Programs & Events

Sponsored Programs & Events

Join a vibrant, diverse, supportive community of female entrepreneurs and leaders while kick-starting your future.

ALL events are open to all gender identities. Please join us in community. 

Upcoming Programs & Events

SP2021 // SHEreads #2: Cowgirl Power by Gay Gaddis

 

April 29, 2021 // 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Registration OPEN

GAY GADDIS: FOUNDER. AUTHOR. ARTIST. TRAILBLAZER.

We are so excited to announce the launch of SHEreads Cohort #2!
#SHEreads is a self-paced book club with optional guided questions and informal discussion over #Slack. Tune in at the end of the cohort to hear from Gay Gaddis herself, at an exclusive #SHEreads event.

An active spokesperson, artist, and writer, Gaddis is the celebrated author of Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business & Life and is a regular contributor to Forbes and part of Committee of 200 or “C200”, an organization of leading female entrepreneurs and C-suite executives.
Follow Gay Gaddis @GayGaddis

4/13 SHEspeaks: Ideation with Doreen Lorenzo

April 13, 2021

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. // Virtual Event

Registration OPEN

TOPIC: Ideation

SPEAKER: Doreen Lorenzo

In partnership with the LaunchPad at UT Austin, the SHEspeaks series aims to equip both students to join the modern workforce (helping them to better adapt to the evolving nature of work) and those wanting to start their own businesses. The series will do this by teaching the entrepreneurial mindset: a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.

 

SHEspeaks will target students who are somewhat curious about entrepreneurship but do not have an idea yet, do not have access to entrepreneurial tools that require them to be farther along in their journey, etc.
4/14 Diversity/Inclusion in Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem -- NEW DATE

 

April 14, 2021 — NEW DATE

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. // Virtual Event

Registration OPEN

Powered by McCombs School of Business & Kendra Scott WEL Institute

The 2021 Diversity and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship summit will provide UT students and the greater Austin community insight on ways entrepreneurs from underserved communities can successfully launch entrepreneurial ventures utilizing the support of the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Join the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center, John Brumley Texas Venture Labs, Social Innovation Initiative, the Entrepreneurship Minor, and the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute for this important and empowering evening.

4/20 SHEspeaks: Customer Discovery with Jan Ryan

April 20, 2021

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. // Virtual Event

Registration OPEN

TOPIC: Customer Discovery

SPEAKER: Jan Ryan

In partnership with the LaunchPad at UT Austin, the SHEspeaks series aims to equip both students to join the modern workforce (helping them to better adapt to the evolving nature of work) and those wanting to start their own businesses. The series will do this by teaching the entrepreneurial mindset: a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.
 
SHEspeaks will target students who are somewhat curious about entrepreneurship but do not have an idea yet, do not have access to entrepreneurial tools that require them to be farther along in their journey, etc.
4/27 SHEspeaks: Persuasive Communication with Dr. Melissa Murphy

April 27, 2021

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. // Virtual Event

Registration OPEN

TOPIC: Persuasive Communication

SPEAKER: Dr. Melissa Murphy 

In partnership with the LaunchPad at UT Austin, the SHEspeaks series aims to equip both students to join the modern workforce (helping them to better adapt to the evolving nature of work) and those wanting to start their own businesses. The series will do this by teaching the entrepreneurial mindset: a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.

 

SHEspeaks will target students who are somewhat curious about entrepreneurship but do not have an idea yet, do not have access to entrepreneurial tools that require them to be farther along in their journey, etc.
4/30 Empower Hour: Hot Takes for a Cool Career with Dr. Melissa Murphy

 

April 30, 2021

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. // Virtual Event

REGISTRATION OPEN

Join the KS WEL Institute AAB for “Hot Takes for a Cool Career.”

Hear from Dr. Melissa Murphy, founder of The Pitch Academy & McCombs School of Business lecturer, on her entrepreneurial story and advice to her younger self on networking, putting yourself out there and using your voice confidently.

