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2023 Schedule.

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Score: 6th Annual Women's Leadership Conference

May 1st - 4th

  • 11 am | Virtual: Starting off with success
    Virtual Description: In the session we will dive into the 6 most popular morning habits from successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and CEO’s that help them make their day the most productive and how to implement them in your life! Bio Christopher Rice is founder of RiceTech LLC, a technology development company that specializes in creating innovative products that save Time and Money. His company was founded with the help of Merced’s Innovation Center in 2019 through their Fellowship program. He was born in Macon and grew up in central Georgia and Arizona. He is married to his amazing and beautiful wife, Teshia. He also has two wonderful daughters. In his free time he likes reading, being outdoors, and spending time with his family!
  • 11 am | Virtual Session: Trademark and Business
    Virtual Description: Overview of the importance of trademarking your brand and protecting your business with contracts and agreements. Speaker Bio: Attorney Eden Jackson was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. Being from a family of generations of Maconites. Eden obtained her undergraduate degree in Public Relations from Georgia State University located in Atlanta, Georgia. From Atlanta, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida where she attended law school at Florida Coastal School of Law. She later moved to London, UK and received her Legal Masters from Brunel University London. Attorney Eden recently hung her shingle and started The Law Office of Eden A. Jackson, a trademark and business law firm. When Eden is not practicing law, she is taking care of her energetic infant son, Gabriel, gardening and traveling the world. Eden’s personal motto is: Don’t work to die, Work to live!
  • 10 am: Are You An Entrepreneur?
    Description: Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur but how do you decide if you are? This session will help entrepreneurs in the making to determine if being an entrepreneur is their right path. Based on Gino Wickman’s book, Entrepreneurial Leap, this session will be an overview of the process of; Confirming if you are an entrepreneur, Glimpsing what your entrepreneurial life could look like and Begin to build out a path to achieve your dream life. Take an hour to challenge yourself and your plans to ensure you are really heading toward your dream and not a nightmare. Speaker Bio: Rob Betzel was founder and CEO of Infinity Network Solutions for over 19 years before selling to Hargray Communication to focus full time on helping other entrepreneurs and small business, get what they want from their business. Rob has founded Grit Consulting and is a Professional Implementor for the Entrepreneurial Operating System (ESO), a Judgement Index Certified Consultant, and angle investor. Rob believes all entrepreneurs need 4 things; A Mentor/Coach, A Strategic System for operating their business, A group of peers to grow with, and a desire to growth their leadership team as they grow. Rob has been involved in the entrepreneurial community since taking part in the founding of SparkMacon, the first MakerSpace in Middle GA.
  • What is the cost of Macon Startup Week?
    Macon Startup Week is 100% free, whether you stay for one session or for the whole day. Not only will you receive great content, you’ll also enjoy coffee, snacks, lunch, and swag! You can’t beat that!
  • 12 pm: Spark Macon Lunch & Learn
    *Please bring your own lunch Monday @ Spark Macon 600 Guy Paine Rd, Macon, GA 31206 Description: Meet with the SparkMacon team and learn what you can create today! SparkMacon is Central Georgia’s first makerspace and strives to be a catalyst for freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs, connecting, empowering and supporting them to build a stronger economy and community. Designed to be a collaborative workspace for a wide range of creatives, SparkMacon meets every stage of entrepreneurship, from ideation to prototyping to manufacturing, by providing an adaptable space for innovation, in-house support, as well as connections to local resources that enable them to make a living doing what they love. The space offers both classes and memberships to help with every step of the entrepreneurial journey. Think of the SparkMacon like a gym for your brain!
  • 12 pm: How Covid Changed Consumer Behavior & How You Should Pivot
    Description: COVID-19 has changed life as we know it, and with any great change businesses must pivot. We will examine 4 primary shifts in consumer behavior and how your marketing strategy should adjust to match those shifts. Speaker Bio: Nick Rios is Co-Founder of M&R Marketing, a full-service marketing agency located in Macon, GA. Founded in 2008, M&R recently made the Inc. 5,000 list and is a previous recipient of the Greater Macon Chamber’s Small Business of the Year. Nick is married and together they recently celebrated the birth of their first child!
  • Is this the first year?
    Startup Weekend was founded by Techstars in 2007 and Startup Week was founded in 2010. Macon introduced Startup Week in 2017.
  • 12 pm | Virtual Lunch and Learn: Fire Your Boss
    Virtual Description: In this session the Executive Director of SparkMacon, Robert Grant will co-host a seminar entitled “Fire Your Boss” with SparkMacon Program Director, Sierra Martin. Host: SparkMacon | Robert Grant & Sierra Martin SparkMacon is a Macon Startup Week partner and local business incubator focused on helping small local businesses grow. In addition to providing mentorship, office and coworking space at their facility, SparkMacon is currently launching a new Entrepreneurs Academy focused on providing resources and tools to current and future entrepreneurs throughout Middle Georgia. In today's challenging work environment, many people find it difficult to achieve satisfaction through their job. The economic reality that employees can no longer rely on their current job for long-term financial security has many people considering entrepreneurship for the first time. For each story of entrepreneurial success that is shared—such as that of Facebook or Airbnb—there are even more lesser-known entrepreneurial success stories such as Zipline, a company that delivers medical supplies in Rwanda and Ghana by drone. These entrepreneurs faced the same dilemmas in pursuing their passion, or opportunities, which led them to their entrepreneurial destiny. They courageously stepped out of their comfort zones to explore the possibilities that lie ahead. What is the difference between entrepreneurs and you? The main difference is taking that first step.
  • 5:30 pm: Macon Magazine Evening Mixer
    Monday, 5:30 pm @ The Rookery 543 Cherry St, Macon, GA 31201
  • 5 pm | In-Person Mixer: Macon Young Professionals "Jingle Mingle""
    In-Person: Just Tap'd | 488 First Street Macon, GA 31201 Join Macon Young Professionals & Macon Startup Week for a night of lights, lagers and leadership! Meet at Just Tap'd for pizza and beer. Featured speaker: Local entrepreneur, Kaitlynn Kressin. After, enjoy the Christmas light extravaganza. To attend this mixer, please Register Here
  • Do I have to attend every event, or can I just come to 1 event?"
    Great question! We work hard to ensure the content for each session is applicable to everyone, regardless of the stage your business is in. We hope you’ll enjoy as many sessions as your schedule will allow, but you are welcome to come to whichever sessions you’d like. We just ask that you register to help us plan for attendance.
  • 1 pm: Business Plan Overview
    Hosted by Jessica White of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Description: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, the SBDC has 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community.
  • How do I attend Macon Startup Week 2021
    This year will be hybrid. More details to come.
  • 6 pm: Mixer : Mill Hill Bakers Collective
    Join the Mill Hill Bakers Collective for a Virtual Mixer! This virtual mixer is like no other! We will use the Mixtroz App, which can be downloaded on your smartphone or visit the Web App. Mixtroz is an event and meeting platform that makes collaboration and communication simple.
  • 5 pm | In-Person Mixer: Macon Young Professionals "Mingle Jingle""
    In-Person: Just Tap'd | 488 First StreetMacon, GA 31201 Join Macon Young Professionals & Macon Startup Week for a night of lights, lagers and leadership! Meet at Just Tap'd for pizza and beer. Featured speaker: Local entrepreneur, Kaitlynn Kressin. After, enjoy the Christmas light extravaganza. To attend this mixer, please Register Here
  • What is Hopin?
    Hopin is the virtual platform that will host Macon Startup Week 2021. It is similar to Zoom, but offers more of a community feel.
  • Can I access Hopin via my phone?
    Hopin’s web app is now available on mobile devices for attendees! While still in beta, attendees can attend Macon Startup week from their phones and tablets with limited functionality. They can view the Stage, view Sessions, view Expo, chat, and use the Networking features. If this meets your needs then you can try to access via your mobile phone. Note that you cannot participate in Sessions or the Expo, on-camera but simply view them.
  • How do I interact with speakers on the Stage or in a Session?
    Please type in your questions in the Stage or Session Chat. We hope that all speakers will have time to address all chat questions and we will have tech moderators handling chat questions as they come in.
  • How does Chat, Polls, and People work?"
