The NC State Jenkins MBA Student Association (MBASA) in partnership with university and business partners, hosted its inaugural Innovative Women Conference October 23-24. The conference, spearheaded by the MBASA women leadership, drew more than 100 women — from university students to Triangle area businesswomen — to focus on the topics of women in business innovation, science, technology and entrepreneurship.
The conference began with a welcome reception at HQ Raleigh, a shared workspace for innovators and entrepreneurs. The unique space and inclusion of Triangle-area women’s organizations like Society for Women Environmental Professionals and Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association set the tone for Friday’s discussions.
Friday featured keynote speaker DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people office of Red Hat. Her talk on “Building Resilience for Innovation” was met with a warm reception. Additional opportunities for attendees included a workshop on “Creativity in Leadership,” a “Leadership in Sustainability” panel and entrepreneurship-oriented sessions ranging from “Girls who Brew” to “Funding for Entrepreneurs.” A full list of sessions and speakers are on the Innovative Women website.
“I’m over the moon about the success of our first-ever conference focused on women in innovation. There are a lot of great women’s conferences and organizations, and we wanted to create something that was true to the NC State brand and mission — I think we’ve done that,” said Claire Jefferies, assistant director of Jenkins MBA Student Services and conference advisor.
“A lot of people and organizations came together to make this happen. We want to especially thank our phenomenal speakers, partners, sponsors and donors, including e51, Triangle Women for Success, Dear Kate, Ladyfingers Catering, Zoe’s Kitchen, HQ Raleigh, Growler Grlz, Raleigh Brewing Company, Bombshell Brewing, Barre Up, the NC State Poole College Sustainability Initiative and The Borough,” said Jefferies.
A portion of the event’s proceeds were donated for Triangle Women for Success, and participants were encouraged to bring gently used business clothing and accessories to the conference for donations.