2022 HBCU Entrepreneurship Conference

Hosted by Bowie State University

Building a 21st Century Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

October 6, 2022 9:00AM – 5:00PM

About Us

Join Bowie State University as we host the annual HBCU Entrepreneurship conference, a forum for like-minded faculty, campus and community entrepreneur champions to share best practices, amplify all the great work, connect with colleagues and strengthen our HBCU entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This conference is the second annual hosted by Maryland's oldest historically Black university (HBCU) and it brings exciting opportunities for all participants. The conference features more than 25 interactive sessions and draws hundreds of faculties, administrators, students and business professionals to discuss various topics.

Reputable leaders from HBCUs, business incubators, foundations and other organizations explore ways to foster a culture of imbibing an entrepreneurial mindset, incorporating entrepreneurship in school curriculums, and establishing community partnerships.

Special thanks to Truist, our Presenting Sponsor, for covering the cost of registration for all attendees.

The Top 3 Reasons YOU should attend!

  • It provides an excellent opportunity to connect with peers to share your outstanding research, programming, and/or teaching innovations through the following tracks: A new vision for experiential education in entrepreneurship, Connecting town and gown to maximize opportunities for all, Engagement beyond the business school - building university entrepreneurship ecosystems, and Measuring success in entrepreneurship education.
  • It helps advance entrepreneurship education across our universities and colleges by sharing what universities and colleges are currently doing in the entrepreneurship space and proposing ways to infuse the entrepreneurial mindset in students.
  • It generates engaging feedback on your experiential exercises by discussing lessons learned from using the experiential learning process and tools.

Questions? Email the Entrepreneurship Innovation Center at eic@bowiestate.edu.

Come join us as we strive to infuse and support the spirit of entrepreneurship!


Interested in a sponsorship opportunity? Email Johnetta Hardy at jhardy@bowiestate.edu or Yvette Caldwell at ycaldwell@bowiestate.edu.


President Aminta H. Breaux
Bowie State University

Philip Gaskin
VP of Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Tom Joyner
Retired Media Personality, Reach Media Founder, Tom Joyner Foundation Founder, Entrepreneur

Al Reynolds
Co-Host, Fox Soul's TEA G-I-F, Award-winning Journalist, Business Development Executive

Clifton L. Taulbert
Entrepreneur, Pultizer Nominee, International Lecturer, CEO

Dr. Dianne H.B. Welsh
Author, Entrepreneur, Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Programs at the University of North Carolina Greensboro

Dr. LaTanya White
Founder and Principal Consultant, Concept Creative Group


9:00AM - 9:50AM

Open Plenary

Johnetta Hardy
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Dr. Aminta Breaux
President, Bowie State University
Thomas Ransom
EVP, President, Virginia Region, Truist

Keynote Session

Phil Gaskin
VP of Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Keynote Session

Clifton Taulbert
Entrepreneur, Pulitzer Nominee, International Lecturer, CEO

10:00AM – 11:50AM Breakout sessions available, click Track A, B, C and D above.

12:00PM - 12:50PM

Lunch Plenary

Johnetta Hardy
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Tom Joyner
Retired Media Personality, Reach Media Founder, Tom Joyner Foundation Founder, Entrepreneur
Dr. LaTanya White
Founder & Principal Consultant, Concept Creative Group
Thomas Ransom
EVP, President, Virginia Region, Truist

Keynote Remarks

Dr. Dianne H.B. Welsh
Author, Entrepreneur and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Programs at The University of North Carolina Greensboro.

1:00PM – 3:50PM Breakout sessions available, click Track A, B, C and D above.

4:00PM - 4:50PM

Join Al Reynolds as he interviews celebrity HBCU alumni entrepreneurs.

Al Reynolds & Celebrity Friends
Co-Host, Fox Soul's TEA G-I-F, Award-winning Journalist, Business Development Executive

Join Al Reynolds as he interviews the following celebrity HBCU alumni entrepreneurs: Nikea Gamby-Turner, Kenny Lattimore, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Ruben Studdard. The session will also feature a video presentation from Kym Whitley.

4:50PM - 5:00PM

Closing Remarks

Johnetta Hardy
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Dr. Carl Goodman
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs, Bowie State University
10:00AM - 10:50AM

Experiential Engagement for a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

Dr. Eduardo Haynes
Managing Director, The Well Appointed Group LLC

Experiential education is the cornerstone of teaching in a virtual or in-person environment. The notion of teaching straight from a textbook is not equipping our students at HBCUs with the relevant skills necessary to succeed once they graduate. This session will explore how to incorporate entrepreneurial case studies, speaker series, and increase participation with students. For the past 5 years, Dr. Haynes has used this methodology to equip students in a flipped classroom setting, where they are in the driver's seat of learning about entrepreneurship first-hand. He will discuss ways to leverage your network to create opportunities for exposure to your students.