    In all sections of the Hopin platform there are three tabs on your right-hand side. The Chat tab allows you to send messages visible to all participants of the event. In the sessions and booths, you can switch to the chat visible only in the Session or Booth you are participating in. The Chat tab is also where you will see important messages from the organizers popping up. The Polls tab is where we will be asking you for your feedback during the event using live polls. The People tab lists all participants that have joined the event. You can send a direct message to any participant by clicking on their name.
  • What is Hopin Networking? What happens when I click the Ready button?
    When an attendee clicks the Ready button they are immediately matched with a random fellow attendee via face-to-face video, similar to chat. Meetings end automatically after 3 minutes unless you choose to speak longer by hitting the extend button. Attendees can leave at any time. Conversation partners may decide to share contact information by clicking the Connect button. If both parties click Connect, the pair can find each other’s contact information (email address and social media) via the Connect section of their Hopin account.
  • 11 am: Business Mantra
    Speaker Bio: John David "JD" Miller was introduced to Yoga in 2015 by the managing partner at his financial planning firm. John Wright II encouraged JD to consider yoga as a complement and enhancement to his business and exercise routines. JD enjoyed the practice and the improvements that followed in his health, business, and in his relationships. Over the next several years, JD spent more hours on the mat and became more intentional with his mindset. He loves the way yoga makes the body feel, and how we feel about the body. He was excited to discover the connection between mindset, breath, and movement and how the feelings that follow can affect our relationships, business results, and careers. In 2019 he went on to earn a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification. He is excited to share the tools and routines that have become so meaningful to him in business and in life. John David “JD” Miller Financial Advisor & Registered Yoga Teacher
  • 12 pm: Score: Small Business Seminar Building a Business Plan
    Learn how to build a business plan with Score Middle Georgia hosted by the Greater Macon Chamber. More about Score: SCORE, the nation’s largest network of 11,000 volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE Middle Georgia, founded in 2016, has served over 1,000 clients. Our services are free mentoring with experienced volunteer counselors, low-cost workshops (in person and virtual), free access to SCORE’s extensive on-line resource library for small businesses, and special events, including the only annual Middle Georgia conference for Women Entrepreneurs. In 2019 the Chapter, based in the Macon Chamber of Commerce headquarters, achieved Gold status, and currently has a 90+% client satisfaction rating. Our Mentors understand the breadth of issues facing small businesses, from defining your competitive advantage through marketing, selling and delivering your products and services – and managing the people and financials needed to support the business.
  • 12 pm | Hybrid Lunch and Learn: Get Your House In Order Before Getting your Business In Order
    Hybrid | For In-Person: Newtown Macon - 555 Poplar St. Macon, GA 31201 Description: Many times people haven’t considered what they need to have ready before they begin the process of pulling their business together. Join Bethany Rogers, NewTown Macon’s Director for Business and Real Estate Development, as she help budding entrepreneurs take a hard look at their personal financial house. Bethany will also talk about how NewTown Macon help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses in downtown Macon. Speaker Bio: Bethany Rogers, PhD has served as Director of Business and Real Estate Development at NewTown Macon for three years. At NewTown, she coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with a focus on business plan development and financing, including overseeing NewTown’s small business loan program. Before her work in community and economic development, Bethany earned a PhD in Cultural Geography from Louisiana State University and her academic and professional pursuits centered around community documentary and preservation work. Her writing, documentaries, and public programs have been featured in a range of contexts from academic peer-reviewed publications to a report on NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • 12 pm | Virtual Lunch and Learn: Get Your House In Order Before Getting your Business In Order
    Description: Many times people haven’t considered what they need to have ready before they begin the process of pulling their business together. Join Bethany Rogers, NewTown Macon’s Director for Business and Real Estate Development, as she help budding entrepreneurs take a hard look at their personal financial house. Bethany will also talk about how NewTown Macon help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses in downtown Macon. Speaker Bio: Bethany Rogers, PhD has served as Director of Business and Real Estate Development at NewTown Macon for three years. At NewTown, she coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with a focus on business plan development and financing, including overseeing NewTown’s small business loan program. Before her work in community and economic development, Bethany earned a PhD in Cultural Geography from Louisiana State University and her academic and professional pursuits centered around community documentary and preservation work. Her writing, documentaries, and public programs have been featured in a range of contexts from academic peer-reviewed publications to a report on NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • 2 pm: Get Your House In Order Before Getting your Business In Order
    Description: Many times people haven’t considered what they need to have ready before they begin the process of pulling their business together. Join Bethany Rogers, NewTown Macon’s Director for Business and Real Estate Development, as she help budding entrepreneurs take a hard look at their personal financial house. Bethany will also talk about how NewTown Macon help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses in downtown Macon. Speaker Bio: Bethany Rogers, PhD has served as Director of Business and Real Estate Development at NewTown Macon for three years. At NewTown, she coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with a focus on business plan development and financing, including overseeing NewTown’s small business loan program. Before her work in community and economic development, Bethany earned a PhD in Cultural Geography from Louisiana State University and her academic and professional pursuits centered around community documentary and preservation work. Her writing, documentaries, and public programs have been featured in a range of contexts from academic peer-reviewed publications to a report on NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • 3 pm: Fireside Chat with Chasity, Lori, and Tarika: From Disruption to Innovation"
    Description: A conversation on building and finding a niche in a different space. Speaker Bios: Chasity Wright is a USAF Aerospace/Cybersecurity/Technology veteran, CAU business alum, upcoming Stanford graduate, owner of Wrightek solutions, founder of Infiltron Software suite - an Internet of things cybersecurity solution for 5G, smart cities, unmanned transportation, and more. Chasity has written legislation for STEM programs in Georgia and is currently working to mitigate risk for people of color and woman concerning facial recognition technology. Lori Brewer is an accomplished entrepreneur and technology leader who has manifested her forward-thinking visions into the development of award-winning fintech applications including CompenSafe™, the premier incentive compensation management platform, and LimeGear™, a revolutionary business intelligence platform. As an officer in the U.S. Air Force, she designed an inaugural website for the C-130 Hercules, organizing and presenting crucial information for troops around the globe. As a civilian software developer, she was hired by a mortgage lender and found similar challenges: disorganized and disparate data, a clear need for improved processes, and the opportunity to show high returns on technology investments. Now with over 20 years of mortgage banking experience, Brewer is an indispensable technology leader in the industry founder and CEO of LBA Ware™, an Inc. 5000 company, and recipient of the prestigious Tech All-Star award by the Mortgage Bankers Association. For more information on LBA Ware, visit lbaware.com. Tarika Pitts is an accounting & finance professional with 15 years of experience. She enjoys working with entrepreneurs, and spending time teaching financial literacy in under-served communities. Moderated By Christele N. Parham: Christele N. Parham is originally from Haiti. She received her bachelor's in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and earned her MBA at Mercer University. She is the co-owner of HamTECH Solutions and the new founder of Ham Designs. Ham Designs is a cross-industry design agency that offers innovative business to business branding solutions and product engagement research. Alongside Christele's entrepreneurial ventures, she has a passion for making a difference in the lives of those around her. Christele has had a passion for serving the community since she can remember. This passion only increased while working as an Innovation Consultant at Navicent Health. Christele learned how to impact the community by creating safe spaces through the human-centered design framework. Human-centered design focuses on the individual rather than the problem or the solution. While working in the community, Christele discovered a gap in the Tech and Innovation space. With her husband's help, she co-created Macon Black Tech through collaborative partnerships, many mentors, techies, and innovation advisers. This organization provides tech and innovation resources to Middle Georgia. It also allows individuals to ideate and co-create in a safe space. Christele serves as Chair of Macon Startup Week, a founding chair member (Communication) in the Central Georgia Black Empowerment Fund, the first Black Giving Circle in Macon, and co-founder of Elevate, a yearly virtual event.
