Cast_Carter 07102017
Carter Cast

Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

Carter Cast, a clinical professor at the Kellogg School of Management and also a venture partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, has played a pivotal role in building multiple iconic consumer brands. Carter started as a marketing manager at PepsiCo, working for the company's international food service division. He moved to the Frito-Lay division, where he led the development of Tostitos Scoops! Tortilla Chips as well as the development and launch of Tostitos salsas and dips. Upon leaving PepsiCo, Carter joined Electronic Arts, where he served as vice president of product marketing and marketing communications, launching products like The Sims. He left Electronic Arts to become the founding chief marketing officer of Blue Nile, which became the leading seller of diamonds and fine jewelry on the internet. Carter later went to Walmart, where he became the CEO of, leading the division to become the third-highest volume retailer behind Amazon and eBay.

In 2011, Carter joined the faculty of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches entrepreneurship, leadership and marketing and works on Kellogg's leadership initiative. Carter has received the Impact Award from his students each year from 2012-2017. He has presented the end-of-year Nota Bene address to graduating students, and was one of five professors nominated for Professor of the Year in 2015.

In addition to teaching at Kellogg, Carter is a venture partner for Pritzker Group Venture Capital, where he assesses potential investments and advises portfolio companies. Carter sits on the boards of Kellogg Company, SMS Assist and the Family Action Network. Carter is also the author of an award-winning book, The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers are Made - and Unmade, which was released by PublicAffairs, a division of Hachette Book Group, in January, 2018. Business Insider called it "one of 17 must-read books for 2018." 

Print Vita
M.B.A., 1992, Strategy, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
B.A., 1985, Political Science, Stanford University

Academic Positions
Clinical Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present
Clinical Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Northwestern University, 2014-2016
Clinical Associate Professor of Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Universtiy, 2013-2014
Clinical Assistant Professor of Management, General Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2011-2013

Other Professional Experience
Venture Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, 2012-present
CEO, Hayneedle, Inc., 2007-2011
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

Honors and Awards
Faculty Impact Award for MBA Teaching
Faculty Impact Award for MBA Teaching
Kellogg Nota Bene Speaker for Full-Time Program
Kellogg Nota Bene Speaker for Full-Time Program
Kellogg Nota Bene Speaker for Part-Time Program
One of five Professors nominated for the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award (2013)
Received the Faculty Impact Award twice in 2017.

Print Research
Cast, Carter. "Preventing Career Derailment: Managing Pst the Major Stallers and Stoppers (White Paper).".

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**

Launching and Leading Startups (KIEI-967-0)
KIEI 967 | Launching and Leading Startups, a new course that replaces The Entrepreneurial Experience, is a case-driven survey course that examines what it’s like to be in the shoes of an entrepreneurial CEO. Students explore some of the biggest and most challenging topics facing entrepreneurial CEOs, such as how to reduce the risks that are inherent in starting a new business, determine the best go-to-market strategies to gain customer adoption, and execute with precision. The course targets not only entrepreneurs who want to start or buy their own businesses, but also entrepreneurially minded students who, in short order, will be seeking to work within early-stage startups. The course also proves beneficial for “intrapreneurs” who will be innovating inside larger firms. Launching and Leading Startups is offered during winter and spring quarters

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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