Mamie Kuykendall at the Knoxville News Sentinel writes, “The . . . Mad, Bad and Dangerous conference held in Knoxville . . . [recently] drew several hundred entrepreneurial-spirited women and girls together for encouragement, advice and competition.
Three nationally known keynote speakers, hailing from around the country, told their personal stories and shared information on how to become a powerful businesswoman in the modern world.
Hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, the five-hour conference took place at the Southern Railway Station on Depot Avenue. The goal was to boost women in business by teaching them to leave expectations behind and equip themselves with information and connections to help break into the worlds of business and technology.”
[Kukendall’s full article to be found here.]
The seed of Mad, Bad and Dangerous was planted by Girls Preparatory School Head of School Dr. Autumn Adkins Graves in 2014. She challenged the all-girls school to be a place where Chattanooga-area women could discover the resources necessary for an entrepreneurial journey and find support from local and national experts. After all, she reasoned, Girls Preparatory School was founded by three women, social entrepreneurs, who wanted girls to have equal access to a college preparatory education. The conference, designed to establish the female voice in technology, startups, and business, was built upon that legacy.
The Mad, Bad, and Dangerous conference was itself “created to establish the female voice, in technology, startups, and business.” This year it drew more than 500 participants who lunched with Lori Greiner of Shark Tank, listened to TED-style keynotes, participated in workshops, and discussed entrepreneurship for women.
This year, PEF, CO.LAB, and Girls Preparatory School hosted 40 female high school juniors and seniors from the US Southeast in an overnight lock-in event, the 24-hour Generator. While locked in, the women listen to local business people who present a problem or issue that, in teams of three-to-five participants from various schools, the young women solve as entrepreneurs. The teams then pitch their ideas for 3 minutes each. Judges decide which team solutions work best and award a cash prize.
Then there’s the Learning Blade Tech Tinkering Lab. Conference attendees get to handle all the latest tech building materials in the lab: 3D printing, graphic design, and more. The conference marketplace features products built by and backed by businesses owned by women and girls. Vendors included LuLaRoe, Dish T’Pass, and girl-owned Hearts4Hands.
No news yet on next year’s conference, but keep checking here for more information.