  • 4 pm: Stir Up to Startup with Macon Magazine and The Web Mixer
    Join Macon Magazine and the Web for a Virtual Mixer! This virtual mixer is like no other! We will use the Mixtroz App, which can be downloaded on your smartphone or visit the Web App. Mixtroz is an event and meeting platform that makes collaboration and communication simple. Host Bio: Susannah Cox Maddux is the owner, publisher, and editor in chief of Macon Magazine, a bi-monthly publication in its 35th year that seeks, shares, and celebrates the good life and great stories in Macon and surrounding region. She grew up in a family of storytellers in Monroe, North Carolina. Ask her about her father’s ghost rock and the days she played hooky from school to tell stories alongside her father at local schools. She quickly found home in Macon a little over a decade ago, when she dug in her (mostly high) heels and started listening, connecting and creating through her first business, Goods Public Relations. She completed her 200-hour yoga accreditation at Asheville Yoga Center, after being compelled by her mother’s challenge: “Go, learn so you can teach me to do a headstand!” In addition to Macon Magazine, Maddux is co-founder of The Web, a women-centered work club, headquartered in Downtown Macon, that offers community, workspace and online programming, as well as an active network of support for the work-life blend. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. She and her husband Tripp restored a family home just outside of Macon and are parents to daughter Kitty and son Henry. Susannah currently serves on the boards of the Macon Chamber, Bibb County Community Partnership, Historic Macon Foundation and is a member of Macon Rotary and Knight Foundation Community Advisory Committee. Susannah and her family are active at Christ Church, Episcopal.
  • 12 pm: SBDC Lunch & Learn
    *Please bring your own lunch Tuesday @ M&R Marketing, led by UGA’s SBDC 331 3rd St, Macon, GA 31201 Description: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, the SBDC has 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community. Come listen as Peter A. Williams discusses: Researching Your Business Plan. Peter Williams is a Business Consultant in the University of Georgia SBDC’s Macon Center serving small businesses in Middle Georgia. Prior to joining the SBDC in 2013, Mr. Williams owned and successfully operated for eleven years a merger and acquisition advisory firm he founded in 2002. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of a venture-backed Internet start-up, a principal of a private equity investment firm, and an investment analyst and manager. Mr. Williams holds a B.A. from Ripon College (in Wisconsin) and an MBA from Emory University (in Atlanta).
  • 5:30 pm: Z Beans Evening Mixer
    Tuesday, 5:30 pm @ Z Beans on Cotton Avenue 311 Cotton Ave, Macon, GA 31201
  • 11:30 am: Score: 6th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference
    Join SCORE Middle Georgia for the 2021 Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference. It will include a panel discussion from leading experts in different fields of entrepreneurship. Schedule: 11:30: Registration and gathering Noon: Speakers and Lunch 12:45 - 1:30 pm: Networking To attend the 6th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference, please Register Here
  • 10 am: E^2= Equity & Entrepreneurship sponsored by The Greater Macon Chamber
    Description: A conversation about Equity and Entrepreneurship moderated by Dr. Ansley Booker. This session is sponsored by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. Speaker Bio: In 1991 businessman Alex Habersham established a forerunner in Macon media – the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages. Today it remains a reliable community economic and informational resource. According to Habersham, The Black Pages was designed to promote Black owned businesses in a one stop shop annual listing. Between its cover and back pages can be found a bevy of Black businesses that contribute to the economic vitality of Middle Georgia. Black spending power in central Georgia is 3.5 billion. Habersham says Black pages provides a means of circulating Black dollars within the Black community before they exit. “We’ve got the resources at our fingertips. That’s why I started Black pages. It’s a way in which Black residents can improve themselves through the support of these businesses in our community.” Black Pages is comprehensive. For instance, all local Black owned businesses meeting a certain criterion get a free listing. They must produce a quality product; provide excellent customer service; and maintain a good reputation to be listed says Habersham. However, to heighten their profiles, businesses can choose and pay for an array of stylized and suitably sized ads. In addition, Black Pages has an EBlast or Electronic Advertising platform that reaches a vast audience through email notifications. Everything from ribbon cuttings to political rallies to church revivals can be found there. Each year, Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages chooses an initiative of importance to focus on in the publication as well. In the past its highlighted nonprofits. Last year the spotlight was on young entrepreneurs and professionals. This year’s edition of Black Pages looks at the impact of the Divine Nine – the major Black fraternities and sororities. Providing this range of information is about empowerment says Habersham. He believes through the economic and educational upliftment of Black Macon; a better quality of life can be experienced by all. “I think it’s unique what we do. We try to be holistic in our approach to community improvement not just from an economic perspective, but a social and civic perspective as well,” he said. While Black Pages unapologetically focuses primarily on highlighting Black businesses, it doesn’t discriminate. It is additionally powered by the advertising dollars of corporations and local municipalities that support Habersham’s assertion that the economic stability of those entities is joined to the hip of the Black community as consumers of their goods and services. And as a result, the more support they lend to the economic upliftment of the Black community, the more the entire community benefits. “It’s about developing a local quality of life that we will all benefit from,” Habersham added. Habersham is thankful that his business has not been as impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic as others. He attributes this to Black Pages being a business that operates electronically. By staying viable the business can also remain a refuge for aspiring youth. Habersham makes a point to employ and mentor young people since he embraces the concept of leadership development. The Black Pages web site has also become a vehicle by which Habersham presents his television show “A Call to Action”. The public can now view him interviewing mid-state movers and shakers there. Community initiatives like the Community Foundation of Central Georgia’s annual On the Table are important to Habersham. He supports the idea of meeting people where they are to hear from them as they break bread with those they wouldn’t ordinarily, and work towards viable solutions to challenges facing our city. “On the Table is a great way of getting information from the bottom up instead of from the top down,” he stated. “To make this community better, we’ve got to go where the rubber meets the road.” Find out more about the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages by calling 478-464-0074 or visiting www.maconblackpages.com. Claire Cox is a community organizer working on issues important to women and other minorities in Georgia. Over the last four years these have included voter engagement efforts, direct support and advocacy on behalf of the immigrant community, and statewide work advancing menstrual equity and the elimination of period poverty. Most recently, she co-lead the Macon CCR Team working to pass a local Comprehensive Civil Rights Ordinance in Macon-Bibb. Claire has a Chemical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an IT/Accounting degree from Macon State. Although work in these fields is a part of her life story, prior to the 2016 election, Claire spent her time as a wife and mother, volunteering in Bibb County Public Schools, leading various ministries at her church, managing a law office and establishing a longleaf pine tree farm. She and her husband, Charlie, are lovers of live music and spend their recreational hours attending concerts and promoting Macon’s music history. Sheknita Davis is native of Macon-Bibb county. She is the current founder and CEO of The People’s Advocacy Group, Inc, a local non-profit committed to civic engagement, community accountability, citizens’ rights, and restoring cultural identity. Ms. Davis has over 18 years of combined experience in workforce development, social services, customer relations, and criminal justice. She is the owner of Infinite Solutions and Consulting Services. Ms. Davis is a sought-after speaker and consultant for community organizing, racial equity, workforce development, leadership and professional development. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from Mercer University, and a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology. Ms. Davis is graduate of the Leadership Macon class of 2015 as well as a graduate of the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute 2018. She is a member of Bibb Mt Zion Church and serves as the Director of Community Engagement. Ms. Davis has combined her passion, talent, and skills to inspire the lives of other through her personal testimony. Overcoming her childhood trauma, she stands as an example of how a person can go from being a homeless, high school dropout, and mother of four children to achieving life success. Her life’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those in her community through disrupting systems of oppression. Stephanie Howard earned her M.B.A from Wesleyan College and her B.B.A with a concentration in Marketing from Tennessee State University. She has over 15 years of professional marketing and sales experience, and is highly trained in the areas of advanced marketing strategies, communication, strategic planning, project and product management, and advertising. She is also an experienced Marketing Consultant/Contractor, and serves on numerous community boards. Susannah Cox Maddux is the owner, publisher, and editor in chief of Macon Magazine, a bi-monthly publication in its 35th year that seeks, shares, and celebrates the good life and great stories in Macon and surrounding region. She grew up in a family of storytellers in Monroe, North Carolina. Ask her about her father’s ghost rock and the days she played hooky from school to tell stories alongside her father at local schools. She quickly found home in Macon a little over a decade ago, when she dug in her (mostly high) heels and started listening, connecting and creating through her first business, Goods Public Relations. She completed her 200-hour yoga accreditation at Asheville Yoga Center, after being compelled by her mother’s challenge: “Go, learn so you can teach me to do a headstand!” In addition to Macon Magazine, Maddux is co-founder of The Web, a women-centered work club, headquartered in Downtown Macon, that offers community, workspace and online programming, as well as an active network of support for the work-life blend. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. She and her husband Tripp restored a family home just outside of Macon and are parents to daughter Kitty and son Henry. Susannah currently serves on the boards of the Macon Chamber, Bibb County Community Partnership, Historic Macon Foundation and is a member of Macon Rotary and Knight Foundation Community Advisory Committee. Susannah and her family are active at Christ Church, Episcopal. Shane Buerster started Z Beans his senior year of college and upon graduation opened his first coffee shop in Macon, Georgia. Over the past two years, Z Beans has developed a complex international supply chain, permitting the import of direct-trade Ecuadorian coffee, and has opened up two coffee shops and a roasting facility in Macon.Over the next year, Z Beans is committed to opening an additional coffee shop and expanding its wholesale reach. started Z Beans his senior year of college and upon graduation opened his first coffee shop in Macon, Georgia. Over the past three years, Z Beans has developed a complex international supply chain, permitting the import of direct-trade Ecuadorian coffee, and has opened up two coffee shops and a roasting facility in Macon. Over the next year, Z Beans is committed to opening an additional coffee shop and expanding its wholesale reach. Moderatated by Dr. Ansley Booker: Ansley Booker, Ph.D. is a native of Eatonton, Georgia. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology from Georgia Southern University in 2008, where she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a Master of Science in pharmacy from the University of Georgia in 2013, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mercer University in May 2019. Her writings are featured in the books The Table, Gumbo Females of Color Book 2, Seeing The HiddEn Minority: Increasing the Talent Pool through Identity, Socialization, and Mentoring Constructs, Fraternal Organizations, and Mentoring: Valuable Compacts for Young Black Males, and Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls. Her passion for STEM was highlighted in her 2019 TedTalk at the University of Georgia entitled Unhidden Figures: Uncovering Our Cultural Biases in STEM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn1S7phYDMQ Dr. Booker was the previous Director for the Mercer University Educational Opportunity Center (TRiO Programs) and is the inaugural Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. Sponsored by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce As one of more than 5,000 chambers of commerce, The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce is an organization through which the voluntary manpower of our community works effectively to make the Macon region a better place to live, work and play. The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce is organized for the purpose of advancing the positive growth and development of the Macon Region. It encourages the growth of existing industries and businesses, while giving all proper assistance to any new firms or individuals looking to locate in the Macon region. The Chamber strives to support all activities believed to be beneficial to the community, and in general seeks to enhance the standard of living for Macon area citizens, looking to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number.
