2017 Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference

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Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of designing, launching, and running a new business (Wikipedia, 2016). Having an entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service, and continuous improvement (Forbes.com, 2013).

Intrapreneurship is the successful adaptation of entrepreneurial attitudes and strategies inside of a bureaucratic organization and the implementation of start-up practices within an [existing] organization, producing valued innovation (techchange.org, 2013). An intrapreneur leverages their role to ignite growth within and advance their careers while enhancing their organization.

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner (kirwaninstitute.osu.edu, 2015). Research demonstrates that most people hold unconscious, implicit assumptions that influence their judgments and perceptions of others. Implicit bias manifests in expectations or assumptions about physical or social characteristics dictated by stereotypes that are based on a person’s race, gender, age, or ethnicity (whitehouse.gov, 2015). We engage in critical dialogue on implicit bias because it is one of the challenges girls and women of color face in STEM fields.

Speaker(s): Katie Clemens, Assistant Director, Youth Entrepreneurship, ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation

Empower your students to develop innovative ideas and solve challenges through infusing a simple yet powerful tool, the Business Model Canvas, into your classroom. And, no, this isn’t just for business teachers! From science to history to the arts, students in any class may actively use the canvas to help them think through a wide variety of ideas. For instance, the template provides a method for students to describe and design projects, programs, solutions, and more. In addition, the template is a great tool for analyzing existing models and systems. Embedding the canvas and the entrepreneurial process into the classroom opens up enormous possibilities and allows students to engage in authentic, meaningful learning experiences. Through the process of using the canvas, students will deepen critical thinking and problem solving skills, develop creative confidence, learn how to frame challenges as opportunities, and gain comfort with risk and failure. In this hands-on workshop, learn how to use the business model canvas not only to engage, but also to excite students about creative problem solving and the entrepreneurial process.

Presenter(s): Thomas Schumann, Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Development

The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation on the campus of Gateway Community College is a business incubator serving bio-science, medical devices, and other high tech start-up companies. In this session several women CEOs will describe the challenges they faced as they launched their STEM-based technology companies. Participants will be invited to tour the CEI facility and labs.

Speaker(s): Marcus Finley, Digital Director/Co-Founder, FIN. Digital; Rakia Finley, Innovation Director/Co-Founder, FIN. Digital

Join us to be introduced to the key fundamentals of UX research and design. Here you will learn how to incorporate the needs of often marginalized groups with detailed research and a user experience that allows users to easily interact with your product from moment to moment.

Speaker(s): Candace Ross, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Saria McKeithen-Mead, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Grad Catalyst aims to increase the number of underrepresented and underserved students in the graduate school pipeline, thereby increasing the diversity and problem-solving capacity of institutions across the nation.

The project began in 2007 as a small clinic where graduate students provided one-on-one resume and graduate application feedback to undergraduates at minority-serving institutions. Since then, the project has grown to become an interactive workshop. Using feedback from MIT departments, graduate students tailor the Catalyst presentations to meet the needs of attendees. By participating in a session, undergraduates are better prepared to apply for graduate school and successfully pursue a PhD.

The Grad Catalyst is a workshop that helps undergraduates plan their trajectories so as to be strong graduate school candidates come senior year. The project focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Current and former MIT graduate students host the in-person and virtual Catalyst sessions, providing participants the opportunity to engage with scholars who are thriving in graduate school. Each session is divided into four primary sections: Why Grad School, Preparation for Graduate School, Graduate Application Process, and Selecting a School/Program/Advisor.

Presenter(s): Andrea Chaves, STEAM Creative Director, TYWLS of Astoria

Tech Crew is a self-directed class comprised of student web and graphic designers, coders, filmmakers, and project managers who are passionate about pursuing careers in STEM fields. Students are leaders in their own education, searching for real-world projects to pursue, and gaining recognition from M.I.T, Apple, and many other large corporations. Tech Crew members work to raise awareness on the gender gap in STEM by becoming mentors to other young women at our school. In this kind of environment, these young women have become entrepreneurs leading Youth Media channels, events such as Digital Dance and an Eco-Friendly Fashion Show, and technology education camps. By allowing students to choose the projects they work on, they are each creating their own, personalized curriculum that engages and guides their interest in STEM.

