Nonprofit Administration. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, her M.A. in Adult and Continuing Education at Michigan State University, and her B.A. in Sociology and Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Dr. Turner has over twenty years of experience in education and nonprofit leadership, having served as a K-12 teacher and administrator, fund development/grant writing expert, and serving in a variety of leadership capacities through organizations such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Greater St. Louis, Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis, Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis.
She serves on the board of directors for Community Council of St. Charles County and is the Regional Chair of Thrivent Financial-Heartland Region and is actively involved as a community volunteer in a wide range within school, nonprofit, and church settings.
Dr. Turner was recognized as “Professor of the Year” by the Lindenwood Student Government Association (2020); received the "Emerson Award for Teaching Excellence" (2015) and the "Lindenwood Service Award" (2018) as well as serving as a Faculty Fellow for Student Engagement in 2019.