Monday, September 11, 2017

Meet Your Next Mentor: Mentor Speed Dating & Networking! Sponsored by Talener.

In entrepreneurship, who you know can make or break your company's success. This exclusive speed-mentoring event gives you an unprecedented opportunity to connect with DC's leading entrepreneurship experts. With expertise in fundraising, team-building, marketing, legal, and more, the mentors lined up are ready to share how they grew successful businesses. Come for the level-up network experience, stay for the real connections and advice you won't hear anywhere else.

Mentors include:
Mary Iafelice, humble ventures
Callum Booker, Associate at NextGen VP
Rob Runett, Lead Project Manager, Next Adventures at The Motley Fool
John Keeling, SVP Business Development, The Motley Fool
Sibyl Edwards, Co-Founder Black Female Founders
Zach Giegel, CEO and Founder at GSP Consulting
Karen McCord, CEO at Breezio
Philip Olive, CEO and Managing Partner of Experiencia Social, LLC
C'Pher Gresham, National Expansion at Seed Spot
Kristina Francis, CEO and Founder at Esteem Logic
Natty Zola, Managing Director at TechStars
Lex McCusker, Director of Student Entrepreneurship at George Washington University Entrepreneurship
Xina Eiland, CEO and Founder at Xina PR
Jim Chung, GW's Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Larry Cynkin, Consulting CTO, GreenBar

Featured in The Washington Business Journal and Entrepreneur, The Mentor Method is a social enterprise that provides curated mentor matches, connecting the next generation of tech leaders with change-making mentors at the top of their game.

Thank you to our light breakfast sponsor, Talener and The Mentor Method for hosting the full event.

One-on-One Mentorship (Choose a Time Slot)!

Meet one on one with experts and members of the DC startup community! Read the member bios below and follow the link to book your one-on-one time slot:

Each mentoring session is 30 minutes - arrive on time to check in!

Archana Mehta

10:00 to 12:00
Link to her GURU page -

Archana Mehta is owner and principal of AM Strategies, Inc., a Washington, DC-based marketing and communications firm designed to make your business more innovative and competitive in the new digital marketplace. Ms. Mehta has worked in a number of companies, including Fortune 100 and startup firms, focusing on client engagement, brand awareness, and B2B and B2C marketing strategies. Ms. Mehta brings a diverse and well-rounded background to your company, including specific technical skills she acquired with her master of science degree in mechanical engineering. Ms. Mehta is a trained pilot and a wine enthusiast. She is a certified specialist of wine (CSW) and is always eager to take on new challenges.

You may want to ask Archana questions related to:

  • Am I effectively communicating what I want to my intended audience?
  • Would you review my website and provide me with some tips?
  • What can I do to reach more people through my website?

Kim Fredrich (Sales)
12:30 to 14:30
Link to Hera Hub GURU page -

Kim works with women-owned businesses to improve sales revenue. She’s a communicator at heart; listening and building relationships are instinctive for her. But with a business degree and wide ranging experience focused on revenue generation, she understands business too – it’s really all about the revenue.

Over the past nearly 20 years she’s practiced sales and marketing across a range of consumer and business industries, in-house and as a consultant, and in three different countries.

But wait! She’s also nice, approachable and she genuinely wants to help you succeed. She might even talk style with you.

You may want to ask Kim questions related to:

  • I don’t like selling. What should I do?
  • I’m putting out a lot of proposals and people aren’t getting back to me. What am I doing wrong?
  • I don’t like talking to people and I’m a major introvert. How can I sell?
  • I’m doing what feels like a lot of sales calls and I’m not actually making any sales. Why?
  • Where can I find people to sell to?

Phyllis Caldwell (Social Enterprise)
10:00 to 12:00

Independent corporate director, former financial services executive and founder of Wroxton Civic Ventures LLC. Wroxton Civic provides advisory services in the areas of housing, community development and capital access.

Corporate director roles include Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE: OCN), American Capital Senior Floating (Nasdaq: ACSF) and City First Bank of DC. Nonprofit board positions include Low Income Investment Fund (San Francisco, CA) and Center for International Forestry Research (Jakarta, Indonesia).

Hillary Berman (Marketing) 
13:00 to 15:00
Link to Hera Hub GURU page -

Hillary is a marketing consultant focused exclusively on supporting small businesses and start-ups. She understands the unique needs of small businesses working to grow on limited budgets and assists business owners with implementing marketing programs that make sense for their specific businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or established and need a boost, she can help sort through marketing clutter!

You may want to ask Hillary questions related to:

  • How can I deepen relationships with my clients?
  • Help! I need more customers! How can I build my lead pipeline or drive sales?
  • What should I do to recognize referrals?
  • How often should I send and what should I include in an email newsletter?
  • Do I really need print materials?
  • Should I run a sale?
  • How can I make social media work better for my business?
  • I’m going to an event – what do I need?

