Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit


The Ivan Allen College Africa Atlanta initiative organized a Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit from March 5 until 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. This high-level, design thinking gathering was designed for national and global leaders to share perspectives and experiences in shaping a project that would engage the leadership and innovative strengths of women in the U.S. and the global south.
With the help and expertise of participants, we considered carefully the existing landscape of programs aimed at women entrepreneurs, and designed the building blocks that will be an added value for the pilot institute. The initial focus centered on a 2015 pilot institute, with an idea of creating an opportunity for women working in the ideation and innovation of startups and early stage companies to come to the table at a more dynamic level, and offer them access to:

  • Sustainable training in entrepreneurship leveraging technology
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other innovators and influencers
  • Seasoned mentors, corporate level insights, and connections
  • Source of capital
  • Participate in designing/developing programs/opportunities based on their needs
  • Technology to foster entrepreneurship
  • Our collective assets in Atlanta, including the university community, corporations, government agencies at multiple levels, capital sources, mentors, advisors, and others

This summit, organized by Africa Atlanta, was part of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts’ Global Nexus initiative, a globally focused multidisciplinary ecosystem that encourages holistic thinking, facilitates connections and fosters the development of innovative models. It was hosted in partnership with Opportunity Hub/Kingonomics and leveraged our collective strengths in innovation, entrepreneurship technology, logistics, capital formation and training.

For information, contact:
DeShawn Jenkins, Managing Director, Africa Atlanta | IAC Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative |  deshawn.jenkins@iac.gatech.edu.



Thursday, March 5 | White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails

Welcome Dinner: Keynote Address by Martha Tilahun, COO, United Africa Group
Sponsored by Cindy LeBlanc, CFO/Co-Founder, Brewed to Serve Restaurant Group


Friday, March 6, 2015 | Georgia Tech Alumni House | Hosted by Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College



Participating Thought Leaders

Adrienne Johnson, Director ,Infinity Global
Amanda Spann, Co-founder & Marketing Developer, tiphub
Brenda Morant, Director, International Women’s Think Tank
Cherise Pugh, Senior Marketing Manager, Customer Marketing, Coca-Cola Company
Cindy LeBlanc, Co-Founder & CFO, Brewed To Serve Restaurant Group
Darin McAuliffe, Founder, Topside Accelerator
Denise Evans, VP, Market Development, IBM Corporation
Dustin Shay, Senior Associate, Strategy and Partnerships, Village Capital
Erika Norwood, Executive Director, IDEX Accelerator & Global Fellows Program
Estrella Cramer, Director, Supplier Diversity/Procurement, United Parcel Service
Hala Moddelmog, President, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Harper McConnell, Program Director, Eastern Congo Initiative
Janelle Jolley, Founder/Director, Sidewalk District
Jeff Cherry, Founder, Conscious Venture Lab
Jen Bonnett, Founder / Assistant Director for Education Startup Chicks, Atlanta Technology Development Center
Jennifer Sherer, Vice President, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
John Saddington, Founder, The Iron Yard
Kathryn Finney, Founder, Digital Undivided
Korkor Cudjoe, Women’s Rights Program Manager, Graca Machel Trust (South Africa)
KP Reddy, Founder, Ampirix
Lalita Kaligotla, Institute for Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business
Martha Tilahun, Chairman & CEO, United Africa Group (Namibia)
Matilda Arhin, President, Ghana International Chamber of Commerce
Mesfin Bezuneh, Director, Young African Leaders Program Clark Atlanta University
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, Partner & Founder, Sahel Capital & LEAP Africa (Nigeria)
Nell Diallo, Vice President of Corporate and International Relations, MedShare
Pamela Fann, Corporate External Affairs, Coca-Cola Company
Richard Swart, PDH Director of Research, Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance Coleman Fung Institute, University of California, Berkeley
Rusty Tarsches, Founder, Targo Advisors
Saba Bisrat, Managing Director, REVO Construction & TKM Maestro Technology PLC (Ethiopia)
Saidah Nash Carter, Vice President, Strategic Projects, Thomson Reuters
Shireen Khan, President, Virtue Global Consulting
Theia Washington, Executive Director, Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative City of Atlanta
Virginia Littlejohn, President, CEO, & Co-Founder Quantum Leaps