  • 11:30 am | Hybrid: Score's 6th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference
    Hybrid | For In-Person: SparkMacon - 600 Guy Paine Rd, Macon, GA 31206 Join SCORE Middle Georgia for the 2021 Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference. It will include a panel discussion from leading experts in different fields of entrepreneurship. Schedule: 11:30 am | Registration and Gathering 12:00 pm | Speakers and Lunch 12:45 - 1:30 pm | Networking To attend the 6th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference, please Register Here
  • 12 pm: Lunch and Learn | Trademark and Patents
    More details to come...
  • 6 pm – 9 pm: Score: 5th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference
    Join SCORE Middle Georgia for the 2020 Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference. It will include a panel discussion from leading experts in different fields of entrepreneurship. Schedule: 6:00: Welcome 6:30: Special Guest Presentation 7:15: Breakout Groups 7:45: Closing Register Here
  • 12 pm: NewTown Macon Lunch & Learn
    *Please bring your own lunch Wednesday @ NewTown Macon 555 Poplar St, Macon, GA 31201 Description: NewTown Macon is the 100% focused on attracting, leveraging and investing self-sustained transformation of Downtown Macon. Part of that mission is to support entrepreneurs through a number of programs including Co-Working, loan funds and education. Come listen as Josh Rogers, President and CEO of NewTown, provides an overview of their programming and answers questions entrepreneurs may have about building and scaling business in Downtown Macon.
  • 5:30 pm: Young Professionals Network Evening Mixer
    Wednesday, 5:30 pm @ Mount de Sales (Young Professionals Network) 851 Orange St, Macon, GA 31201 New to Central Georgia or looking to get connected to the community? Then Macon's Young Professionals Network (YPN) is for you! What Is YPN? Macon’s YPN is an initiative of the Macon Chamber designed to bring together young talent for not only networking opportunities, but events that allow them to engage with the community in meaningful ways, exposing them and allowing them to impact reasons why Macon is a wonderful place to live, work and play.
  • 12 pm: Score Lunch & Learn
    *Please bring your own lunch Thursday @ Georgia Sports Hall of Fame 301 Cherry St, Macon, GA 31201 Description: Want to sell online? Then join us for an interactive session on Thursday September 26th 12:00pm-1:00 PM at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. This session will take place with an experienced SCORE Volunteer, Ms. Ting Zhao. Ms. Zhao is an eCommerce strategist with 20+ years of technical-functional eCommerce experience and has worked with major companies to enhance their eCommerce capabilities, including Office Depot and Rubbermaid.
  • 6 pm – 9 pm: Score: 4th Annual Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference
    6 pm – 9 pm | $25 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame | 301 Cherry St, Macon, GA 31201 Join SCORE Middle Georgia for the 2019 Women's Entrepreneur Leadership Conference. It will include a panel discussion from leading experts in different fields of entrepreneurship. Separate Registration | Click Here Schedule: 6:00: Registration 6:35: Welcome - Ulrica Jones 6:40: Special Guest, Nikki Porcher and Keynote Speaker, Lori Brewer 7:00: Panel Discussion 7:45: Food, drinks, and networking *InstaMagic Photobooth will be there 7-9pm Speaker and Panelist Bios: Felicia Howard (Panelist) is the founder of Felicia's Cake Factory, LLC a licensed business specializing in custom cakes. Her journey into baking/decorating began a few years after graduating from Macon State College as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. After working 12-hour shifts three to five days a week she would use her passion for decorating custom cakes as a way to de-stress. Creating new and exciting cake designs was so much fun and after receiving requests from family and friends to make theirs, she decided to start her own business, and in 2014, Felicia’s Cake Factory was born. Gabriela Gilner (Panelist) is an Enrolled Agent, federally licensed to represent clients before the IRS, and a QuickBooks Pro-Advisor. She is the owner of Empreza Tax, LLC. She provides bookkeeping, tax, and training for business owners. Gabriela is a graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, and she is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Science in Taxation at the University of Cincinnati. Gabriela’s experience includes business management, compliance, in house accounting, internal audit, and most recently, nonprofit, and accounting for small businesses. She is also the founder of Latina Empresaria Directory aim to promote Latina owned business owners in Middle Georgia. Gabriela also does community work, is a Score Volunteer, and a certified Yoga instructor. Lori Brewer (Keynote) is the founder of LBA Ware, a software development company driving innovation in mortgage lending and banking operations. The company's mission is to inspire opportunity by delivering solutions that are essential to the way mortgage companies operate. LBA Ware strives to be a trusted partner and play a key role in their clients’ success by enabling them to motivate, incentivize and better leverage the human potential within their organization. Their applications automate traditionally manual business processes for which an existing software solution does not exist, empowering lenders to create an integrated software environment that maximizes their productivity and operational efficiency. Nikki Porcher (Special Guest Speaker), is the founder of Buy from a Black Woman. Founded in 2016, Buy from a Black Woman's mission is to spread awareness, while lending support to Black Women Business Owners. Porcher is a member of the Atlanta NAACP Chapter, The Women Chamber of Commerce, and an active advocate for several other causes. She lives out her vision with community-based classes, online workshops, webinars and serves as a mentor. Nikki Porcher has an academic background in business, marketing, and advertising design. Porcher also has certifications in non-profit management, yoga and meditation. She does all of this community work that comes so easily to her with a quintessential Jersey Girl flare.
  • ***Saturday Dec. 4th: Main Event | Hybrid @ SparkMacon
    Hybrid | For In-Person: SparkMacon - 600 Guy Paine Rd, Macon, GA 31206 Please join Macon Startup Week for the day of our Main Event! This event will be Hybrid, meaning it will be available both virtually and in-person. ***Due to Covid Restrictions, seating is limited to 100 attendees.