Pam Holland (Tech)
13:00 to 15:00

Pam Holland is the founder of TechMoxie, offering technology coaching, classes and support for individuals and small business owners looking for help with technology.

Some of what Pam may help with:

  • How do I set up a Mailchimp account?
  • Which social media sites make the most sense for my business?
  • What is the best way to edit photos for use in my social media?
  • Troubleshooting those annoyances on your smartphone or laptop that you never seem to have time (or patience) to figure out!

Faye Coleman
(Government Contracting)
12:30 to 14:30

For over three decades, Dr. Faye Coleman, Founder and Principal of FEC Enterprises, LLC, and former CEO of Westover Consultants, Inc., has been a leader in workforce leadership development, executive coaching/mentoring, organizational effectiveness and diversity training.

As an independent consultant, and through her various companies, she has used her finely tuned skills in multicultural workplace dynamics to help clients navigate the challenges, and ultimately reap the benefits of a richly diverse global workplace.  Dr. Coleman is an internationally recognized trainer and thought leader, with more than three decades of experience managing large-scale leadership training, technical assistance and capacity development projects.

She has worked throughout the United States, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe with Federal, State and community-based organizations and with managers of small to mid-size corporations, associations, nonprofit groups, non-governmental agencies, and private sector companies, designing client-specific, culturally relevant initiatives and training programs that meet the complex and diverse needs of a rapidly changing global market place.

Dr. Coleman is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and symposia. Committed to “giving back,” she chairs the board of Women of the Dream Inc., and serves on the board of directors of Quantum Leaps, Inc., and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Listed in “Who’s Who of American Women,” Dr. Coleman, a skilled professional coach, holds a B.S. degree in Sociology from Simmons College, an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Education/Human Development from the University of Maryland.

How to tell your Startup Story!

Any growing startup knows the importance of communicating value to a variety of stakeholders - potential customers, investors, and talent. In this session, you will learn the art of crafting a narrative and how to employ it across different channels and audiences. It won't suck!

Email Marketing Strategies to Achieve 40x ROI

Please join us for an engaging workshop about email marketing best practices. Full of real world examples, this workshop contains a variety of actionable takeaways that you can implement yourself.

- Learn how to authentically grow your email list
- Easy strategies for better customer segmentation
- How to build a strong Call to Action
- Why A/B testing is critical to email campaign success

5 Costly Errors That Destroy Startups: Lunch & Learn

Are you an entrepreneur who thinks the "legal stuff" is not that important? Maybe, you started your business without first establishing a solid legal foundation. Or perhaps, you figured you would just wing it and wait to get into legal trouble before speaking to or hiring an attorney. During this session, attendees will learn: the common legal errors that start ups make and how to avoid them why legal is an important and necessary investment for their business the steps to keep their business out of the legal hot seat. Please bring your own lunch!

How to Talk Tech: An intro to the language of software development

What’s your stack? What frameworks are you using? What APIs are you working with? Upon entering the world of tech startups, you’re immersed in new terminology of coding languages, software tools, and development methodologies. We’ll discuss key terms that will help you hire developers, talk to investors, and grow your tech business. At the end of this talk, we will open up for Q&A to talk about any issues specific to your business.

Office Hours with SendGrid (Sign up required)!

Sign up here: for a 20-minute session with Jennfier from SendGrid to discuss:

  • Growing your email list 
  • Transactional Emails 
  • Customer Segementation
  • A/B testing
  • SendGrid Accelerate- Program for Startups 

SendGrid is a Techstars company founded in 2009. We have developed a cloud-based platform that solves the challenge of email delivery. We successfully deliver over 1 billion customer engagement emails each day for Internet and mobile-based customers like Airbnb, Pandora, Spotify, Uber and FourSquare. 

How to get the most out of an accelerator?

Startup accelerators have helped thousands of companies build their business, but how do you get the most out of an accelerator? Join Natty Zola, MD for Techstars Boulder, for a session discussing accelerators and how to get the most out of them.

Startup Accelerators: AMA with Natty Zola, MD for Techstars

Interested in learning more about startup accelerators? Join Natty Zola, MD for Techstars Boulder for an info session on accelerators. Techstars has had over 1000 companies go through their accelerator and will be there to answer any questions you have about Techstars, accelerators, and startups. 

The New Inclusion Movement: Creating Diversity in Tech

We hear a lot about "cultural sensitivity", but what does that really mean? This real-talk panel features some of DC's leading experts in Diversity & Inclusion to share their insights on how you can increase your cultural awareness at work and in your community.

Panelists include:

Elizabeth Lindsey, MPA
Executive Director, Byte Back, Inc.