10/20 Female Founder Pitch Competition -- APPLY BY 5/31

 

October 20, 2021 

APPLY NOW

The Female Founder Pitch Competition showcases emerging businesses and technologies that are paving the way to have a significant impact on the world. Open to all UT Austin undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, alumnae, and startup ecosystem women-founders, this startup competition aims to highlight innovation happening in the heart of Texas. #KSxPitch2021

This pitch competition is open to all gender identities. 

Empowered by the Texas Innovation Center

Past Programs & Events

SHEspeaks: Effective Decision Making with Professor Jessica Ciarla

April 6, 2021

TOPIC: Effective Decision Making
SPEAKER: Professor Jessica Ciarla

In partnership with the LaunchPad at UT Austin, the SHEspeaks series aims to equip both students to join the modern workforce (helping them to better adapt to the evolving nature of work) and those wanting to start their own businesses. The series will do this by teaching the entrepreneurial mindset: a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.

SHEspeaks will target students who are somewhat curious about entrepreneurship but do not have an idea yet, do not have access to entrepreneurial tools that require them to be farther along in their journey, etc.
Empower Hour: Balancing Purpose and Profit in Your Company

 

March 29, 2021

 

Join the AAB to find the balance in purpose and profit for your company.

 

Vaishali started her career nearly 20 years ago as a Consultant with the Gallup Organization where she used the organization’s powerful Q12 and StrengthFinders assessments to help clients cultivate strong and engaged leaders and cultures. After receiving her M.B.A, Vaishali moved to Washington, D.C to work in learning and development for two professional services firms. She then accepted a role at Whole Foods Market and was excited about the opportunity to marry her professional and personal passions.  At Whole Foods Market, Vaishali worked on a variety of learning and talent management programs including deploying its first competency model, co-producing its inaugural Team Member Innovation Challenge, facilitating Global and Regional strategic planning and stakeholder summits, and launching the learning program for WFM’s new store concept, 365 by Whole Foods Market. Vaishali loves working for a purpose-driven organization and am excited to help companies create purpose-driven organizations and leaders.

SHEspeaks: Intro to Entrepreneurial Mindset + SHEspeaks Series with Lesley Robinson & Nina Ho

March 30, 2021

TOPIC: Intro to Entrepreneurial Mindset + SHEspeaks Series
SPEAKERS: Lesley Robinson & Nina Ho

In partnership with the LaunchPad at UT Austin, the SHEspeaks series aims to equip both students to join the modern workforce (helping them to better adapt to the evolving nature of work) and those wanting to start their own businesses. The series will do this by teaching the entrepreneurial mindset: a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.

SHEspeaks will target students who are somewhat curious about entrepreneurship but do not have an idea yet, do not have access to entrepreneurial tools that require them to be farther along in their journey, etc.

A New Era of Entrepreneurship

March 30, 2021

Join the KS WEL Institute & the Moody College of Communication to learn from female entrepreneurs located in Silicon Hills, Valley, and Beach as they share their startup journeys. Hear these young industry leaders’ perspectives on the Silicon hubs, how these networks expanded during the pandemic, the best ways to start a business during and after COVID-19, and how to pinpoint entrepreneurial opportunities.
This event will be live-streamed on Twitch.

International Women's Day // Virtual Celebration

 

March 8, 2021 

Join the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute in a virtual celebration of International Women’s Day 2021. This year, we’re joining the IWD Community in encouraging the world to choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements while challenging gender bias and inequality.

Tune in to our FREE virtual celebration and hear from some of today’s leading female voices from the business community and across the University of Texas at Austin. Join for a very special announcement from Kendra herself!

The International Women’s Day virtual celebration is open to all gender identities. We invite you to join us in community as we #ChooseToChallenge. #KSxIWD2021

DWEN Empower Hour: Pitching for the Win

February 24, 2021
12:00 p.m. 

Powered by Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN)

Expert’s Title: Precious L. Williams, #KillerPitchMaster & Founder – Perfect Pitches by Precious

Precious Williams, a 13-time national business elevator pitch champion, also featured on “Shark Tank,” Forbes Magazine, CNN and more, will share with you the tips and tricks you need to become a #killerpitchmaster in all realms. Ready to finally gain media attention, investor dollars and/or secure opportunities others cannot even fathom? This session is for YOU!