  • 9:45 am: Welcome
    Welcome to Macon Startup Week 2020 - Main Session
  • 10:00 am: Greater Macon Chamber Townhall: Fireside Chat with David Cummings
    David Cummings is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur who has founded 10 companies employing thousands of people, including Pardot, SalesLoft, and Terminus. David is also the founder of the Atlanta Tech Village — the United States’ 4th largest tech hub — and the sole seed investor in Calendly, the world’s most popular scheduling app. After selling Pardot, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner and one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. David is a member of YPO Southern 7, Atlanta Rotary, on the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and on the board of the Buckhead Coalition. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, David earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from Mercer University. David blogs regularly at DavidCummings.org and tweets at @davidcummings. Moderated By Rob Betzel: Rob Betzel was founder and CEO of Infinity Network Solutions for over 19 years before selling to Hargray Communication to focus full time on helping other entrepreneurs and small business, get what they want from their business. Rob has founded Grit Consulting and is a Professional Implementor for the Entrepreneurial Operating System (ESO), a Judgement Index Certified Consultant, and angle investor. Rob believes all entrepreneurs need 4 things; A Mentor/Coach, A Strategic System for operating their business, A group of peers to grow with, and a desire to growth their leadership team as they grow. Rob has been involved in the entrepreneurial community since taking part in the founding of SparkMacon, the first MakerSpace in Middle GA.
  • 8:30 – 9: introductions
  • 8 am: Morning Networking | Coffee and Pastries
    Please join us to check-in and start the day off with Coffee and Pastries
  • 11:00 am: Getting the Word Out: Using Social Media Effectively
    Description: Properly utilizing social media can make or break a business. The complex algorithms and differing community standards can make using these platforms seem like an impossible task. Come learn valuable tips and tricks to unlock the full potential of your social platforms. Speaker Bio(s): Nearly 5 years ago Robert Grant left his job in commercial real estate marketing to pursue a career as a Food and Travel Vlogger. Using his years of experience in traditional and guerilla marketing he built a respected influencer brand known as That Guy You Met Today or "TGYMT."
  • 9:00 am: Keynote Speaker | Geno
    More details to come...
  • 9:00 am: Keynote Speaker | Gino Wickman
    Author | Entrepreneur | Speaker Creator of Entrepreneurial Leap __ An entrepreneur since the age of 21, Gino has had an obsession for learning what makes businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. At 25 he took over the family business, which was deeply in debt and in need of help. After turning the company around and running it for seven years, he and his partners successfully sold the company. Gino then set out to help entrepreneurs and leaders get what they want from their businesses. Based on his years of real-world experience, he created the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a practical method for helping companies achieve greatness. He has personally delivered more than 1,900 full-day sessions for more than 135 companies, helping them implement EOS. He is also the author of the award-winning, best-selling book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, as well as Get a Grip, Rocket Fuel, How to Be a Great Boss and What the Heck is EOS?. Gino is the founder of EOS Worldwide, an organization that helps thousands of businesses implement EOS with the aid of an international team of over 350 professional and certified EOS Implementers and online support. There are over 100,000 companies using the EOS tools Worldwide. Gino is now devoting time and energy toward helping entrepreneurs-in-the-making get a huge jump-start on taking their entrepreneurial leap, which is why he created Entrepreneurial Leap.
  • 9 – 9:45: Go & Get the Word Out: Using Social Media Effectively
    Description: Properly utilizing social media can make or break a business. The complex algorithms and differing community standards can make using these platforms seem like an impossible task. Come learn valuable tips and tricks from 2 experts who have built successful careers on social media, unlock the full potential of your social platforms. Speaker Bio(s): Nearly 5 years ago Robert Grant left his job in commercial real estate marketing to pursue a career as a Food and Travel Vlogger. Using his years of experience in traditional and guerilla marketing he built a respected influencer brand known as That Guy You Met Today or "TGYMT." As his brand gained more notoriety locally, he began to cross paths with other local influencers most notably Molly Wilkins. Molly Wilkins who is a Southern Culture blogger. Her brand known as Southern Bon Vivant, covers a number of topics which also include food and travel but with at distinctly southern twist. As the pair began to cross paths with increasing frequency they decided in early 2019 to join forces to create TGYMT media, an influencer and social media marketing company. With their combined experience in both traditional and non-traditional marketing they dont just connect businesses with customers, they help businesses engage audiences in ways that would have been impossible otherwise.
  • 10:00 am: What is your Mindset on your Mindset?
    Speaker Bio: John David "JD" Miller was introduced to Yoga in 2015 by the managing partner at his financial planning firm. John Wright II encouraged JD to consider yoga as a complement and enhancement to his business and exercise routines. JD enjoyed the practice and the improvements that followed in his health, business, and in his relationships. Over the next several years, JD spent more hours on the mat and became more intentional with his mindset. He loves the way yoga makes the body feel, and how we feel about the body. He was excited to discover the connection between mindset, breath, and movement and how the feelings that follow can affect our relationships, business results, and careers. In 2019 he went on to earn a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification. He is excited to share the tools and routines that have become so meaningful to him in business and in life. John David “JD” Miller Financial Advisor & Registered Yoga Teacher
  • 12:00 pm: Break
    Break
  • 10 – 10:45: Get Your House In Order Before Getting your Business In Order
    Description: Many times people haven’t considered what they need to have ready before they begin the process of pulling their business together. Join Bethany Rogers, NewTown Macon’s Director for Business and Real Estate Development, as she help budding entrepreneurs take a hard look at their personal financial house. Bethany will also talk about how NewTown Macon help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses in downtown Macon. Speaker Bio: Bethany Rogers, PhD has served as Director of Business and Real Estate Development at NewTown Macon for three years. At NewTown, she coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with a focus on business plan development and financing, including overseeing NewTown’s small business loan program. Before her work in community and economic development, Bethany earned a PhD in Cultural Geography from Louisiana State University and her academic and professional pursuits centered around community documentary and preservation work. Her writing, documentaries, and public programs have been featured in a range of contexts from academic peer-reviewed publications to a report on NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • 10:00 am: Business Mantra
    John David "JD" Miller was introduced to Yoga in 2015 by the managing partner at his financial planning firm. John Wright II encouraged JD to consider yoga as a complement and enhancement to his business and exercise routines. JD enjoyed the practice and the improvements that followed in his health, business, and in his relationships. Over the next several years, JD spent more hours on the mat and became more intentional with his mindset. He loves the way yoga makes the body feel, and how we feel about the body. He was excited to discover the connection between mindset, breath, and movement and how the feelings that follow can affect our relationships, business results, and careers. In 2019 he went on to earn a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification. He is excited to share the tools and routines that have become so meaningful to him in business and in life. John David “JD” Miller Financial Advisor & Registered Yoga Teacher
  • 11:00 am: eSports Panel
    More details to come...
  • 1:00 pm: Keynote: Eric Thomas, Ph.D."
    CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR I WORLD RENOWNED SPEAKER MOTIVATOR I EDUCATOR I PASTOR GLOBAL. IMPACT. DAILY. __ Eric Thomas, Ph.D., is an Educator, Best-Selling Author, Motivational Guru and, International Business Phenom. Eric's unique brand of pragmatism continues to take the world by storm and has made him the preferred "go-to" problem-solver for many of the world's largest corporations. Namely, General Electric, Quicken Loans, AT&T, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance, UPS the MLB, NBA, NFL and, MLS. Drawing from his personal experiences: homelessness, the absence of his biological father, academic struggles, and various other obstacles, ET's life story allows him to connect with others fighting for greatness. No matter who they are or, what they've encountered, ET's perspective and approach offer insights that exchange cycles of failure for patterns of success. ET is the epitome of hustle, drive, determination, and success. Millions of followers have been able to apply the principles revealed in his award-nominated autobiography, The Secret to Success and, equally successful subsequent releases: Greatness is Upon You and Average Skill, Phenomenal Will. ET's passion is never more evident than when he's in a school, changing the lives of students forever. Whether he's meeting and greeting students with warm hugs and a bite to eat on bitterly cold Michigan winter mornings or helping them to recognize their superpowers in a district­ wide assembly, wherever ET goes, greatness follows. ET believes that every child has the promise of greatness within them - every single one. The key to nurturing that greatness is knowing each child's unique approach to learning. By identifying that unique approach to learning, their "superpower," teachers are better able to coach their students to greatness! Unfortunately, most students don't even know that they have a superpower and, that's where "You Ain't The Boss Of Me" comes in. Every student CAN succeed! They just need the right tools to make that happen. Every child wants to achieve greatness; it's our job to teach them how. His current release, "You Ain't The Boss Of Me," is changing a generation of students, one educator, one student at a time.