Erin Horne McKinney
CEO & Co-founder, KissIntel
Black Female Founders (#BFF)

Chris Wink

Matt Lozada
Account Manager and Mentor, WeddingWire

Joseph Tighe
Director of People and Culture, The Yard: Space to Work

Janice Omadeke
CEO and Founder, The Mentor Method

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Early Bird Gets the Workout (SoulCycle Class - Mount Vernon)

This one is for all of you: hustlers, early birds, night owls that stay out until the morning. Join us for a 45 minute Soul Cycle class followed by networking with Bunker Brews: Startup Week with the Australian Embassy.  

*This class is open to all as long as you register by September 5th.  

*Showers included at Soul Cycle. 


Launching a Startup Without a Tech Background

Think it's not possible to build a startup unless you know how to code? Not true! Come learn about options and pitfalls for building and launching a product when you aren't an engineer and have no technical co-founder.

Applying Intuition To Grow Your Business

Do you sometimes feel like you're walking on eggshells when it comes to making business decisions? The two top personality traits of entrepreneurs are intuition and perception. We all have them, but don't always practice them because we're often so caught up in our daily grind and end up operating on autopilot. Learn how to maximize your intuitive power so that you're better equipped to make conscious, optimized decisions for yourself, your business, your team and your clients. 

Ideation Jam Session | How Might We Create a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC

Do you have the desire to help reimagine how might we support small business in creating a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC? Join us for an exchange of ideas on how to create a local innovation community, build a collaborative experience around pressing business, cultural, and environmental challenges.  This jam session is for all entrepreneurs, future entrepreneurs, and innovation-focused individuals. You will have the opportunity to share and pitch ideas using Human Centered Design strategies — with an entrepreneur-first focus — to tackle challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to be Mentally Stable During Unstable Times! Sponsored by AtWork Systems!

It’s easy to tell someone to be confident, move on from the last mistake, lock-in, don’t over-think it, don’t fear failure, or any of the many other mental strategies we casually demand of ourselves or of our team. However, it is quite another to actually implement these skills when we need them the most.

The life of a start up entrepreneur is incredibly exciting and fulfilling, but it is also complete with multiple moments that require our absolute best and is not for the feint of heart.  Great reward is often preceded by great risk.  The tough days that don’t quite work out the way its planned, or the “big” meetings that feel like they must be a success can create the same type of emotions that elite athletes go through during their most intense moments in competitions.   

While most entrepreneurs have a spirit that drives them towards this environment even the best of us experience the range of emotions that are part and parcel of the process.  It doesn’t mean that we are weak, or “not cut out for it”, it simply means we are human.  

This session is designed to help the participants learn real life mental skills in order stay focused and confident through the ups and downs the start up process.  These strategies are applicable for the real world of business, and can be continually practiced so that we get better and better at them. 

Coffee will be provided by Sunniva! 

So You Think You Need A Web App: Practical First Steps for Non-Technical Founders

Most founders start with a great idea, fail to execute, and then blame it on not having a technical co-founder.

Don't let that be you.

Stop by and learn alongside other non-technical founders how to sidestep the "I NEED A(UNICORN) TECHNICAL CO-FOUNDER" rabbit hole, get to product-market fit, and attract investment for your start-up.

Where did my money go? Personal Finance for Founders

In a world of raising money, spending it, and trying to make it, sometimes we can forget to manage our own. You may have the idea but do you have the wherewithal to back it up? Come learn how to better manage your personal finances. There is something for everyone regardless if you have taken the plunge into entrepreneurship or want to jump in.

Calling Tech Startups: Talk with Early Stage Investment Fund (Lunch included)

Join us for a chat about early-stage startups, different investment models, views on the current startup ecosystem, how and where to get funding and whether or not a founder needs an immediate team before producing an MVP.

This event is brought to you by Lucey Fund. They are actively looking for early stage tech startups to invest in. 

Turning Startup Expenses Into Free Travel

Learn tips and tricks on the credit card and frequent flyer world for both business and personal travel. Max will reveal the best credit cards for individuals and startups to have. By the end of this session, you will figure out how to use your personal and business expenses to take more free trips every year for only the price of a cup of coffee.

Did You Account For That?

Founder of GSP, Zach Giegel has over 35 clients and that is not a coincidence. That's because startups have different needs than larger companies. Come join us and find out if you are prepared to take your idea to the next level.

Break a Sweat (FREE Soul Cycle Class & Networking)

Join us for a 45 minute Soul Cycle class at 2301 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037 *This class is open to all as long as you register by September 5th *Showers included at Soul Cycle

From Google: Success on Google Play - Store Listing Conversion Rate

Learn how to increase your Android Mobile App installs by understanding your store visitors, creating a compelling store listing, running store listing experiments and analyzing/replying to reviews.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Creating Diversity in the Startup Ecosystem: Panel Discussion & Networking

There is an obvious lack of diversity in the startup ecosystem. If you think of all the major unicorns, very few of them have been founded by female entrepreneurs. The question we must continue to ask is why. Lucey Fund is opening up a panel discussion with local investors and local startup community organizers in DC to shine a light on the issue and discuss possible solutions for the future. Come along and join the discussion!

