How can more women feel empowered to become entrepreneurs and shape the future of Silicon Beach? LMU’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship hosted a mentorship and networking event featuring some of the top women entrepreneurs in Silicon Beach as part of a series of programs for Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 12-18.
“Positive Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Recognition” included breakout sessions and a panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the LMU Playa Vista Campus. Speakers included Lara Sweet, CAO of Snap; Rachel Payne, CEO of FEM Inc., a research company focused on the role of gender in media; Cam Kashani MBA ’10, CEO of COACCEL, which offers business coaching; and Ellen Ensher ’87, LMU professor of management and a recognized mentoring expert.
“This event, which was conceptualized by LMU entrepreneurship students, gives us an opportunity to really shape the future of Silicon Beach for women,” said Darlene Fukuji ’14, associate director of LMU’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship.
The inaugural women’s entrepreneurship summit is one of several programs marking Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place during one week each November. During that time, thousands of events and competitions in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while providing connections to potential collaborators, mentors and investors.
“This is the first year that we’ve formally joined the Global Entrepreneurship Week movement,” said Dayle M. Smith, dean of LMU’s College of Business Administration. “We are excited to be involved in this international initiative and offer programs that inspire our students and celebrate the many diverse and innovative entrepreneurs in Silicon Beach and beyond.”
On Monday, Nov. 12, LMU partnered with Snap on a workshop to bring an idea to market. Members of Snap Hardware taught LMU students how to work with different disciplines (engineering, product design, graphic design, business, marketing, sales, etc.)
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, New York-based nonprofit group SuitUp brought local high school students to campus to meet with LMU student mentors in the College of Business Administration. The students split into teams and developed business plans around a popular brand, giving students an early introduction to business strategy, finance, marketing and development.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the LMU Entrepreneurship Society hosted an interactive startup career workshop with Secret Sauce, which covered why now is the best time to work at a startup, common startup business models and organization structures, and insights from current startup employees on their many projects and responsibilities.
The week culminated with LMU’s fifth annual Startup Weekend – a frenzied 54-hour competition among teams of designers, developers, engineers and marketers working to launch companies. The winning team, Pharo Technologies – an alert system for active shooters, fires and other emergencies – received a WeWork membership to help them reach the next phase of development.
Click here to access photos from Global Entrepreneurship Week.
There are several funds that support the activities and students in the LMU Entrepreneurship Program. Click here for a list of giving opportunities.