  • 11:00 am: eSports Panel | From Video Games to Opportunities; How Video Games Can Open Doors
    Speaker Bio(s): SON (Swagged Out Nerds) is the premier Esports organization in Middle Georgia. SON has fostered a safe environment for competitive gaming that extends beyond Middle Georgia. We host a series of local events known as “The Nerds-Cup”. The Nerds-Cup leads to an expo known as “Nerds-Con” which will actually be held summer of 2022 in Macon, GA. We believe our willingness and our ability to connect with communities is what separates us. We are genuine and deliberate in our approach, and we openly want to see gamers succeed, which is why we have partnered with different High Schools and Colleges to provide perspective and insight to students. Jason Clarke Swagged Out Nerds, CEO John Robinson Swagged Out Nerds, COO Bunny is the world’s first AfroLatina gaming recording artist, signed to a major record label SONY/ Columbia on their Lost Rings imprint. Hailing from NYC, Bunny brings energy, enthusiasm and aptitude to anything she touches. From podcasting to Esports casting to being an advocate to Mental Health care access and women’s advancements. Jereimah Moore (Smash name: Bravo) Competitive smash player for SwaggedOutNerds has been competing since 2015. Since 2015, he has been ranked number 1 in the state of South Dakota and top 5 in the State of North Carolina. He signed with Swagged Out Nerds in 2019. Since being on Roster He has placed in the top 20th percentile in Major 750+ contestants, competing against world ranked players. In 2021 he competed in the Major Glitch 8 placing 65th overall out of 450+ contestants. As a pro gamer Jereimah has a unique understanding of the landscape and provides in depth knowledge from the perspective of a pro gamer. Isiah Reese MA in Management | Harvard Executive Program CEO + Co-Founder, Blaze Fire Games Company Isiah began the onset of his career at PepsiCo where he was assigned to the sales unit. Navigating through the challenges of leading a team, Isiah was able to use his leadership skills to lead a multi-million dollar sales unit. After dedicating eight years to PepsiCo, Isiah would go on to transition to several other notable companies including M&M Mars Company, Walt Disney in the consumer products division, and Coca-Cola Company. Feeling confident in his leadership skills, Isiah was ready to explore increased responsibilities. So, naturally, when a company offered him the opportunity to lead on a global scale and explore his love for technology, he pursued it. For the next 5 years, Isiah went on to hold his position as the Director of Global Channel Marketing (OEM Division) of The Microsoft Company. During his matriculation at Microsoft, Isiah oversaw channel marketing investments in over 193 countries where that division was responsible for 1/3 of the companies 70 billion dollars in revenue. While he loved his experience at Microsoft Isiah always possessed a passion for entrepreneurship. In 2016, Isiah co-founded Aperion Global Institute with an esports strategic business unit called BlazeFire Games. Blaze Fire Games, a licensed digital content provider, has catapulted its success by implementing over 50 Esports career pathway certificates. When Isiah co-founded his company the goal was to introduce underserved communities to the technology world, that goal still remains. His business mind, leadership qualities, and people skills have allowed him to penetrate the technology market for the last 5 years. Shelton Wilkerson is a former financial sector consultant turned Diversity & Inclusion strategist. While consulting I realized that I didn't see a lot of people who looked like me and I wanted to be a part of that change. Shelton joined the Microsoft Leap Apprenticeship Program to help be a catalyst to helping people get into the Tech industry from different backgrounds. A graduate of the University of South Carolina where I twice focused in Human Resource Management. Outside of I like to travel to cities and towns around the US meeting folks where they are for a beverage and a snack. I hope to meet you soon and have one fewer stranger on the road.
  • 11 – 11:45: Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Lessons Learned from Businesses at Every Scale"
    Description: Growing your business at every stage is tough whether it’s your first hire or your 50th. Hear from three different business owners who are themselves on different stages on lessons learned and challenges they face today. Speaker Bio(s): Susannah Maddux is passionate about connecting with the stories, causes, and people necessary to propel progress in Macon and beyond. Consistently working to listen better, foster inclusion, and create good through connectivity, she is the owner, publisher, and editor in chief of Macon Magazine since 2018. She founded Goods Public Relations in 2010, just after her arrival to Macon. Susannah believes in the power of collaboration. A North Carolina native, she and her family are proud to call Macon home. Shane Buerster started Z Beans his senior year of college and upon graduation opened his first coffee shop in Macon, Georgia. Over the past two years, Z Beans has developed a complex international supply chain, permitting the import of direct-trade Ecuadorian coffee, and has opened up two coffee shops and a roasting facility in Macon. Over the next year, Z Beans is committed to opening an additional coffee shop and expanding its wholesale reach. David Barwick started Apparel Authority with David Murdock in 2010 in David Murdock’s dad’s basement with a 6 head EMB (commercial embroidery) machine, dreams and prayers. Even with a tough economy David just started making phone calls and survived for a couple of years. They grew out of the basement and in a warehouse on Interstate Drive then continued to grow and now are in an upgraded location on Eisenhower. Apparel Authority is an embroidery and screen printing company. They specialize in corporate uniforms, merchandise and promotional items.
  • 12 – 1:30: Keynote and lunch: Dr. Vernard Hodges
    Dr. Vernard Hodges is a proud graduate of Fort Valley State University and the prestigious Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hodges is a founder and owner of multiple successful veterinary hospitals. He practices primarily at Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in Bonaire, GA. Dr. Hodges and Critter Fixer were so successful, they caught the attention of the National Geographic Channel. In January 2020, Dr. Hodges will star in a television show, called “Critter Fixers,” on National Geographic Wild, which will chronicle his life at home and on the road as he treats animals, domestic and exotic. Dr. Hodges started a real estate company, which has grown to a multi-million-dollar business comprised of several apartment complexes and commercial properties. He started writing a blog about how to win by betting on yourself, which ultimately led to his writing a bestselling book: “Bet on Yourself: From Zero to Millions.” Bet on Yourself reached number #1 on the Amazon Personal Finance Book list. In addition to his businesses, Dr. Hodges takes his work in the community very seriously. He started the Dr. Hodges “It Takes A Village” Charity Foundation in 2011. The Foundation was started to teach business skills to children. Dr. Hodges has won numerous awards for his business acumen and his community service. Dr. Hodges is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He enjoys outdoor activities with his two dogs and watching sports with his 15-year-old son, VJ.
  • 2:15 pm: Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs - Google Digital Coach Session
    Description: Discover how to create a collaborative environment where everyone is responsible for design. You will go through design challenges and sprints that can be incorporated into any workplace or startup, to unlock creativity and innovative thinking. Speaker Bio: A native of Metro Atlanta, Justin Dawkins wants to turn the multicultural marketing space upside down. He’s a serial entrepreneur who created his first digital company as a college student at Georgia State University. Now, years later, he’s still an entrepreneur at heart and a managing partner at Collab Capitol, an investment fund leveraging financial, human, and social capital to help Black founders build sustainable, innovation-centered businesses. Justin believes everyone can be the change they seek, which is why he operates Goodie Nation, a social impact pre-accelerator he co-founded with Joe Womack III. He's been recognized by the Atlanta Tribune, MadameNoire, Black Enterprise, BET, Atlanta’s Hypepotamus, PLUG ATL, the Urban League of Georgia Young Professionals, and more. As a digital coach, he wants to be recognized for being a great mentor to you.