Have you ever met the full-figured diva who has taken the business world by storm and won BIG? Well, now you have! Precious L. Williams, affectionately known as the #KillerPitchMaster, can help you #slayallcompetition with her “killer” elevator pitches, media pitches, and investor pitches. Precious is a world-class master communicator who works with successful entrepreneurs and speakers and helps them take their professional pitching and speaking skills to the next level. With over 25 years of experience in creating unique speaking and public speaking techniques, Williams is also known for her innovative training programs and services to her clients and sales teams at Fortune 100 companies. These companies include Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, eBay, etc.

As a 13-time national business elevator pitch champion, Williams has been on top television shows and publications for her pitching, branding, and professional speaking skills. She was featured on Season 8 of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Forbes Magazine, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, the movie, “LEAP,” as well as several others around the world. Learn more: https://www.perfectpitchesbyprecious.com.

Empower Hour: Investing Basics and Being Smart with your Money

 

February 22, 2021 

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Join the AAB and learn the basics of investing and being smart with your money with Stephanie Xenos, Founder of Money Muse.

Stephanie Xenos is a millennial women’s personal finance expert, specializing in investing and financial independence. Stephanie founded Money Muse in 2018 to help women find peace of mind, chase inspiration, and live a sparkly life! Stephanie speaks at events, women’s groups, and conferences around the US, as well as works with women one on one as a financial coach. At the intersection of finance and feminism, Money Muse promotes financial literacy and independence as a means to achieving gender equality. Stephanie reached financial independence and retired from a career in rocket science at 32.

For more info on Stephanie, check out themoneymuse.co and follow her on Instagram @money__muse.

DWEN Empower Hour: Pitch Deck Basics

February 10, 2021 

Powered by Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN)

Expert’s Title: Allison Byers, Founder & CEO Scroobious

Discover strategies for structuring your pitch from founder Allison Byers who has raised nearly $10m for her startups. She is now committed to helping underserved founders get in front of the right investors with the right message.

Bio: Scroobious is a woman-owned company building a video-based platform for diverse startups including Black, Latinx, women, LGBTQ+, and veteran founders to be discovered by and connected to angels, venture capitalists, and corporate investors. Current sourcing channels leave investors missing out on great deals and diverse founders without the money they need. We’re looking to change that with a human-first fundraising experience.

Allison is an MBA with 15+ years’ experience building and leading startups across multiple industries. She has deep experience utilizing data to understand human behavior, strategic planning, fundraising, and product management. Her model for building a clear and concise investor-ready pitch deck has been published in Business Insider and she is a frequent pitching advisor and mentor. Allison throws her full passion and grit into whatever she’s trying to achieve along with a healthy dose of humor. You gotta laugh.

Empower Hour: What It Means to be a Female Leader

January 25, 2021 

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Presented by the Kendra Scott WEL Institute Alumnae Advisory Board (AAB). 

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required. Students of all gender identities are welcome.

Learn about what it means to be a female leader from Cindy Lo ’98, Founder & CEO of RED VELVET

Presenter: Cindy Lo ’98

When Cindy Lo started RED VELVET 18 years ago, she did so with the mission to Outplan, Outplay and Outparty! RED VELVET is a boutique creative events and experiences agency helping global brands ideate, design and execute their vision since 2002. During this pandemic, she has pivoted their team to own the virtual and hybrid world. Cindy is a recent author of Behind the Red Velvet Curtain. Connect with RED VELVET on all the major social media channels (@REDVELVETEVENTS) to see behind the scenes of what event life is like at RED VELVET. Cindy calls Austin, Texas home with her husband of 16 years, their 2 children and Darwin their French Bull Dog.

Women's Summit 2020 // Virtual Experience
The Kendra Scott WEL Institute presents Women's Summit

November 17, 2020 

Check out the Post-Summit Virtual Experience on our website here

This FREE event is a virtual celebration and conversation for courageous, creative female leaders looking to change the world. Hear from Austin entrepreneur and WEL Institute founder, Kendra Scott, and other powerful women as they offer their wisdom and guidance to this exclusive audience. Register now, and you’ll have access to mentor matching, curated content, exclusive giveaways, and more! 

