Faculty & Staff Directory


J. Bren Varner is a Professor of Practice in the School of Business and the Director of the Business and Enterprise Management Degree Program. He previously served as the Program Director for the University Center for Entrepreneurship where he managed the co-curricular initiatives for the Wake Forest entrepreneurship program. Prior to Wake Forest, he worked with numerous entrepreneurial ventures, focused primarily on technology, software, and the Internet and has provided merger and acquisition advisory services for the software and IT industries.

At Wake Forest, he has taught various undergraduate and graduate classes within the strategy and entrepreneurship disciplines. He is a three-time recipient of the WFU School of Business Senior Class Teaching Award and the recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the Acton Foundation, an award that recognizes the top 30 entrepreneurship educators in the country.

He received his bachelor's degree in business from Wake Forest University and his master's degree in business administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Strategic Planning New Venture Creation

  • MBA, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration; University of Virginia- 2004
  • BS, Wake Forest University (Business) - 1999

Research Interests

  • Business-Level Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Innovation
  • Design Thinking
  • Entrepreneurial Venture Creation
  • Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital
  • Business Planning

Teaching Interests

  • Strategic Management
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • New Venture Creation
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Innovation

  • 2015 - T.B. Rose Fellowship in Business Award, Wake Forest University School of Business
  • - 2008 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education, Acton Foundation
  • - 2009-2010 Senior Class Teaching Award, Wake Forest Schools of Business
  • - 2011-2012 Senior Class Teaching Award, WFU Schools of Business
  • - 2012-2013 Senior Class Teaching Award, WFU School of Business

  • October 31, 2009 - A Different Kind Of Matchmaking: Students set up Web site that aims to link business community to WFU students, Winston-Salem Journal | more information
  • September 28, 2009 - Colorful Creations: Young entrepreneur, 11, recycles sweaters to make scarves, Winston-Salem Journal | more information