Events to shine light on women entrepreneurs at Iowa State


Taylor Hagie/Iowa State Daily

Diana Wright, marketing and program coordinator for the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, talks to Michael Seymour, senior in mechanical engineering, about the entrepreneurship opportunities offered through the ISU Pappajohn Center on Oct. 15, 2018, in Parks Library. This event took place during Women Entrepreneurship Week, where different entrepreneurship activities happened on campus.

Logan Metzger

This week, events across Iowa State will focus on two things — women and business.

From Oct. 19 to 26, Iowa State joins more than 150 universities and colleges around the world in celebration of “Women Entrepreneurship Week”.

This will be the second year Iowa State takes part in the global initiative, according to Diana Wright, a program coordinator for the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Really it is a week all across the world to help celebrate women entrepreneurs and also support women entrepreneurs,” Wright said.

Wright said Iowa State did not create the global initiative, but simply takes part in it.

“I think this week is important for many reasons,” Wright said. “One, it allows people to see that women are creating value in their communities, particularly in a field where you don’t see a lot of women. Entrepreneurship and the start-up world is still dominated by male-dominated start-ups and businesses. So this is actually a week to help celebrate the many different ways that women are contributing as well as [to] connect them with support.”

As part of the global initiative Wright said there are many events on and off campus available to students.

From noon to 2 p.m. Monday outside the main entrance of Parks Library will be the first event, “Start Something While at Iowa State.”

This event will feature a booth hosted by the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and will be run by staff from the Pappajohn Center. The staff will be there to answer one-on-one questions from students about how to become entrepreneurs while still at Iowa State.

From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Parks Library room 198 will be the next event, “Women Who Create Student Panel.”

This event will be a panel discussion with women entrepreneurs on “why they create.” The event is open to the public, not just Iowa State students, faculty and staff.

The panel will consist of four student women entrepreneurs and will be moderated by Wright herself.

“Thursday is really unique,” Wright said. “We will have a full day conference called ‘Women Who Create’ and it is actually for women entrepreneurs in Iowa, so not just the Iowa State campus community, but really we will have women from all across Iowa who will be attending.”

From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Economic Development Core Facility in the ISU Research Park will be the next event, “Women Who Create Conference.”

According to Wright, the “Women Who Create Conference” will bring together women entrepreneurs, women business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals of all genders who support women entrepreneurs for a full day of workshops and speakers aimed at growing their businesses.

Registration is $59 for the conference and is limited to the first 50 people who register.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Economic Development Core Facility in the ISU Research Park will be the final event, “SheTalks.”

Following the “Women Who Create Conference” will be a community cocktail reception that will kick off by showcasing six “SheTalks” presentations.

The idea for a “SheTalk” was taken from the Japanese-inspired PechaKucha, a presentation style where each presenter shows 20 slides, each for 20 seconds, according to the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship website. All of the six speakers will be women and will be speaking around the theme: “Women Who Create.”

“This week builds off of what Iowa State and the university as a whole is doing to support entrepreneurship,” Wright said. “Whether it is supporting people that start businesses, but it is also teaching the entrepreneurial mindset. I think it does kind of put our foot down in saying we want to see more women increasing the different values that they do.”