Kent State College of Business Administration Provides Judges for Rent the Runway Pitch Competition
CLEVELAND - Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss will headline the fourth-annual Female Entrepreneur Summit Oct. 21at Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center.
The event, presented by Contempo Communications, will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Local television host and author Andrea Vecchio will emcee.
Hyman and Fleiss, after meeting at Harvard Business School, founded Rent the Runway in 2009 to give women a chance to wear designer garb without the hefty price tags. The company, which would receive $54 million in venture capital in March of 2013, has grown to accommodate more than 4 million customers, 250 employees, and 200 designer partners.
"I recently heard of the Rent the Runway online model, ordered a dress, didn't wear it, but had a terrific experience with their customer service and think their idea is brilliant," Renée DeLuca Dolan, the president of Contempo Communications and publisher of Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine, says. "So, too, must their venture capital funders, who gave them nearly $54 million in 2013. I can't wait to hear from the ladies of the runway at their lunchtime keynote address."
This year's summit will also feature a pitch competition. Attendees that have been selected from a pool of applicants will attend a morning coaching session conducted by six officials from Kent State University. The six coaches will choose 10 pitch finalists, who will then pitch to all summit attendees and a panel of judges in the afternoon. The attendees and the panel of judges will then determine the top four finalists, who will win cash prizes as follows: first place ($10,000), second place ($5,000), third and fourth places ($2,500 each). The pitch coaches are:
Mary Heidler, entrepreneurship faculty and operations manager, Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI), Kent State University
Kipp Krukowski, adjunct faculty member, Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Kent State University
Denise Easterling, entrepreneur and faculty member, Kent State University
Mike Beder, graduate and serial entrepreneur, Kent State University
Brian Bowles, CEO, Blackwolf Tactical, student start-up mentor, Kent State University
Craig Zamary, serial entrepreneur, faculty member, Kent State University
The panel of judges will include Hyman, Fleiss, and DeLuca Dolan as well as Jumpstart COO Cathy Belk and two officials with Kent State University - Deborah Spake, the dean of the College of Business Administration, and Robert Hisrich, the associate dean for graduate and international programs.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with Kent State University's College of Business Administration again this year," DeLuca Dolan says. "Last year we gave away a scholarship, and this year we'll be giving away upward of $20,000 to the top four winners in the "American Idol"-style pitch competition. This is our way of giving back to the community and supporting women in business, start-ups specifically."
Additional speakers and panelists include:
Katie Van Dyke, director, Small Business Development Center, Cleveland State University
Stacy Feiner, executive coach, author of "Talent Mindset: The Business Owner's Guide to Building Bench Strength"
Kristin Tull, president, Pradco
Lauren Rudman, manager of human resources, Erico, president, Cleveland Society for Human Resources
Nancy Brown, owner, Ladies and Gentlemen Salon and Spa
Laura Bennett, CEO and co-founder, Embrace Pet Insurance
Sponsors include the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), Contempo Communications, Cleveland State Monte Ahuja College of Business, FIT Technologies, Kent State University, KeyBank, Jumpstart, Ladies & Gentlemen Salon and Spa and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
Tickets are $100 for paid CBC subscribers, $125 for general admission, and $225 for pitch competition attendees.
To register for the event, visit http://cbcmagazine.com/fes2015/ or call 216-831-9557.
About Contempo Communications: Contempo Communications is the result of a 2010 merger between a full-service graphic design firm (Contemporary Design Group Inc.) and its sister publishing firm (CBC Publishing LLC). This union empowers Contempo Communications with a unique expertise specific to the creative/marketing, publishing, and event industries.
Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is one of only 180 colleges or schools of business worldwide to achieve dual accreditation in both business and accounting from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the global accrediting body providing specialized accreditation at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The College of Business Administration is home to 4,502 students; the second largest college of business in Ohio. The college boasts a satellite office at Kent State University’s Career Services Center dedicated to business students, and operates the Global Management Center, the Center for Information Systems and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation all propelling scholarly research, establishing innovative industry partnerships and providing outreach to Northeast Ohio and beyond.
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