Carter Cast
Carter Cast

GENERAL MANAGEMENT
Clinical Associate Professor of Management

Print Overview

Carter Cast received his early training in the restaurant division of PepsiCo, Inc. (Pizza Hut International and Taco Bell) from 1986-1990 and then at Frito-Lay from 1992-1997, where he became Director of Marketing, managing the $1.5 billion tortilla chip category and launching Tostitos salsas and dips.

Carter then served as vice president of product marketing and marketing communications at Electronic Arts, launching products like SimCity 3000and The Sims. He left to become a member of the start-up team for Blue Nile Inc., a Kleiner-Perkins and Trinity Ventures backed company, which became the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, selling in excess of $250 million after seven years in existence. Carter was Blue Nile's senior vice president of marketing, merchandizing and site when the company was named one of the forty best e-commerce sites by Forbes magazine. He developed the brand and site identity, as well as the marketing communication and product assortment strategy.

Carter left Blue Nile to be part of the launch team at Walmart.com, a division of Walmart Stores, Inc. He served as the vice president of marketing from 2000-2002 and the senior vice president of marketing, merchandizing, creative and site from 2002-2005. In 2005 Carter was promoted to President of Walmart.com and to CEO in February of 2006. He led Walmart's e-commerce division to profitability on its way to becoming the third highest volume e-tail site behind eBay and Amazon.com.

After Walmart, Carter joined Netshops.com, a privately-held ecommerce company funded by Sequoia Capital and Insight Venture Partners, as President and CEO. In 2009, Netshops rebranded and redesigned its site, becoming Hayneedle. Internet Retailer named it as one of America's Hot 100 Retail sites in December of 2009.

In 2011, Carter joined the faculty of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he is a professor teaching entrepreneurship and marketing. In addition to teaching at Kellogg, Carter joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 2012, where he is a venture partner. Carter graduated from Stanford University in 1985 and the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1992.

Print Vita
Other Professional Experience
President and Chief Executive Officer, WAL-MART STORES, INC., 2005-2007
Senior Vice President, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, WAL-MART STORES, INC., 2000-2005
Senior Vice President, BLUE NILE, INC., 2000-2000
Vice President, BLUE NILE, INC., 2000-1999

 
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Print Teaching
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
New Venture Discovery (KIEI-462-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Management & Strategy

Formerly ENTR-462-0

New Venture Discovery is designed to help students navigate the earliest stages of starting a new venture – beginning with the identification of a problem in the market that is worth solving. The class teaches students tools and techniques to translate these problems into viable business concepts, with an emphasis on enabling an aspiring entrepreneur to get as far as possible, with as little as possible, as FAST as possible.

Student teams begin the quarter with nothing more than a series of hypotheses about a new venture, then design and execute a series of in-market experiments that either validate these assumptions, or force them to iterate aspects of their business model in real time. The objective of the course to guide students toward the achievement of “product-market fit” as a crucial first step in in the creation of a startup. From here, students can evolve their businesses by enrolling in the “Develop” and “Launch” courses that serve as the continuation of the new ventures curriculum.

New Venture Discovery course material ranges from customer discovery and design thinking, to rapid prototyping (of both offers and business models), bootstrapping methods and communicating/selling the vision for a new venture. The course format is a blend of lecture, fieldwork, cross-team collaboration and ideation sessions, outside speakers and expert mentoring.

Note: This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter.