College of Business > News & Events > DePaul Co-hosts Global Entrepreneurship Center Conference
By Jaclyn Lansbery | Photos by Kathy Hillegonds /
October 23, 2018 /
Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, welcomes GCEC attendees during the conference's kick-off reception on the DePaul Loop Campus Oct. 19.
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board Member Jim Wicklander, strategic account manager of Lake County Press, talks with attendees at the GCEC Conference welcome reception on DePaul's Loop Campus.
Genevieve Theirs, founder of SitterCity.com and Women in Entrepreneurship Institute commiteee member; DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD; and IIT President Alan W. Cramb prepare to address the opening session of the GCEC Conference Oct. 19.
Driehaus College of Business Dean Misty Johanson and Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Center, attend the GCEC Conference kick-off reception Oct. 19.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Manuel welcomed attendees to the GCEC Conference and discussed the city's extensive entrepreneur ecosystem during the opening session of the conference, which was cohosted by DePaul.
DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, talks with attendees at the GCEC Conference cohosted by DePaul.
Genevieve Theirs, founder of SitterCity.com and member of the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute board, was one of the keynote speakers at the GCEC Conference.
More than 600 entrepreneurship conference leaders from across the world attended the 2018 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Center Conference over the weekend.
Michael W. Hennessy, president & CEO of the Coleman Foundation; Harold Welsch, founder of DePaul's entrepreneurship program; and Coleman Center Executive Director Bruce Leech at the GCEC Conference.
DePaul Management Professor Lisa Gundry; Megan Carver, associate director of the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship at Marquette University; and Livia Bercot, program manager at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, were among speakers at the GCEC Conference.
Coleman Center Assistant Director Abigail Ingram, along with a group of faculty, staff, alumni and WEI board members, led the panel discussion, “Women in Entrepreneurship: The Entrepreneur’s Role at the Center and Launching New Initiatives.”
Assistant Professor of Finance Lamont Black participated in the GCEC conference and led the session, “Blockchain and Entrepreneurship.”
DePaul alumnus Carolyn Leonard, CEO & co-founder, DyMynd and DyMynd Angels; Adjunct Professor of Management Dima Elissa, CEO & Founder, VisMed3D, and co-founder, Symptomatic.io; Valarie King-Bailey, CEO & founder, OnShore Technology Group; Abigail Ingram, who leads WEI and is assistant director of the Coleman center; and JinJa Birkenbeuel, CEO, Birk Creative were among GCEC panelists.
More than 600 entrepreneurship conference leaders from across the world attended the 2018 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Center Conference cohosted by DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and the Illinois Institute of Technology. With a theme of “Entrepreneurship in Chicago: Big City, Big Impact!,” the conference took place on the DePaul and IIT campuses from Oct. 18-20, 2018.
President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with IIT President Alan W. Cramb, welcomed attendees to the conference’s opening session Oct. 19. Driehaus College of Business Dean Misty Johanson introduced the Friday morning keynote speaker, Genevieve Theirs, founder of SitterCity.com and member of a committee of prominent women business leaders who are supporting DePaul’s new Women in Entrepreneurship Institute.
In his speech, Esteban highlighted successful DePaul alumni entrepreneurs who got their start at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, including DePaul alumna Ann Foley. Foley, winner of the Coleman Center’s 2018 Purpose Pitch Competition, co-founded 10th Avenue Tea, which sells a recyclable multi-use tea shaker that eliminates environmentally harmful waste. “She saw a problem and took action, something we hope to instill in all of our students,” Esteban said. “This story is typical of what we expect our Coleman Entrepreneurship Center students to be able to do. Our motto there is: Do good, do well.”
“That’s one of the things we try to do at DePaul,” he continued. “Help our alumni and students try to do good and do well for our community. As a Catholic, Vincentian institution, our greatest hope is for our students to make a positive difference in the world. We want them to succeed with a greater purpose, and that’s what our entrepreneurship center is all about.”
Johanson discussed the launch of WEI and its role in developing the next generation of women entrepreneurs in Chicago.
“Our goal is to create the most comprehensive institute for education, incubation, research and public policy that promotes the success and sustainability of women-owned businesses,” she said.
Other keynote speakers included:
The three-day conference also explored a variety of entrepreneurship education topics through a packed schedule of workshops, panels and facilitated round-table discussions. The topics included the role of social impact in entrepreneurship; the development of entrepreneurship curriculum for future start-up founders; design thinking; global entrepreneurship and more.
DePaul Management Professor Lisa Gundry and Livia Bercot, program manager at the Coleman Center, led a session on “Design Thinking for Innovation in Entrepreneurship Thinking.” Gundry, who teaches courses in creativity and innovation at the business college, discussed the importance of helping students develop ideas based on customer needs.
Coleman Center Assistant Director Abigail Ingram, along with WEI board members, led the panel discussion, “Women in Entrepreneurship: The Entrepreneur’s Role at the Center and Launching New Initiatives.”
Assistant Professor of Finance Lamont Black also participated in the conference and led the session, “Blockchain and Entrepreneurship.” Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative, and Amit Rampurkar, founder of Bitnary, joined Black, who frequently discusses cryptocurrency in his business finance classes.
The conference began with a reception at DePaul that introduced the global convention goers to the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and DePaul’s maker space on the Loop Campus and culminated with the GCEC Awards Ceremony and a reception at the Shedd Aquarium.