  • 11:45 pm: Lunch
    In-person Lunch Provided
  • 3:00 pm: Breakout Session: Macon Headspace Mental Health Panel
    Description: Due to the recent coronavirus-19 pandemic, many have started a business devoted to salvaging lives. From Mental Wellness Applications, B2B Tools and Sourcing, Measurement and Testing, Telehealth, digital therapeutics, peer to peer and non-tech and other categories are some of the few ways to categorize the emerging startups in the mental health industry in America. This panel will sit down with local Macon residents who have ventured into starting various businesses to address mental wellness and have experienced much success even during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Speaker Bio: Gloria Smith Cissé, professional counselor and social worker, works tirelessly to eradicate the violence, she believes is rooted in miseducation and greed, that plagues our society through education, advocacy, and service. She holds a B.S.W. and M.S. from the Ft. Valley State University, a M.S.W. from the University of Georgia, and she is a doctoral candidate pursuing a DSW from Capella University. Ms. Cissé is very proud of earning these degrees after raising her five children, co-parenting many of her grandchildren, and while in her 40s and 50s. Ms. Cissé is Choice Theory/Reality Therapy Certified, a basic instructor, and practicum supervisor. Ms. Cissé is a Glasser Scholar. She is the Vice-chair of the WGI SE Region, the Chair of the GIFCT’s Diversity Council facilitating the Difficult Discussions in Diversity conversations monthly and was recently elected to serve on the GIFCT's US board. Ms. Cissé is an instructor in social work at FVSU. She is one of the owners of the Southern Center for Choice Theory, LLC in Macon, Georgia. Ms. Cissé has spent the better part of the last two decades working with children, adolescents, and adults traumatized by sexual and other forms of violence. She also works with those who have committed violent acts against others. She is a writer, trainer, activist and the “story catching change agent.” Andrea Cooke is a married mother of eight. She is an MFT doctoral candidate in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Antioch University in Keene, NH. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Work from THE Fort Valley State University. She went on to obtain a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mercer University in Macon.She currently works in development and as a masters level clinician at the Southern Center for Choice Theory, a small counseling agency, working with vulnerable populations. She recently started a non-profit called CQUL to help eliminate the barriers to effective mental health care and has worked on initiatives, such as Laundry Days, Drum Circles and most recently the Napier Heights Food Co-op. She is one of the founding members of Macon Periods Easier and is a proud member of a Georgia Women. Andrea is an advocate for families negatively impacted by DFCS and the criminal justice system and is dedicated to eliminating period poverty for women and girls in the state of Georgia. She is a currently a student in Leadership Macon, she was recently named to Macon Magazines "Top 5 under 40" and she recently completed the training to become a civic ambassador. Tiffany Tillman is a two time graduate of the illustrious Fort Valley State University majoring in Business Management and Mental Health Counseling! On August 1st Tiffany opened a Resource Center in the Mercer Crossing Shopping Plaza as a hub for other small black businesses to host events and workshops! Chris Canady is the owner of Canady Business Partners. It was formed several years ago to help people learn to utilize entrepreneurship to achieve their goals as dreams. Chris has also partnered with numerous quality brands to provide everyday products such as plant based supplements, sports nutrition, skincare, makeup and much more! Moderated By Nancy Cleveland: Nancy Cleveland earned her B.S. in Advertising from Syracuse University. Although, raised in New York, she was born in Macon, GA, and re-located there in 2014. She is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and a graduate of Historic Macon Foundation’s Leadership Institute and the 2018 Leadership Macon Class. When she’s not hard at work, she can be found with friends, traveling or playing with her dog, Duchess.
  • 1:45 – 2:45: Transitioning from Employee to Owner
    Description: Learn how to develop an exit strategy, and quit your 9-to-5pm the right way! From maximizing your benefits to developing your vision, learn the strategic way to transition from employee owner. Speaker Bio: Stephanie Howard earned her M.B.A from Wesleyan College and her B.B.A with a concentration in Marketing from Tennessee State University. She has over 15 years of professional marketing and sales experience, and is highly trained in the areas of advanced marketing strategies, communication, strategic planning, project and product management, and advertising. She is also an experienced Marketing Consultant/Contractor, and serves on numerous community boards.
  • 12:15 pm: Keynote Speaker | Terry Ho
    Restaurateur | Founder of Terry Ho's Yum Yum __ Terry Ho was born on January 19, 1964 in Tai Pei, Taiwan into a strong culinary family. Both his parents and grandparents were strong in the restaurant business, and he continued their legacy. They moved to the United States when Terry was 12 years old and opened a restaurant in Arizona. A year later, they moved to Albany, Ga where they opened House of China restaurant. Terry started off working in the kitchen of his parent's restaurant as a cook and a bus boy at the age of 13. He eventually grew in the profession and has now opened up more than 20 restaurants throughout the South. His fast casual Japanese restaurant, Hibachi Express, serves a special sauce with each meal called Yum Yum Sauce. It was in such high demand in the restaurant that Terry decided he would try to bottle it and was very successful. In 2012, Terry Ho's Yum Yum Sauce was successfully bottled and is now available in most grocery stores nationwide. He has since created a Japanese Ginger Dressing that is available at select Walmart Supercenters. He plans to continue creating more sauces derived from family recipes.Terry resides in South Georgia with his wife, Karen. They have two children, Kaley Howard of Valdosta, Ga and Collin Ho of Greensboro, Ga. They have one grandchild, Walker, who is their pride and joy. During their free time, they enjoy visiting their children, the lake, and the beach.
  • 3:00 pm: Breakout Session: Common Issues in Trademark Applications
    Description: Entrepreneurs and small business owners work hard to create striking and memorable trademarks - often without fully realizing the value of what they've created or how to protect it. This session explains what a trademark is (and what it is not) while walking you through the trademark application process. The speaker will describe some of the mistakes she most commonly encountered during years of reviewing trademark applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She will also explain some of the key decisions applicants must make along the way. No prior knowledge of trademark law or the application process is necessary. Speaker Bio: Dana Dickson is a trademark attorney who represents creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs in filing applications to register trademarks. Prior to founding her own firm, Dana Dickson Law, she worked for years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reviewing thousands of trademark applications. She has also argued before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Ms. Dickson graduated from Emory Law and also holds a Master's degree in Arts Administration.
  • 3 – 3:45: 5 Things You Should Know Before Going To A Bank
    Description: You have your business idea and are ready to get started but you know you need a bank not just to hold your funds but also to help you handle other financial services. You may be thinking about taking credit cards or lines of credit. You may be thinking about buying a building or vehicle. No matter what there are some basic things you need to know and be ready for when you go to see a business banker for the first time. Knowing these 5 things can help you build a faster and better relationship with your banker. Speaker Bio: Joel Ginaldi, Commercial Banker with Capital City Bank has over 15 years of commercial banking experience and has worked with many small businesses in middle Georgia to help them start and scale their business. With an understanding of the right services based on a business’s direction and focus Joel has always prided himself on being partner not just a banker.
  • 1:30 pm: Using Social Media Effectively
    Description: Properly utilizing social media can make or break a business. The complex algorithms and differing community standards can make using these platforms seem like an impossible task. Come learn valuable tips and tricks to unlock the full potential of your social platforms. Speaker Bio: Nearly 5 years ago Robert Grant left his job in commercial real estate marketing to pursue a career as a Food and Travel Vlogger. Using his years of experience in traditional and guerrilla marketing he built a respected influencer brand known as That Guy You Met Today or "TGYMT."
  • 2:30 pm: Building Platform/Monotization
    More details to come...
  • 3:00 pm: Breakout Session: Researching Your Business Plan
    Description: Come listen as Peter A. Williams discusses: Researching Your Business Plan. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, the SBDC has 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community. Speaker Bio: Peter A. Williams is a Business Consultant in the University of Georgia SBDC’s Macon Center serving small businesses in Middle Georgia.Prior to joining the SBDC in 2013, Mr. Williams owned and operated for eleven years a highly successful merger and acquisition advisory firm he founded in 2002. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of a venture capital-backed Internet start-up, a principal of a private equity investment firm, and an investment analyst and manager.Mr. Williams is a Chartered financial Analyst (CFA) and holds a B.A. from Ripon College (in Wisconsin) and an MBA from Emory University (in Atlanta).
  • 2:30 pm: Building Platform/Monetization
    Speaker Bio(s): Andreas Cooke is the founder and operator of Bankedoutt Radio Show that was started in February of 2016. It initially served as a platform for independent artists and has grown into a multi-tier platform. It features a digital radio station that streams world wide 24/7 365 to hundreds of listeners monthly, along with providing music to the audience. Bankedoutt Radio Show also showcases in depth interviews (audio & visual) along with an app that anyone can access from apple or google store. Andreas has been a full time entrepreneur since December of 2013. He started his first company in 2005 and has since formed a diverse mix of businesses across a variety of industries. Andreas is a graduate of Fort Valley State University with a BBA and concentration in marketing. Andreas enjoys spending time with his Wife Andrea along with their 8 children when not working on building his empire. Nearly 5 years ago Robert Grant left his job in commercial real estate marketing to pursue a career as a Food and Travel Vlogger. Using his years of experience in traditional and guerrilla marketing he built a respected influencer brand known as That Guy You Met Today or "TGYMT."
