At a sold-out Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference on Nov. 19, nearly 200 women entrepreneurs and those planning start-ups learned about opportunities and challenges for women who launch their own businesses. The event was part of the Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center’s programming for Global Entrepreneur Week, Nov. 18-22.
One of the presenters was Lindsey Keenan, WCU assistant professor of sports medicine and creator of the app PROmotion Health. “Knowing there were, and still are, gaps in my field related to addressing mental health led me to develop PROmotion Health, along with two of my female colleagues,” she said. Acknowledging that the app development process wasn’t easy, she added, “Opportunities that the Cottrell Center provides have helped me navigate this journey.”
Keenan called the conference a “valuable experience. As a young faculty member and new entrepreneur, as well as a new mother, this conference helped me gain more confidence in balancing these roles. I was able to learn from women in different places in their careers and businesses about their successes and struggles while gaining critical information about steps I can take to move our new business forward.”
On Thursday, alumna Sue Weldon ’86 discussed the trajectory of her non-profit, Unite for HER, and how others could start new non-profits. Now in its 10th year, Unite for HER’s establishment arose from Weldon’s breast cancer diagnosis.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004,” Weldon explained, “I discovered the importance of complementary therapies in my personal recovery and healing. Because of this experience, I dedicated myself to improving the lives of women with breast cancer and their families as well as being an advocate for women’s health through preventative lifestyle choices.”
In addition, Roger Osorio, an executive coach at IBM and a global facilitator for the Techstars’ Startup Weekend program, presented a workshop that gave participants strategies for bringing ideas to execution and the Cottrell Center hosted a luncheon for student entrepreneurs, information sessions on the entrepreneurship minor offered by the College of Business and Public Management, under which the Cottrell Center operates. The minor advisor is Monica Zimmerman Ph.D., CPA, the Cottrell Center’s executive director and academic administrator and a professor of management.
“The Cottrell Center is committed to supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Chester County by providing resources and programming during Global Entrepreneurship Week and throughout the year,” said Patricia Diggin, director of the Cottrell Center. “The networks that the center has developed and continues to nurture and grow are beneficial to students, the WCU community and Chester County business community.”
The Cottrell Center’s next event is Friday, Dec., 6 Angel Venture Fair Workshop where attendees will learn how to prepare a company for investment and how to prepare for Philadelphia’s annual Angel Venture Fair 2020 (April 30), the largest gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region. The skills and strategies discussed in this workshop are applicable to entrepreneurs of all levels and across all sectors. The emcee is Mark Kramer, serial entrepreneur, author, executive director of the Private Investors Forum, Angel Venture Fair, and founder of Kramer Communications.
The experts panel is moderated by Marc Duey, Founder & CEO, ProMetrics, and features Christopher E. Ezold, Partner, Wisler Pearlstine, LLP; E. Adam Gripton, CPA, JD, LLM, Partner, Gunnip & Company; and Arthur Healey, Esq., CPA, Owner, A.T. Healey, LLC.
The angel investors panel is moderated by Monica Zimmerman and features Larry Brotzge, Robin Hood Ventures; Howard Lubert, Area President, Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic & Southeast Regions; and Guy Fardone, CEO and founding partner, Evolve IP. Both Lubert and Fardone have been Cottrell Center Entrepreneurs in Residence.
The Angel Venture Fair Workshop takes place from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at WCU’s Graduate Center 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester 19380. Registration is $25.