Event Schedule:

  • 8:00AM — 8:30AM Gathering & Chit chat 
  • 08:30 — 9:30AM Panel Discussion
  • Q&A 09:30 — 10:00 Networking
Mastering Body Language for Business

What you say is not nearly as important as how you say it: 93% of communication is nonverbal. Entrepreneurs face many body language challenges while starting their business, especially since they wear so many hats. Mastering simple body language techniques can help you save costs, get higher returns, increase your bottom line, and make connections to sustain your business. In this workshop, the Co-Founder of Innovazing, Saleema Vellani, and award-winning actress, Stella Damasus, will share body language tips and tricks so you can increase your sales, win negotiations, and build rapport with your team members and clients.

How Tech Startups are Changing Politics

Technology is disrupting politics, and campaigns have no choice but to get on board. Backroom dealmaking is out – voters define today’s agenda. Savvy campaigns are finding that the new digital landscape, influx of data, and emerging technologies empower greater insight into – and connection to – voters. Abandoning direct mail for direct text and gut instinct for machine learning, they can mobilize supporters with strong personalized outreach. DC is the epicenter of this sweeping change. Learn the current state of political tech and the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the space.

How to Make DC the Capital of Inclusive Entrepreneurship – Conversations and Coffee with Halcyon Incubator and the Case Foundation

Join the Halcyon Incubator and the Case Foundation for coffee and conversations on why the DC startup community is a thriving region for inclusive entrepreneurship. The event will begin with a panel driven by the ecosystem builders in DC supporting local entrepreneurs. Then, entrepreneurs and investors will join in, fishbowl style, to add their voice to the conversation. Speakers will take a critical look at the common myths told in startup culture, share their insights on how we can re-focus the narrative on entrepreneurship and create a healthy ecosystem in DC that is grounded in inclusivity. Following the conversation, guests will enjoy coffee and desserts inside the historic Halcyon House.

RSVP is required for attendance. No walk-ins accepted. Valet parking will be included.

How to Combat Violent Extremism Online?

The Countering Violent Extremism Task Force (administratively housed at DHS) and the DC-based digital marketing firm Fifth Tribe are looking to host an 1 hour workshop for startups and community organizations to cover best practices of creating counter-messaging campaigns online against extremist groups. In this workshop, we will start with an overview of what is taking place in the online space and cover best practices with online and offline marketing techniques. 

Panelists include:

Clara Tsao, Chief Technology Officer, Countering Violent Extremism Task Force
Khuram Zaman CEO, Fifth Tribe

Happy Hour!

In 2013 Alex Skatell followed his passion and launched a business in a very challenging industry

Friday, September 15, 2017

Intro to Machine Learning and Opportunities For Startups

In this session, Chida Sadayappan gives an overview of the emerging Machine Learning concepts and how one can leverage several Cloud ecosystems and their APIs to quickly build Business Apps.

Bagels & Coffee @ Cove

Mingle with DC entrepreneurs over bagels and coffee on cove—DC’s neighborhood workspace. A clutch breakfast pitstop to fuel up for a day of exciting talks and workshops just around the corner and all over town. September 15th from 9AM-11AM. Go get em!

Want To Get Your Startup in the Media? Panel Discussion & Networking

Straight from the mouth of the media. Come to listen to journalists explain how to communicate and successfully get your startup in the news. 

Come prepared with questions to networking with the panelsits after the session.

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Transform Your Idea Into a Brand: Lunch & Learn

Bring your idea and together we'll transform it into a brand! Whether it's a new product or service being developed within a large organization or a startup bringing a new concept to market, innovative branding methodologies can make all the difference. We'll develop brand promise statements, compose taglines and create logo concepts. 1on1 feedback will be provided throughout the creative process. To jump start your motivation, check out this article by workshop presenter Mariya Bouraima, Founder of Aveya Creative: More info on Mariya's background:

How to create your pitch deck!

Learn how to create your pitch decks with:

  • Design
  • Strategy
  • Fundraising considerations 
Improv for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship and improvisation have so much in common: the pivot, listening and adapting to your partners perspectives, the ability to roll with the punches, the skill off seeing new possibilities where there are currently none, getting into your customers' shoes and so much more. This workshop presents improv as a way to practice those muscles in an incredibly fun way. The Washington Improv Theater has been training organizations of all kinds to use improv to improve leadership, communication and much more -- come enjoy this free session with WIT and Caroline Howe.