HOUSTON, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Circular Board, named the fastest growing accelerator for women entrepreneurs, announced today the second Circular Summit, a convening of high-growth female founders, mentors, investors and media. Centered on the theme of getting real in order to create a stronger, bolder, more open ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, Circular Summit (March 30-31, 2017, in Houston at Hotel ZaZa) will be an action-oriented series of workshops, panels and TED-style talks led by some of the country's most successful women and supportive men in business.
"Circular Board was created to serve as a conduit between women entrepreneurs and the resources they need to achieve smart and fast growth. We know from the women we serve, and as entrepreneurs ourselves, that access to capital, knowledge and mentorship are at the top of the needs list, and we help link them to those critical resources," said Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO, Circular Board, and co-chair, Circular Summit.
"The Circular Board virtual accelerator reaches hundreds of female founders on six continents each year through the open roads of technology. It's magic – with a strong shot of hard work – to watch the participants grow throughout and after the 12-week program. Circular Summit is our opportunity to take these conversations and this connectedness offline and into live action," she added.
"If women were allowed to participate equally in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the United States GDP alone could rise by $30 billion. Worldwide, women also reinvest 90% of their income back into their communities. Women entrepreneurs are an incredible bet for global growth and problem solving, and we're committed to seeing that potential realized," said Elizabeth Gore, Dell entrepreneur-in-residence and Circular Summit co-chair.
Circular Board also announced today that applications are open for Pitch with Purpose, a global pitch competition for women entrepreneurs whose companies embrace the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit and support the resolution of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Qualified companies must have at least one female founder or female CEO and be fully operational. All entries must be received by February 15, 2017. The winner of a cash prize, mentorship and Dell technology suite will be announced at Circular Summit.
"At a time when global challenges need everyone to bring solutions to the table, we welcome the entrepreneurial drive and perspective of this remarkable community. We at the United Nations Foundation know that sustainable development for a more peaceful, prosperous world starts with engaging with people who are at the forefront of innovation and who know how to make a business thrive in an ever-changing, more connected world," said Aaron Sherinian, chief communications and marketing officer, United Nations Foundation, and Circular Summit emcee. We look forward to joining the Circular Board's convening and learning from the solutions that these pitches and connections bring to the global conversation."
Speakers slated for Circular Summit include:
Jesse Draper, founding partner, Halogen Ventures
Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder, Stella & Dot Family Brands
"At its core, Stella & Dot is a company that inspires and invites women to become the leaders of their lives through entrepreneurship. Events, like Circular Summit, make it clear that I'm not alone in wanting to see more women succeed — this is a chance for us to talk about the real issues and how we can band together to help other founders reach their goals and beyond," said Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder, Stella & Dot Family Brands.
Circular Summit is made possible through partnerships with Dell, Johnson & Johnson and Urban Decay Cosmetics.
Other presenters scheduled for the event include: Alejandro Cremades, Janet Gurwitch, Tiffany Pham, JJ Ramberg, Katlin Smith, Asish Thakkar and Kimberly Weisul. Additional speakers will be unveiled soon.
Circular Board is a virtual accelerator for female entrepreneurs who lead, or aspire to build, hyper-growth businesses. We support women in business around the world through mentorship, content, community and capital, and connect founders to the resources they need to scale. For more information, visit www.thecircularboard.com.
About the Co-Chairs:
Three-time Latina entrepreneur Carolyn Rodz founded Circular Board to help other women entrepreneurs think bigger and bolder, access resources and connect with a network of peers, experts, investors and media. She has helped raise billions of dollars of capital for innovative organizations and created a luxury retail line that sold in more than 400 stores worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Harrod's and Blommingdales. Later, she launched a global marketing firm that supported specialty product launches within Fortune 500 enterprises and startups positioning themselves for industry leadership.
Carolyn now serves as an advocate for women entrepreneurs as CEO and founder of Circular Board. She is recognized among Entrepreneur's 2016 "Women to Watch," as a Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneur and Micro to Millions awardee in partnership with American Express. Carolyn is a delegate to the United Nations Foundation Global Accelerator, a member of the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network and influencer network, TEDx speaker, former student board member for the Texas A&M Mays College of Business and contributor to major media publications, including Entrepreneur, Fortune, Huffington Post, Inc. and more. She lives in Houston with her husband, Oliver, and two sons.
Elizabeth Gore is the entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell, where she drives initiatives that support Dell's goals around helping small and medium businesses scale and prosper, fueling the expansion of global entrepreneurship to create jobs that will drive the world economy. Elizabeth is an advisor to Circular Board, in addition to startups like ride share commuting company Scoop, online and mobile fundraising platform Classy and innovative water company SOMA.
She is the Emeritus Chair of the United Nations Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council that builds global partnerships that positively affect the UN's most pressing humanitarian issues. Elizabeth previously served as the first-ever Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the United Nations Foundation, as well as vice president of global partnerships, where she founded strategic grassroots efforts, such as Nothing But Nets, Girl Up and [email protected]
A former United States Peace Corps volunteer serving in Bolivia, South America, and World Champion Equestrian, Elizabeth was named by People as one of the Top 100 Extraordinary Women and is one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business. She has been featured on numerous media outlets, including, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX Business, Fast Company, Fortune, Glamour, Entrepreneur, People and Time.Elizabeth currently serves on the leadership council of Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and resides in Sonoma County with her husband James Gore, a California elected official, and two hilarious children.