The HBCU Entrepreneurial Imperative

Bryant C. Mitchell
Associate Professor of Management, University of Maryland Eastern Shore/Department of Business, Management & Accounting

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an alternative role for HBCUs to play in the entrepreneurial and wealth creation process. A 2019 study by McKinsey & Company made the following observation regarding the economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap.

10:51 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00AM - 11:50AM

Closing the Wealth Gap through Entrepreneurship: An Experimental Learning Model

Clarissa J. Sparks
Learning & Development Strategist & Mentor, Sparks + Co., LLC

According to the World Economic Forum, entrepreneurship is an essential life skill every student will need to survive and thrive in the 21st Century. Small businesses have become the engines driving our economy, with new businesses accounting for nearly all new job creation. Yet, one-third of small businesses will fail within their first two years, and fifty percent will fail within five years. Colleges and Universities are now turning to experimental entrepreneurship to produce the next generation of innovators by engaging students in applied learning beyond the classroom. Using the Think Labs experimental learning model, students are encouraged to identify and solve problems in real-world, ambiguous, and resource-constrained circumstances. Think Labs requires interaction, observation, experimentation, and adaptation. It is a participant-centric process that requires curiosity and creativity, critical thinking and practical problem solving, communication, collaboration, and teamwork.

Leveling Up on Experiential Learning

Rebecca Wilson
Instructor of Entrepreneurship, Anheuser-Busch School of Business, Harris-Stowe State University

Harris-Stowe State University brought innovative programming to the classroom. We will share three initiatives that allowed students to experience innovative learning experiences from the classroom to the streets and beyond.

1:00PM - 1:50PM

NASA Technology Transfer University: How NASA Technologies can foster the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Katrina L. Young
NASA Langley Research Center's Technology Transfer Expansion Program Manager

Through NASA's Technology Transfer University (T2U), we're bringing real-world, NASA-proven technologies into the classroom. Business students creating market assessments and business plans can now hone their abilities by working with our high-tech patent portfolio. NASA is providing students with access to public information about patented technologies and webinars featuring NASA scientists and innovators, giving them a unique look into the fine-grained details of the technology they are working on. NASA's T2U program is helping NASA build relationships with innovation hubs around the country, while introducing cutting edge NASA-developed technology to entrepreneurially minded students.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Maryland's Quantum Ecosystem

Piotr Kulczakowicz
Interim Director, Quantum Startup Foundry at the University of Maryland
John Sawyer
Interim Director, Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, University of Maryland

Quantum Startup Foundry (QSF) at the University of Maryland (UMD) is a quantum technology startup accelerator funded in 2021 to spur Maryland quantum technology entrepreneurial ecosystem. QSF offers unmatched opportunities for collaborations between startups, academia and commercial entities to stimulate development of Maryland quantum industry. QSF collaborates with Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, a partnership that brings together academia, government and commercial stakeholders in the region. QSF fills a gap between the academy and the entrepreneurial community as it offers programs for both early and advanced stage startups as well as physical location to set up and grow quantum business in PG County.

1:51 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00PM - 2:50PM

Engaging with NSA under the minority serving institution (MSI) working group collaboration

Karen Presley
Deputy Director, NSA Office of Research and Technology Applications
Dr. Benjamin Harvey
Founder and CEO of AI Squared

We negotiated and developed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) template to agily engage MSIs to conduct research on such topics as Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber security. Bowie State University (BSU) is one of five universities conducting research under this collaboration which enables students (and faculty) to develop solutions for NSA problems and patented technology. The goal is to scale the working group to include more universities and problem sets from other federal agencies, as well as provide resources to incubate, license, and commercialize the federal technologies. I've been in conversations with Google, AWS, Ernst and Young, and Lockheed Martin and have future plans to incorporate these resources in the collaboration.

2:51 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00PM - 3:50PM

Press Play: A Different Approach to Entrepreneurship Education

Kim V Scott
Assistant Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship, Elizabeth City State University

The concept of play has all but been omitted from higher education curriculums. However, as more entrepreneurship educators turn to experiential learning, 'play' should be considered an appropriate teaching strategy to spark creativity and encourage innovation. This presentation will cover different types of ‘play’ and how each can be used in the entrepreneurship classroom.