  • 4 – 4:45: Starting from Someone Else’s Scratch
    Description: We've all heard about franchises, but what are the benefits and pitfalls of exploring that option for your future business? Shane Gottwals will discuss how he developed the Walls of Books franchise system based on the Gottwals Books model. Then, he'll give you tips for buying franchises to help you make solid investments. Speaker Bio: Shane Gottwals was born and raised in Macon, GA, attending Central Fellowship Christian Academy from kindergarten until graduation. He has a B.A. in English from Mercer University, spending a portion of his college years at Oxford University in England. He met his wife, Abbey, at Mercer University. They have four children and live in Warner Robins, GA. The couple opened Gottwals Books in 2007. Shane has extensive retail experience which has helped Gottwals Books (franchising nationwide as "Walls of Books") become one of the largest used/new bookstore chains in the United States. He is frequently asked to speak at book industry conferences, and he is a notable go-to for bookstore consulting. He currently serves on the boards of Covenant Care Adoption Services, Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, Central Fellowship Christian Academy, and Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
  • 3:30 pm: Starting off with Success
    Virtual Description: In the session we will dive into the 6 most popular morning habits from successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and CEO’s that help them make their day the most productive and how to implement them in your life! BioChristopher Rice is founder of RiceTech LLC, a technology development company that specializes in creating innovative products that save Time and Money. His company was founded with the help of Merced’s Innovation Center in 2019 through their Fellowship program. He was born in Macon and grew up in central Georgia and Arizona. He is married to his amazing and beautiful wife, Teshia. He also has two wonderful daughters. In his free time he likes reading, being outdoors, and spending time with his family!
  • 3:00 pm: Breakout Session: Does Your Business Need an App?
    Description: Learn if your business needs an App by Terry C. Armstrong. Speaker Bio: Terry C. Armstrong is currently the Chief Development Officer and Founder of Mobile Media Plus, LLC since 2012 and General Manager for i108.1. Terry has been building websites, writing code for more than 30 years professionally. Additionally, Terry has been building Android and iOS apps since 2014 along with Web Apps. Terry attended the University of Northern Iowa where he majored in Marketing and Computer Information Systems on a football scholarship. Throughout his career he has worked for himself (On the Blvd Music) and other companies such as the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Houston Chronicle, Cox Ohio Publishing and Knight Ridder Newspapers which brought him and his family to Macon, GA.
  • 3:30 pm: Cybersecurity and Why You Should Care
    More details to come...
  • 5:30 – 6:30: Pitch Event
    5:30 – 6: Pitch It Like you Mean It: Asking Others for Money 6 – 6:30: “Pitch Contest” voting on by audience | Learn More 6:30: drinks and networking
  • 4:30 pm: Pitch It Like you Mean It: Asking Others for Money
    Speaker Bio: Stephanie Howard earned her M.B.A from Wesleyan College and her B.B.A with a concentration in Marketing from Tennessee State University. She has over 15 years of professional marketing and sales experience, and is highly trained in the areas of advanced marketing strategies, communication, strategic planning, project and product management, and advertising. She is also an experienced Marketing Consultant/Contractor, and serves on numerous community boards.
  • 4:00 pm: Entrepreneurship in the Face of Change - Panel
    Description: Join us as we discuss entrepreneurship in the face of change. Speaker Bio(s): Scott Mitchell is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Macon, the recipient of NewTown Macon's 2016 Downtown Ambassador Award and the Mentor's Project 2018 Board Member of the Year. He serves on the boards of the Main Street Macon, the Mentor's Project of Macon-Bibb, and the Wesley Foundation and Downtown Macon Community Association. He is the current chair of Main Street Macon and the Wesley Foundation, founder of Macon Pride, and is in lay leadership at Centenary UMC. He is also the co-host of a weekly radio show, Deconstructing Divas on 100.9 The Creek and writes the “Feels Like Local” column for Sound and Soul (formerly the 11th Hour Magazine). He loves working to bring public art to downtown Macon including the Macon Sculpture Walk and the Downtown Macon Music Sculpture Park. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and furbabies, volunteering, gardening, traveling, watching Broadway shows, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. Nearly 5 years ago Robert Grant left his job in commercial real estate marketing to pursue a career as a Food and Travel Vlogger. Using his years of experience in traditional and guerilla marketing he built a respected influencer brand known as That Guy You Met Today or "TGYMT." As his brand gained more notoriety locally, he began to cross paths with other local influencers most notably Molly Wilkins. Christopher Rice is the founder of Rice Tech LLC in Macon. Rice Tech LLC is a tech development company that focuses on creating affordable innovative products that save people time! Chris comes from an extensive background in sales and management and was awarded a Fellowship through the Mercer Innovation Center. He also believes in creating a sense of community by working with and educating small businesses to build each other up! Moderated by Andrew Eck: Andrew Eck is a curious entrepreneur whose passion for the arts inspired a company that blends the traditions of historic manufacturing with the flares of modern industrial design. As one of the nation’s premiere young specialty manufacturers, Andrew Eck has worked tirelessly in his local community of Macon, Georgia to build an organization that supplies local and national demand for premium artisan furniture. As a local business leader, Andrew utilizes his passion for creation to lead various organizations throughout his community ranging from Music to Public Education. To create sustainable artisan crafted furnishings that speaks to the soul of the sophisticated consumer by exporting the history, culture, and experience of the South. Tasteful designs, timeless furnishings. Georgia Artisan
  • 5:00 – 6:00: Pitch Event
    5:00 – 5:30 pm: Pitch It Like you Mean It: Asking Others for Money Speaker Bio: Stephanie Howard earned her M.B.A from Wesleyan College and her B.B.A with a concentration in Marketing from Tennessee State University. She has over 15 years of professional marketing and sales experience, and is highly trained in the areas of advanced marketing strategies, communication, strategic planning, project and product management, and advertising. She is also an experienced Marketing Consultant/Contractor, and serves on numerous community boards. 5:30 – 6:00 pm: “Pitch Contest” voting on by audience We will be giving away $1,000 to the pitch that wins the audience vote!
  • 5:30 pm: Pitch Competition
    “Pitch Contest” voting on by audience We will be giving away money to the pitch that wins the audience vote!
  • 6:30 pm: End of Event / Networking
    Thank you for joining Macon Startup Week 2021!
  • 6:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Daymond John
    Daymond John Founder & CEO of FUBU Star of ABC’s Shark Tank CEO of The Shark Group, consulting agency An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his operation into the basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, and he has received over 35 awards including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award and, most recently, was named #4 on LinkedIn’s Top 20 Voices, a list of the top influencers in the U.S. worth following to get inspired and stay informed! His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm The Shark Group offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world’s top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions. John is also an author of four best-selling books including his New York Times best-selling books, The Power of Broke (2016) and Rise and Grind (2018). In March 2020, John will release his sixth book, Powershift, that walks through his tried and true process of how to transform any situation, close any deal and achieve any outcome through his own experience and vast network of industry leaders. Finally, he’s celebrating his 12th season on ABC’s hit business show Shark Tank by acclaimed producer Mark Burnett. It has now gone on to win four Emmys and millions of weekly viewers tune into the show as John demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights. Moderated by Christopher Rice: Christopher Rice is the founder of Rice Tech LLC in Macon. Rice Tech LLC is a tech development company that focuses on creating affordable innovative products that save people time! Chris comes from an extensive background in sales and management and was awarded a Fellowship through the Mercer Innovation Center. He also believes in creating a sense of community by working with and educating small businesses to build each other up!
  • 8 – 8:30: coffee and networking
    8 am – 6:30 pm Georgia Sports Hall of Fame | 301 Cherry St, Macon, GA 31201 8 – 8:30: coffee and networking

Register for Score: 6th Annual

Speaker in front of a Crowd

May 6th
Startup Macon: Business Summit

Mercer

Innovation

Center

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