Speaker(s): Kinjal Dave, ImplicitByUs; Sonika Vuyyuru, ImplicitByUs

In social justice efforts, we often find ourselves preaching to the choir. How can we convince? Perhaps an organization has gone so far as to recognize it has a diversity and inclusion issue. What should they do next? ImplicitByUs believes a combination of rigorous empirical research, strategic communication, and empathy development can change the way we view diversity and inclusion initiatives. The ImplicitByUs prototype was born from the 2016 Hackathon for Social Justice sponsored by Arizona State University. Our foundational philosophy is evident in our name: we believe in acknowledging that everyone holds biases, and everyone has a responsibility to critically reflect on how these biases impact their decision making. Adopting this perspective, we bring a fresh approach to combating inequalities caused by implicit bias. Not only is ImplicitByUs a bias educational training tool, but it functions as a customizable framework which meets an extensive range of needs. We use Nobel Prize winning cognitive science research by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky to build our cause. Our strategic communications approach is inspired by the Intergroup Relations (IGR) model from the University of Michigan and Villanova University. Contact kdave@villanova.edu for details.

Presenter(s): Kimberly Roland, Manager of Partner Relations, ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation; Robin Baskin McNulty, Program Coordinator, ASU Entrepreneurship+Innovation

Human Centered Design. Design Thinking. Creative Problem Solving. Needs Assessment. The jargon around the concept of Design Thinking is ubiquitous and often confusing, however chances are high that you engage in some form of Design Thinking every time you start a new project or work to address a problem and you might not even be aware of it. This session will provide a brief introduction to Design Thinking, which we prefer to call Human Centered Design, and will walk you through the process and mindsets of design thinking. We will focus especially on unlocking creativity and empathy in order to create innovative solutions to problems.

You will leave this highly interactive workshop with a better knowledge of the inspiration, ideation, and implementation phases of Human Centered Design, and you will walk away with practical tips about how to leverage this methodology in your daily life. Human Centered Design is not merely a tool for entrepreneurs and designers, it is a tool for academics, practitioners, educators, nonprofit professionals, students etc etc etc. (Spoiler alert: you can apply this methodology to nearly anything and everything!)

Presenter(s): Shihadah Saleem, Senior Museum Educator, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; Carla Emanuele-Giza, Program Manager, Education, The New York Academy of Sciences

Studies have shown the need and retention of women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and careers. Such commonalities in research point to various reasons of when, how, who and what should be done to decrease “the gap”, offer best practices and dispel misconceptions and stereotypes. Over the years, cultural institutions offered a wide-range of opportunities using their collective and/or collaborative efforts to invest in the betterment of opportunities for women and girls in STEM, especially for women of color. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls and The New York Academy of Sciences’ 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program view themselves as effective intrapreneurs as they leverage their roles as educators, scientists, and researchers by . a.) offering longitudinal and year-long programs for middle and high school female students; b.) creating opportunities for long-term mentorship and youth development; c.) involving parents and the community; and d.) nurturing 21st Century skills in leadership, effective communication, and realistic coping mechanisms to deal with varied stressors. Participants will leave with strategic methods of support, defining moments of evaluation and assessment and best practices toward effective community building and social development.

Presenter(s): Alissa Ruth, Director, Strategic Initiatives for Teaching and Learning, School of Human Evolution and Social Change/Arizona State University

“Poder” (Spanish for “power” and “to be able to”) is a social entrepreneurship training program offered at no cost to community college students in the Maricopa County Community College District by Arizona State University, with grant support from the Cisco corporate advised fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Over five weeks, students learn to apply entrepreneurship skills to solve community problems, while also learning personal success strategies and how to use technology to maximize their positive impact on the world. The facilitated in person curriculum includes interventions on critical consciousness, decision making/goal setting, digitization skills, educational planning, major/career exploration and growth mindset. The aim is to construct new frameworks that integrate these distinct areas of study into cohesive and testable models, informed by field experiences of underserved students and their teachers. Specifically, this research studies the impact of culturally responsive entrepreneurship trainings with underrepresented students using intervention research design, predictive statistical modeling, field observations, and in-depth interviews. This presentation will explore the effectiveness of creating career pathways for underrepresented students in entrepreneurial fields and offer suggestions to those thinking about creating similar programs.

Presenter(s): Neal Lester, Foundation Professor, ASU Project Humanities; Jacob Martinez, Founder and Executive Director, Digital Nest; Jack Selby, Managing Director, Thiel Capital; Barry Wong, Executive Director, Arizona Governor's Office of Equal Opportunity

According to a 2015 report by the National Science Foundation, minority women comprise fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers. This is just one of many statistics that demonstrate the gender-race disparity that exists in STEM industry and academia. Whereas movements, advocacy groups, and initiatives that address this issue are typically fueled and spearheaded by women, male allies have an important role in amplifying the issue and calling others to action. In Male Allies: When Men March for Women, four male allies will share their personal experiences in helping to increase the representation of women in the workplace, why this issue is important for everyone, and how strategies and collaborative partnership can help move the needle on gender equity. Facilitated by Dr. Neal A. Lester, Foundation Professor of English and Director, Project Humanities at Arizona State University and featuring Jacob Martinez, Founder and Executive Director of Digital Nest; Jack Selby, Managing Director of Thiel Capital; and Barry Wong, Executive Director of the State of Arizona Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity.