Empower Hour: Finding Mentors in the Startup Space
November 30, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Presented by the Kendra Scott WEL Institute Alumnae Advisory Board (AAB). 

Join AAB as we share about the importance of finding mentors within the startup space. Surrounding yourself with people who will empower you and encourage you as a young professional can be crucial to growth. Learn more about how you can find key mentors as you launch your career.

Presenter: Sara Wadud ’18

Sara is the founder and CEO of tkoor, which is a start-up where you can rent and have access to designer South Asian clothing, while also empowering and helping women in the garments industry in South Asia. Sara graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014, as an Archer Fellow she lived and worked in Washington D.C. and worked for the Obama administration. In 2018 she graduated from the LBJ School of Public Affairs from UT Austin with a master’s in global policy studies with a focus on disenfranchised communities. Her career began in philanthropy and in the non-profit sector where she helped organizations grow and scale, and then she made the leap to start-ups.

Empower Hour: Tips for Picking a Team for your Next Startup
October 26, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Kendra Scott WEL Institute Alumnae Advisory Board (AAB). 

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required. Students of all gender identities are welcome.

Join AAB as we share about the importance of picking the right team. Specifically, we will explore some key things to consider when picking a team for your next startup and how having the right team in the work place can help contribute to your success. Our guest speaker, Dana Such, will provide her insight and expertise.

Presenter: Dana Such ’07

Dana Such has over a decade of focused experience in audience development across media, e-commerce and nonprofit sectors—from legacy brands to growth-stage startups. Her career began at Texas Monthly and includes roles as Vice President of membership and marketing, reporting to CEOs and managing multi-million dollar budgets.

Dana founded Squeezed Consulting to help businesses and nonprofits squeeze the most out of their marketing operations to effectively grow their audiences and revenue. Squeezed Consulting specializes in strategic audience development across four pillars: acquisition, engagement, retention and monetization of quality consumer and donor bases to maximize organizations’ financial health and overall impact.

DWEN Virtual Summit – Powering Forward

October 15, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

The Kendra Scott WEL Institute is a proud supporter of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN).

Join DWEN online from anywhere to hear stories of resilience, inspiration, determination, and strength.  DWEN brings you keynote speakers including tennis powerhouse, Venus Williams, renowned fashion artist, Katie Rodgers, and the digital literacy pioneer, Kathryn Parsons.  This summit will leave you inspired, informed, and energized to Power Forward through your own journey. Attend breakout sessions and networking opportunities lead by thought leaders and experts in their fields to help you get to the solutions you need for your most pressing IT and business challenges. Get ready to share ideas with leaders, innovators, and other founders just like you. #DWEN #DellSmallBiz

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network Logo

LaunchPad Startup Weekend Southwest: Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

October 2-4, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Spend a weekend working on an idea, expanding opportunities, and building community with other female and non-binary LaunchPad students!

This virtual event is FREE and open to current UT students only. A UT student ID is required.
Students of all gender identities are welcome.

Are you a student in a Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars entrepreneurship program?

Do you have an idea you’d like to pursue or a problem you’d like to solve but don’t know where to start or who to start with?

The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

 In Partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad Powered by Techstars at UT Austin

Fundraising for Female Founders

September 30, 2020

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Workshop to empower female UT students and build confidence in their understanding of what it means to financially sustain a company. 

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required.

Students of all gender identities are welcome.

This virtual workshop by the Kendra Scott Women’s Leadership Institute and campus partner, Blackstone LaunchPad Powered by Techstars at UT Austin (The LaunchPad), will help students build confidence in their understanding of what it means to financially sustain a company with an emphasis on the female perspective.

By demystifying concepts such as venture capital, angel investor, bootstrapping, non-profit development, and crowdfunding, students will leave feeling better educated about startup finances and more confident in their exploration of entrepreneurship.

The workshop will feature two panels of investors and entrepreneurs (with female-focused brands) talking about fundraising basics as well as the nuances of what it means to fundraise as a woman. A community showcase will follow.

This event will be hosted on Hopin.

