Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a challenge for anyone — particularly for women and minorities. A workshop at Washington University in St. Louis July 25 aims to correct that by providing resources for women and underrepresented groups that can assist them in evaluating ideas and moving forward.
Sponsored by WUSTL’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partners for Innovation program, “Diversity as a Catalyst for Innovation in the Sciences: Connecting Women and Underrepresented Innovators to Regional Resources” begins at 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 25, in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center on the Danforth Campus.
Registration for the workshop, including a small fee, is required at diversityandinnovation.eventbrite.com.
“Our aim is to connect women and other minority groups with resources that can help them get their ideas off the ground,” says Kenneth A. Harrington, managing director of the Skandalaris Center. “This seminar will be a forum for people to get assistance, evaluate their ideas and find partners with common goals. We’re bringing several regional resources together in one place to talk about how the region can support entrepreneurship among women and underrepresented groups.”
As part of the workshop, the center will publish and make available online a guidebook of resources available to innovators and entrepreneurs to connect them to existing innovation support systems in the St. Louis region.
The workshop offers three learning tracks for ideas related to energy and environment, information technology, and biotechnology, as well as a fourth track for entrepreneurs who are further along with their idea and wish to pursue Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant funding.
The keynote speaker is Brenda Newberry, retired chair and founder of the Newberry Group, who will present “Why Innovation and Diversity are Critical to the St. Louis Region: Reflections from a Real Entrepreneur of St. Louis.”
The workshop will conclude with an IdeaBounce event, featuring 15 science entrepreneurs pitching their ideas followed by a reception and a dinner, all sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors.
Innovate St. Louis mentoring service is also providing support for the workshop.
“We are expecting nearly 150 people to attend and we’re excited about the potential for interaction and learning at the workshop,” Harrington says. “We’ve had great support from the NSF, Wells Fargo and from Innovate St. Louis. We hope this gathering of regional and national leaders will cause new relationships and build momentum for other events supporting women and minority science entrepreneurs in the Midwest.”
For more information or to register, visit sc.wustl.edu/Events/Pages/diversity.aspx.