2015 Agenda


Oct. 21, 2015 | 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center

7:30 a.m.  |  Pitch Competitor Registration

8 – 10:00 a.m.  |  Pitch Coaching Session

Pitch coaching session facilitated by KSU pitch coaches. Fifty to 60 attendees selected from a pool of applicants will be split into five to six intimate groups for this coaching session. Applications to participate in the pitch coaching session/competition must be submitted prior to the event.


  • Brian Bowles, CEO of Blackwolf Tactical and Kent State University student start-up mentor
  • Craig Zamary, serial entrepreneur and faculty member at Kent State University
  • Denise Easterling, CPA, serial entrepreneur and faculty member at Kent State University
  • Mike Beder, Kent State University graduate and serial entrepreneur
  • Mary Heidler, retail start-up specialist and faculty member at Kent State University
  • Kipp Krukowski, serial entrepreneur and adjunct faculty member at Kent State University

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.  |  Continental Breakfast; Registration and Networking

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.  |  Opening Remarks and Sponsor Thank You’s

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.  |  Wake-Up Session

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.  |  Workshop 1: Social Media: Demystifying the Dark Side with:

Workshop 2: Attracting & Retaining the “Right” Talent with:

  • Lauren Rudman, manager of human resources, Erico, president, Cleveland Society for Human Resources
    • How can a business owner or entrepreneur attract and retain the right talent to their organization?
    • What are the ways to create or improve your talent attraction strategy, training efforts, development opportunities for high performers/potentials, and talent retention across your organization?
  • Kristin Tull, president, Pradco

11:00 – 11:45 a.m.  |  Workshop 3: The Business Model Canvas

  • Katie Van Dyke, director, Small Business Development Center, Cleveland State University

Fireside Chat: The Holistic Approach to Building a Winning Culture

  • Rachel Talton, ceo, Synergy Marketing Strategy and Research Inc.
  • Stacy Feiner, executive coach, author of “Talent Mindset: The Business Owner’s Guide to Building Bench Strength”

Noon – 1:15 p.m.  |  2015 Small Business Convention and FES Keynote Luncheon  |  Introductions by:

Lunch and Keynote Speakers Q&A Session with:

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  |  Panel Discussion: Entrepreneurship  |  Emerging, Striving, Thriving

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Rising Student Entrepreneur Award  |  Presented by Kent State University’s College of Business

3:00 – 4:15 p.m.  |  Pitch Competition

10 Finalists will be chosen to advance to the LIVE Pitch Contest, which will be held in front of the entire FES attendee audience and a panel of judges that include Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss.

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.  |  Closing Remarks, Grand Prize Giveaway, Door Prizes



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