Speaker(s): Charlene Marbs, Information Technology Project Manager, State Farm®

We continue to hear there is an ongoing concern among business leaders about the lack of an adequate number of skilled workers in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. STEM career positions are growing more rapidly than non-STEM positions. STEM careers have higher starting salaries, and yet, there is currently an insufficient number of viable candidates to fill these positions. If these statements are true, then why do some women, and especially some women of color, never pursue STEM careers, or they leave these fields after entering them? We will discuss mentorship, why it is critical, and how it may aid in attracting and retaining girls and women of color. I will share some ways State Farm® is working both inside and outside of the organizational walls to help with STEM initiatives, which help girls and women, nationwide and within Arizona. Finally, we will close the session by reviewing action items everyone can consider when starting mentorship models in classrooms or organizations.

Presenter(s): Monica Gragg, Mentor Community Manager, Iridescent

"One of the challenges of sustaining a mentorship program is access to skilled volunteers or professionals. Balancing work, family, and a social life can be stressful for professionals. While their interest may be there, adding a long-term commitment to mentoring youth may be overwhelming. Access to professionals is also limited by geographic location. An organization may not have enough local professionals to offer mentorship. We removed the accessibility barrier by offering online mentorship. In this workshop we will share what we learned from implementing two online mentorship programs that reach underserved communities nationally and globally.

Throughout the workshop we will take a special look at how Technovation, a technology entrepreneurship program for girls utilizes online mentorship to elevate student learning outcomes. Participants will learn how to structure an online mentor program, teach professionals how to influence others in a virtual environment, and how to measure the impact of an online mentoring program."

Presenter(s): Michele Rudy, ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation; Kimberly Roland, ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation

In the Fall of 2016, ASU’s Entrepreneurship + Innovation unit launched an innovative pilot program titled Prepped. Prepped is a 12-week program designed for main street food entrepreneurs, particularly women and people of color. Prepped focuses on early stage and emerging mobile food businesses such as food trucks, caterers, food carts, farmers market products, baked goods, beverage services and other non-brick and mortar food businesses looking to scale.

In this session you will have an opportunity to hear from participants of the first Prepped cohort as they discuss their experience in the program, as well as discussing their “roses” and “thorns” or “successes” and “challenges”, respectively. This will be an opportunity to hear storytelling from women working in food entrepreneurship which is a fast paced, highly competitive, and often male dominated industry. Additionally, panelists will discuss what values drive their business model and the impact Prepped had on them. There will be an opportunity for audience Q&A and perhaps even a few taste tests too!

Presenter(s): Rosianna Gray, Professor, University of Alabama; Patrice Crawford, Research Technician, University of Alabama

Preoccupation of being an outsider takes away from thriving as a scientist. For any person to reach his or her full potential, favorable conditions and environments must be in place and/or obtainable. In our highly interactive session, we will discuss what some of those ideal conditions and environments are associated with women of color in science. Are these similar to the media’s perceptions of “typical scientists?” How are they different? Are those differences distracting? Do they give rise to biases that may hinder growth? We will share our stories through discussion and a series of activities, including “Design a Scientist” and “10 Minute Interactive Connect.” With these activities, we will not only focus on the “road blocks and green lights” that we have experienced, but also brainstorm solutions, stress mentorship design, and network to continue the conversation beyond this conference.

Presenter(s): Marcus Finley, Digital Director/Co-Founder, FIN. Digital; Rakia Finley, Innovation Director/Co-Founder, FIN. Digital

Unite the Connected will discuss the capabilities and needs of building with all devices in mind to function as one. We’ll investigate how it looks when you build a mobile application, IOT Device and a web application to function under one need for the consumer and founder.

Presenter(s): Amber Anderson, Entrepreneur, MORE

Hands on steps to managing your personal and professional worlds.

Our personal and professional lives are continuously colliding which can make balancing the two difficult. Plus everyone's idea of "balance" is different.

During this workshop, Amber will lead the group through a strategy session where each participant will identify, define and lay out a path to best manage THEIR personal and professional worlds.

Speaker(s): Natasha Lopez-Rodriguez, Financial Education Program Director, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix; Catherine Scrivano, Certified Financial Planner, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix

Work Smart is an interactive workshop that teaches you to evaluate, negotiate, and articulate your worth confidently in the job market. Our expert facilitator leads discussions on the gender pay gap and its personal effects. Small group activities and role-play exercises give you the opportunity to create and perfect your persuasive salary pitch.