10:00AM - 10:50AM

Why Access to Capital and Innovative Finance Options are Critical for Minority Businesses

Hanif Omar
Professor, Entrepreneurship Director of Commercial Lending (Piedmont Business Capital)
Dr. LaTanya White
Founder & Principal Consultant, Concept Creative Group
Talib Graves-Mann
Managing Partner, Partners in Equity

Historically, access to capital has been the leading concern of minority-owned businesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) work to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the same remains true. Minority-owned businesses often face challenges in securing business loans from traditional lenders. Issues limiting the flow of capital to minority-owned businesses include the inability of entrepreneurs to demonstrate adequate wealth or to provide collateral or assets (e.g., real estate) against these loans. The growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises is essential for the growth of the overall American business eco-system and economy. To that end, what are some tangible market solutions to the barriers of access to capital that are impediment for MBEs.

The Journey to an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem - Trailblazers Share Their Challenges and Successes

Dr. Hope Liu
Director, Institutional Transformation in Higher Education
Amit Arora
Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, School of Business and Public Administration, University of the District of Columbia
Dr. Kathaleena Edward Monds
Professor, Management Information Systems, Albany State University
Dr. Mahour Parast
Eminent Scholar, Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University

Come find your flavor of inspiration with this expert panel that shares its proven recipes for success within a variety of university ecosystems and funding sources! Each faculty works at a unique institution and has used a distinct approach to broaden their innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. They have leveraged a variety of funding opportunities, including VentureWell Course and Program grants, to further their work on campus.

10:51 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00AM - 11:50AM

Leveraging university-based entrepreneurship centers to advance entrepreneurial outcomes for students, faculty, alumni and community stakeholders

Charles Ross
President and CEO, International Business Innovation Association (INBIA)
June Evans
Executive Director Bowie Business Innovation Center
Mark Quinn
Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, Xavier University of Louisiana
Dr. Ron Williams
Founding Director, Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship, Coppin State University

Over the past several decades, the practice of entrepreneurship in the U.S. has stalled. As thought leaders seek strategies to restore entrepreneurial ecosystems in communities across the U.S., many universities have leveraged the spheres of innovation, talent and place to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. At the intersection of these spheres, university-based entrepreneurship centers have been instrumental in serving the needs of academic innovators and university-affiliated entrepreneurs. This panel will discuss strategies and best practices to launch, grow and sustain such programs and tap into the experiences of leading practitioners, and members of the International Business Innovation Association, who lead university-based entrepreneurship centers at historically black colleges and universities.

The Maryland Innovation Extension Panel

Jainaba Ceesay
UMD I-Corps Instructor & Program Manager Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)
Dan Kunitz
Mid-Atlantic I-Corps Hub Director, Maryland Innovation Extension Director
Lindsay Ryan
Interim Executive Director of Economic Development, University System of Maryland, Columbus Center Location
Dr. Mahour Parast
Eminent Scholar, Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University

The session will focus on the activities of the The Maryland University Extension program, which is a partnership among five universities: the University of Maryland, Bowie State University, Morgan State University, Coppin State University, and the University of Baltimore. The extension, along with additional regional partners such as the UM Ventures’ Baltimore Fund, TEDCO, and the University System of Maryland, are collaborating to bring entrepreneurial resources to the entire state of Maryland, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups in Entrepreneurship.

1:00PM - 1:50PM

Leadership in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Douglas Franklin
Co-Founder and CEO, DeckLaunch LLC
Derrell Noris
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, DeckLaunch LLC
Nicholas Mbaezue-Daniel
Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, DeckLaunch LLC

This is a workshop dedicated to identifying the roles that stakeholders play in building equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. We propose that there are five roles that fit in a system of shared leadership (entrepreneurs, providers, activists, appliers and experts) that must work together to help ecosystems thrive. We encourage participants to challenge, edit, and adjust our model to help develop entrepreneurial ecosystems for communities that need it the most.

Leveraging Your Entrepreneurship Programs to Engage the K-12 Community

Darlene Ajayi
Program Manager, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Bridget Gillis-Cruise
Program Coordinator, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Kene Turner
Director, National Postsecondary & Alumni Programs
Danielle Carter
Instructional Specialist at Prince George's County Public Schools

HBCUs have always played a significate role in the communities they serve. From producing educators, scientists, doctors, and lawyers, HBCUs have been and continue to be the cornerstone in their communities. Entrepreneurship education fosters an opportunity for economic mobility that crosses all sectors and is especially crucial in wealth building. This session will focus on best practices on how HBCUs entrepreneurship programs can connect and collaborate with the K-12 community. A collective entrepreneurship ecosystem enhances student career opportunities, skillsets and better prepares them for sustainable wages and opportunities to adapt to the entrepreneurial mindset. Experts from the fields of entrepreneurship education, post-secondary education, workforce development, and leading private sector-industry leaders will share practical strategies for building high-value entrepreneurial ecosystems at HBCUs.

