Carter Cast
Carter Cast

INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Clinical Associate Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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 3000 and 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. Carter has received the Impact Award from his students in 2012, 2014 and 2016 and has been a keynote speaker for CIM week, Day at Kellogg and the year-end Nota Bene.

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. He sits on the board of SMS Assist, Inc. and the Family Action Network.



Print Vita
Academic Positions
Professor of Business Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2011-present

Print Research

 
Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
New Venture Discovery (KIEI-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.

**This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter**



The Entrepreneurial Experience (KIEI-967-0)

The Entrepreneurial Experience will give students a framework to discover their inner entrepreneur while working directly with high-growth entrepreneurs and companies in Chicago and Evanston.

This course is designed for students that want to start and run companies, but don't have their world-changing idea (yet). Students will work in small teams with real, high-growth companies and entrepreneurs to explore and experience risk, failure, project management and entrepreneurship to shape that company's future. The class is based in part on analysis that successful entrepreneurs are take calculated risks via a series of transactions, rather than the traditional view of entrepreneurs as avid risk-seekers. The course will feature 50% in-class case debate and 50% lab work with local high-growth entrepreneurs in teams of 3-5 students.

This class will provide students with hands-on insight that will be invaluable for students who want to launch a company, work in a start-up, invest in a high-growth private company (PE or VC), consult to small business and/or provide services or products to high-growth businesses.



Executive Education
Advanced Management Program

For high-potential executives with enterprise-level responsibilities, this condensed, immersive experience — enhanced throughout with executive coaching — focuses on developing senior executive leadership agility, driving innovation, identifying growth opportunities and equipping your organization for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st-century.


View Program

Advanced Management Program: The Global Experience

Designed for the the high-potential executive, Kellogg’s Advanced Management Program: The Global Experience provides an immersive journey into leadership agility, driving innovation and identifying growth opportunities. This modular format provides a weeklong, unparalleled intensive week in a global market.


View Program

Chief Diversity Officer Summit

Discuss the latest academic research, practitioner insights and best practices in the area of diversity and inclusion with a select group of cross-sector peers.


View Program

Chief Marketing Officer Program

Master the insights needed to navigate significant challenges faced by CMOs today, by engaging in meaningful discussions with Kellogg's top faculty and industry executives. This program is specifically designed to increase the odds of success for enterprise marketing leaders.


View Program

Kellogg Corporate Governance Conference

Exclusive, by-invitation-only annual conference that brings together more than 200 corporate directors and CEOs to discuss critical issues in corporate governance.


View Program

Kellogg on Branding

Learn from the people who wrote the book on branding how to build and strengthen the power of your brand. Kellogg’s latest thinking combined with hands-on experience will equip you to boost customer loyalty, heighten competitive advantage and increase profitability.


View Program