Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference

Posted: March 29, 2006

On Saturday, April 8, Mount Holyoke will host more than 200 undergraduate women from 30 liberal arts colleges and 20 universities in New England and the Northeast at a conference that focuses on educating undergraduate women about opportunities for professional success and leadership in business entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. The event will be hosted by the Lyons Network, an organization of women professionals and students that was founded at Mount Holyoke and is dedicated to advancing women's leadership and career success across different industries.

The conference will feature several prominent keynote speakers: Jory DesJardins, cofounder of BlogHer, an organization that creates opportunities for women bloggers to pursue exposure, education, and community; Amy Jaffe Barzach, founder of the National Center for Boundless Playgrounds, the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create extraordinary playgrounds for children with and without disabilities; and Adrienne W. Skinner, vice president of eastern region sales and the former strategic account director of Yahoo. The opening keynote speeches will be followed by workshops and panels.

Undergraduate women will have the opportunity to network with successful professionals, deepen their understanding of the creative and strategic processes of entrepreneurship, and explore career options at innovative companies and organizations. The day will include networking receptions with speakers, business and social entrepreneurship contests, and a career fair. During the entrepreneurship contest, enterprising young women will present their business ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and compete for up to three grand prizes to win up to $1,500. The platinum sponsor of the conference is Microsoft.

The conference will take place in Gamble Auditorium and Kendade Hall from 8 am to 5:30 pm. Admission is $5 for early registration, $10 for Mount Holyoke women willing to host, and $15 for everybody else. The conference is open to all undergraduate women, Mount Holyoke alumnae, and Career Development Center staff.

Founded in 1999, the Lyons Network is an affiliate of the Alumnae Association. The organization spearheads initiatives and provides programs designed to enhance women's grasp and understanding of the dynamics of leadership and success in various industries and professions and to expand the opportunities available to women across different fields. The network puts on conferences, speaker series, talks, and workshops across different fields and industries.

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