1:51PM - 2:00PM


2:00PM - 2:50PM

Raising businesses, like raising children, takes a village

Katie Gailes
Senior Director, Membership and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)

This session illustrates how to mobilize your village to birth and raise main street businesses that create a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leave with a worksheet that you can use as a guide to be in action in your community.

The Role of Social Justice in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Dr. John Dozier
Institute Community and Equity Officer with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Leah Lizarondo
CEO and Co-Founder, 412 Food Rescue
Brittany Young
Founder, B360
Stephen L. Noble
M.D., FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Live Chair

Our presentation will consist of a panel of previous entrepreneurs who were Accelerator winners discussing how they have scaled their businesses and increased health outcomes with the funding and training they received. Since they came through the accelerator.

2:51PM - 3:00PM


3:00PM - 3:50PM

HBCUs as Entrepreneurial Change Agents

Johnetta Hardy
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Tiffany Bussey
Executive Director, Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, Morehouse College
Caroline Glackin
Distinguished Professor of Economics in Entrepreneurship, Fayetteville State University
Ron Williams
Founding Director, Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship, Coppin State University

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been part of the fabric of higher education for over 150 years and have provided critical resources to support their communities for equally as long. They continue to support and uplift students from largely marginalized populations, often first-generation college students and those from economically distressed areas. HBCUs are critical drivers of economic empowerment and development. While frequently under-resourced and marginalized themselves, HBCUs have been uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurship and innovation in their communities. This panel will share an overview of HBCUs and economic impacts, how entrepreneurship is infused in curriculum and co-curricular activities; how relationships and partnerships are established to engage the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem in their communities. The panel will also address the need to build cross transdisciplinary conversations and programs, networks, and connections among HBCUs, overcoming barriers such as resistance, resources, and silos. Finally, the panel will share lessons learned and asks participants to suggest innovative ways to engage, collaborate, increase global awareness, and expand entrepreneurial opportunities.

10:00AM - 10:50AM

Infusing Entrepreneurship in STEM & Liberal Arts

Dr. Caroline Glackin
Distinguished Professor of Economics in Entrepreneurship, Fayetteville State University

Universities have learned that building university entrepreneurship ecosystems is valuable to the students, faculty, institutions, and the community. However, creating such ecosystems is not easy and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Recently, Fayetteville State University proposed the inclusion of entrepreneurship modules in existing courses to weave entrepreneurship into the fabric of non-business disciplines. This session discusses the origins of the concept, partners, grant application, challenges and successes, and path forward.

Innovative Approaches to Building Sustainable University Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

Derek Abrams
Associate Professor of Practice, Entrepreneurship & Innovation / Associate Director, Center for Innovation & Commercialization, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Dr. Michael J. Ryan
Professor of Practice & Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University
Dr. Jana Minifie
Professor & Director, Service-Learning Excellence Program, McCoy College of Business, Texas State University
Weston Waldo
Venture Development Program Manager and Lecturer, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas

This session features current and former Texas-based educators who are developing, leading, and supporting efforts to strengthen the university entrepreneurship ecosystem at their respective campuses. Panelists from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Texas Tech University, Texas State University, and the University of Arkansas will share their key insights on the curricular and co-curricular initiatives in development and underway at their institutions.

10:51PM – 11:00AM


11:00AM - 11:50AM

Fueling Innovation through Entrepreneurship & Innovation Educational Resources

Jena Roscoe
Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Public Policy
Nathanya Ferguson
Manager, Office Of Innovation Outreach, U.S. Commerce, USPTO

Operation HOPE and USPTO continue to work together to promote entrepreneurship education and the importance of patent and trademark education. We would utilize this important session to share with participants significant patent and trademark information for startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, and current small business entrepreneurs who are affiliated with HBCU’s as students, alumni, and/or academics and administrators; as well, we’d educate participants around the latest eCommerce entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education opportunities. The goal of the virtual session is to leave participants with knowledge around the free USPTO Patent and Trademark Resources and free Operation HOPE Entrepreneurship Education and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Resources.