// Panel #1

 

// Panel #2

 

// About the Organizers 

 

In Partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad Powered by Techstars at UT Austin

Empower Hour: Case Interview Tips & Women in Consulting

September 28, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Presented by the Kendra Scott WEL Institute Alumnae Advisory Board (AAB). 

The AAB will walk participants through a sample case interview and share useful tips about navigating interviews from consulting firms. This is a great opportunity to hear from women in the consulting space and meet others interested in this career path.

Presenters:

Manjula Andukuri ’20

Manjula Andukuri ’20 is an Incoming Associate at BCG. Manjula graduated from UT with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Cockrell in 2020. Majula is an incoming Associate with BCG and will be joining their Austin office. During her time at UT, she was involved with Genesis, Student Consulting Initiative, Texas Raas, and more.

Hannah Fawcett ’20 

Hannah ’20 is an Incoming Technology Advisory Consultant at Pwc. Hannah graduated from UT with a degree in Supply Chain Management from McCombs in 2020. She is an incoming technology advisory consultant with Pwc and enjoys eating lucky charms, traveling, and collecting Pokemon cards.

Cara Simon ’18

Cara Simon ’18 is a Senior Technology Analyst at Accenture. Cara graduated from UT with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 2018. She moved to Washington, DC, and began her career with Accenture in July 2018. Cara loves watching Netflix, reading, and doing spin classes (virtually now). She is currently living in Houston to spend time with family while working remotely.

Female Empowerment Through Mentorship
March 5, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. p.m. // First Floor, Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA)

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required.
Students of all gender identities are welcome.

The third workshop of the Kendra Scott Women’s Leadership Institute will educate students on the value of mentorship in their careers and lives and help them make meaningful connections with industry professionals.

The workshop will kick off with a fireside chat between Molly Joseph, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Global, and Tom Nolan, president of Kendra Scott. A “speed dating” session between students and industry mentors will follow.

This workshop is capped at 100 students. RSVP is required, and attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Personal Branding for Female Entrepreneurs
October 24, 2019
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. // Kendra Scott Home Office

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required.
Students of all gender identities are welcome.

The Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute workshops are produced by the Blackstone LaunchPad at UT with support from the College of Fine Arts to further our shared mission of empowering all students — especially women — to recognize the leaders and entrepreneurs that lie within.

Our first workshop is on personal branding and how to effectively communicate your unique values, skills and strengths to position yourself as a leader in work and in life. Female mentors from Kendra Scott and Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network will be present to connect with students and talk about their career journeys and backgrounds. Representatives from UT career services teams will also be present.

There will be two speaker panels with accomplished female leaders and entrepreneurs to share their stories and insights on personal branding:

Panel One

4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Kendra Scott, Designer, CEO & Philanthropist
Liz Matthews, Senior Vice President Global Brand and Experiential at Dell Technologies
Erin Condren, Founder of Erin Condren Design
Moderator: Cheryl Mills Knight, VP of Brand and Innovation at Kendra Scott

Panel Two

5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Raeka Panda, Founder of Raeka Beauty
Evelyn from the Internets, Humor Writer & Digital Storyteller
Rochelle Rae, Founder of Rae Cosmetics
Moderator: Nina Ho, Assistant Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at UT

During the workshop, boost your personal brand by visiting a makeup booth and skincare station, pick up customized planners and calendars, and learn about social media strategies. Free headshots will be available for the first 75 attendees.

Due to venue capacity, entrance is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

Creativity in Entrepreneurship
February 5, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. // The Foundry, Fine Arts Library, Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA)

This event is for current UT students only. A UT student ID is required.
Students of all gender identities are welcome.

The second workshop of the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute will equip students with ideation skills to support their entrepreneurial journeys.

In this hands-on design thinking workshop led by Jan Ryan, Executive Director of Creative Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Fine Arts, Doreen Lorenzo, Assistant Dean of the School of Design and Creative Technologies, and mentors from the Blackstone LaunchPad, Kendra Scott and Dell Technologies, will teach students to connect the dots between creativity and entrepreneurship.

Due to the nature of this hands-on workshop, participation is capped at 100 students.

 

Doug Dempster

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