founder David Lilly to speak Nov. 7

David Lilly, a business development and growth adviser with 25 years of experience in starting and expanding businesses including, will open a new guest speakers series sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Western Carolina University.

The presentation, titled “A Fireside Chat with David Lilly,” will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the theater of the A.K. Hinds University Center at WCU. The talk is open to the public free of charge.

David Lilly

David Lilly

During his career, Lilly has created and grown businesses in diverse industries such as technology, e-commerce, energy production and clean technology. He began working in the technology field early in life, selling home personal computers to military personnel while still in high school.

He graduated from Auburn University and started his career in health care information technology with Prudential Health Care Systems. Anticipating the advent of the Internet long before it became a commercial platform, Lilly attended Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and earned his master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. At Emory, he developed a strong interest in e-commerce and digital media.

His role as business development manager for Cox Enterprises New Media provided opportunities to work at the pinnacle of media convergence, assisting with a variety of merger and acquisition activities and investments in Digital Domain, @Home, various Internet service providers, online gaming platform and content development. He aided the development of numerous business opportunities in the Cox operating companies, including and websites for radio, television and cable properties across the United States.

Lilly served on the small team that developed the business plan and prototype for – the online automotive marketplace. He was tasked with initial site prototyping and design, along with technical platform development. Lily integrated the design elements and technology infrastructure of, crafted a variety of related technology and content deals, and designed award-winning customer information systems to track customer traffic and use of the site.

He has since consulted with a variety of early-stage ventures, nonprofit organizations and new product development efforts in corporate environments. He also provides consulting and business development services for clients in clean technology and sustainable energy, and has aided both corporate and startup businesses in obtaining funds for development of biomass, wind and solar projects.

Now a resident of Sylva, Lilly serves on several regional and national corporate boards, consults with the Southwest Commission, and is an adviser to the WCU Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Part of the WCU College of Business, the center offers assistance to entrepreneurs who are interested in stimulating and commercializing new ideas and creating new ventures in the region, and provides education to equip students with the skills necessary to think creatively, successfully launch businesses, or help employers launch or grow businesses.

For more information, call the College of Business at 828-227-7412 or email Emilie S. Berls in the dean’s office at