April 4: GIST TechConnect – Building and supporting your startup community [webchat]

Join a live, interactive webchat on Tuesday, April 4, at 9 a.m. EDT/13:00 UTC (time zone converter). To participate, please visit the streaming page in the language of your choice: EnglishArabic or French.

While entrepreneurs can be found in every country, some startup ecosystems are thriving more than others. An entrepreneur needs a network of supportive people and resources to maximize his or her chances of success because, as we learned in the last TechConnect, failure is highly common in the startup world.

An interconnected community that shares common attitudes, interests and goals supports the entrepreneurs, their ventures and the startup community as a whole. Our expert panelists will share best practices from Silicon Valley and other well-established startup communities around the world to help your ecosystem become more interconnected, supportive and prosperous.

Why participate:

  • Hear from the experts about the benefits of a network of entrepreneurs, investors, educators, incubators and others.
  • Ask the panelists your questions! Find out what other entrepreneurs are doing to build their startup communities.
  • Learn about effective networking so you can be better connected to other members of your local or regional startup scene.

Meet the speakers:

Jeff Engell (Courtesy of Jeff Engell)

Jeff Engell (moderator) is the founder of Blue Oceans Group, which provides international business management, strategic planning and private equity development. Jeff has conducted lectures, led workshops and served as a consultant around the world on entrepreneurship and innovation science. His diverse client base has included national science and technology foundations, research universities, private companies, foreign ministries, regional development agencies, incubators and venture funds. His current focus is on commercialization support and investment capacity-building within emerging economies.

Michelle Messina (Courtesy of Michelle Messina)

Michelle E. Messina is CEO of the international training and consulting firm Explora International LLC and co-author of the best-selling book Decoding Silicon Valley: The Insider’s Guide. She pioneered Silicon Valley’s best practices training in 2004 and today has training and consulting engagements with startups, CEOs and founders, investors, and corporate innovation and venture groups. As a serial entrepreneur, Michelle consults on the topics of entrepreneurship, unlocking innovation, startup best practices, ecosystem alignment, business acceleration, global expansion and others. She has worked in, or traveled to, more than 50 different countries and heard more than 5,000 company pitches.

Grant M. Warner (Courtesy of Grant M. Warner)

Grant M. Warner is the director of innovation for Howard University’s graduate school. In that role, he has deployed campus-wide programming in innovation, including the Bison Startup and Bison Accelerate courses, in which students are guided through the process of founding technology startups. He also directs the Howard University–Hampton University I-Corps Site, which focuses on commercializing research from historically black colleges and universities. He is the co-founder of ConnectYard, a social analytics platform integrated with leading learning-management systems and e-learning platforms. He is also a co-founder of XediaLabs, a Washington-based incubation firm.

Chantalle Dumonceaux (Courtesy of Chantalle Dumonceaux)

Chantalle Dumonceaux is co-founder of and adviser to WOMENA, an angel investment platform focused on women in the Middle East. Since its launch in December 2014, WOMENA has invested in seven United Arab Emirates companies and, through its programming, has educated and empowered hundreds of women to invest. She frequently judges at startup competitions and speaks on successful investment strategies for venture capital in emerging markets. She was Arabian Business SME Businesswoman of the Year 2016 and has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes Middle East and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.