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Screen Shot 2019 11 07 at 9.24.32 PM

Women Entrepreneurs Aren’t Forgotten During Louisville’s First Techstars Startup Week

LOUISVILLE, KY. — The Louisville Entrepreneur Acceleration Partnership (LEAP), a public-private partnership that aims to amplify the Louisville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, has teamed up with local entrepreneur Michael DiCenso and 10 other innovators to host the first-ever Techstars Startup Week in Louisville. The free event, hosted from Nov. 11-15, is focused on helping entrepreneurs and innovators gain new skills and get startups off the ground, learn from other founders and experts, and celebrate entrepreneurship.  

A number of women entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the startup ecosystem will be on hand to lend their voices, ideas and experiences to Startup Week.

“Our community has stepped up in a big way and it’s incredible to see such a high level of entrepreneurial activities happening in our own backyard,” said Patrick Henshaw, CEO of LEAP. “This event is one of the ways we are working to accelerate the number of startups in the Louisville area, and to help put the greater Louisville region on the map for entrepreneurship. We want our area to be a go-to destination for entrepreneurs and events like this will greatly help with this effort.” 

Startup Week will consist of more than two dozen events that include panels, workshops, fireside chats and networking events as local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn more about stages of entrepreneurship, trending industries, and diversity, equity and inclusion. The events will be led by entrepreneurs of all stages, angel and venture investors, and entrepreneur support service providers from the bi-state entrepreneurial ecosystem, the national Techstars network, and other cities across the United States.

Here’s just a few women entrepreneurs and experts who will be featured this week:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

  • (8-9:30 a.m.) State of Women in Entrepreneurship
    • Story Louisville, 900 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY (3rd Floor)
    • Who run the world?! Join this panel discussion to hear what the entrepreneurial landscape for females looks like now (and why), ways we might address the gender gap and what we can all do to foster a more inclusive community. Panelists: Natalia Bishop Founder & Happiness Chief of Story Louisville and Level Up; Dr. Angelique Johnson CEO of MEMStim; and Sarah Gardiner, Owner of Nanny Goat Books.
  • (1-2 p.m.) Startup 101: Exploring Entrepreneurship (Separate Registration Required)
    • Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY Ground Floor Computer Lab
    • Learn the basics of starting a business, what you can expect and what resources are available to help you. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

  • (8-9:30 a.m.) Talent, Teams & Things to Know
    • Story Louisville, 900 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY (3rd Floor)
    • This panel discussion brings three distinct perspectives on talent needs, hiring and scaling startups.
    • Panelists: Stacy Griggs, President and CEO of El Toro; Morgan Carrier, Account Manager at TEKSystems; and Paul Goatley, Labor & Employment Attorney at Fischer Phillips.
  • (5:30-6:30 p.m.) Founder Story and Rhinegeist Rosé Ale Bubbles with Alice Shade
    • Maddox & Rose, 900 E. Main Street, Louisville
    • Alice is CEO and co-founder of SentryHealth, a Kentucky based technology-enabled health management company, specializing in creating and delivering clinical programs to improve the health among those with chronic disease. Join this Founder Series event to hear more about her entrepreneurial journey (and to enjoy a free round of Rhinegeist Rosé Ale Bubbles!) 
  • (6-8 p.m.) Network of Entrepreneurial Women: Natalia Bishop
    • Story Louisville, 900 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY (2nd Floor)
    • NEW is a grassroots informal organization for entrepreneurially-minded women – for those just beginning the journey, those bumping along the road, and those who have crossed the finish line and want to keep on going. There is no cost to join NEW. Events are held the second Wednesday evening of every month from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. in a different location. *Cost for tickets.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

  • (9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.) The Do’s and Don’ts of Raising Capital
    • Story Louisville, 900 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY (3rd Floor)
    • Money is the name of the game. We all want it but finding funding can be an ever-elusive endeavor. Join this panel discussion to hear area leaders discuss startup capital and the best ways founders can approach fundraising.
    • Panelists: Kyle Keeney, Entrepreneur in Residence at Elevate Ventures; Scott Jacobs, QCA; Candice Rezvanian, Portfolio Manager at Radicle Capital; and Alan Grosheider, Director at MetroStart.

“It’s great to see this event come together to offer entrepreneurs in our community the network and knowledge they may need to help their startups succeed,” said Michael DiCenso, Event Lead and Holi Gin Co-Founder/COO. “Whether you are an entrepreneur interested in starting a company, or you are going through the process of creating a startup and need help, this week is designed to answer all questions that local innovators may have during the startup process. It’s exciting to see Louisville’s entrepreneurial community continue to grow and have new opportunities to help them succeed.”

Supporters of Startup Week include Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, Techstars, LEAP, BlueSky Capital, The Community Foundation of Louisville, Story Louisville, PNC Bank, Sheltowee Business Network, DMLO CPAs and Facilities Management Services, PBC.

To learn more or to register for Techstars Startup Week, visit

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