The Well-Being Exercise

DeShannon McDonald
Assistant Professor, Alabama A&M University
Valentina Iscaro
Assistant Professor, Alabama A&M University

Entrepreneurs face stress and anxiety, with a notable increase in suicide rates in the past twenty years; research shows that when personality strengths align with career choices, overall mental health improves. The presenters developed The Well-Being Exercise, where business learners engage in self-exploration based on positive psychology concepts, for class use. Learners identify personal character strengths and develop plans aimed at better career choice alignment as well as promotion of mental health well-being and self- awareness among entrepreneurs.

1:00PM - 1:50PM

Beyond Necessity and Opportunity: How Generativity-Based Entrepreneurship Shows Up in Our Ecosystems

Dr. LaTanya White
Founder & Principal, Concept Creative Group

While there is much debate about necessity- and opportunity-based entrepreneurship, there exists a third-dimensional driver for entrepreneurship that, especially for Black entrepreneurs, is ripe for discussion in this time of crisis. In this session, discover the theoretical foundations of generativity-based entrepreneurship and its implications on your entrepreneurship programming, policies, and practices.

Driving Change by Closing the Revenue Gap for Black Women Business Owners

Shakenna Williams
Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College

We have seen an increase in awareness, programming, and resources to “increase the wage gap” for Black Women in the workplace, but how does this translate for Black women who have started their own businesses? They are in search of aligning with their passion, creating an impact in their communities and families, and being their own boss, scaling and growing their venture. How do we guide them to “CLOSE THE REVENUE GAP?” At Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), we have made closing the revenue gap one of our core areas of concentration. We have injected the principles and steps to help Black Women close the revenue gap in our programming, resources, and mentorship programs. We tackle issues like mindset, pricing, scaling, hiring ad curating a community. CWEL executive director, Dr. Shakenna Williams, will share how Babson is doing their part in helping close the revenue gap for Black Women entrepreneurs through programs at their centers and throughout the College to have real economic change for women in business.

1:51PM – 2:00PM


2:00PM - 2:50PM

Interdisciplinary Minor in Entrepreneurship at Jackson State University

Sharon Simmons
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Jackson State University

Discusses the minor in entrepreneurship at Jackson State University and how Jackson State University students and faculty across campus participate in interdisciplinary and multi-instructional/organizational collaborative learning. The curriculum is designed to help students identify entrepreneurial opportunities within their own disciplines. Students who want to gain a core understanding of entrepreneurship without making it the center of their education pursue this minor.

2:51PM – 3:00PM


3:00PM - 3:50PM

Mission-focused Entrepreneurship - Moving from corporate profit to public good

Tyrome Smith
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Common Mission Project

From national security to natural disasters, from energy to the environment, the critical challenges we face today have common elements: They cut across government, private, and non-profit sectors. They are constantly evolving in a fast-moving world. They require a problem-based approach to ensure solutions are relevant, grounded, and implementable in the real world. While there are definite ways to manage entrepreneurial opportunities in the for-profit space, what we need to develop is away to have that same investigation in the mission space.This session will help the participants understand what it means to be a mission-focused entrepreneur using the hacking 4 method created by Steve Blank.

10:00AM - 10:50AM

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Measure Students Impacted over Student Skills

Robert E. Herndon, Jr.
President, The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative

Measuring success in entrepreneurial education should be less about specific skills and competencies and more about the numbers of individuals who experience the entrepreneurial process. Through ethnographic research we have a good understanding of the types of skills and competencies that entrepreneurs develop over their lifetimes. But, these competencies shouldn’t be the primary metric used to grade the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education programs because of Campbell's Law.

5 Steps to launching your Side Hustle into a full-scale business

Amber Chaney
Communications Strategist, Owner of Chaney Communications

CEO Amber Chaney, first generation college student and female entrepreneur will teach Bowie State students how to start and build a side hustle that leads to a corporation. Learn how any skill set (cooking, social media, writing) can lead to full scale businesses and income while being a student! Tips and tricks include getting registered as an LLC, finding a mentor, building a marketing plan, and how to find your ideal client and build a client base! Students will learn good business practices, customer service, and how to turn what you love into profit!

11:00AM - 11:50AM

The Crossroads To Entrepreneurial Success

Justin McLeod
Program Officer, VentureWell
Malcolm Lee
CEO of Gabb Global (graduate of Virginia Union University)
Chanté Knox
Founder & CEO, DelivHer FemCare

In this session, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities that student entrepreneurs emerging from universities face when deciding whether to pursue their venture after graduation. We’ll hear stories from student entrepreneurs of the varied paths they have taken, and how we as entrepreneurship support organizations can better provide them with the necessary interventions to accommodate these varied journeys.

How to Successfully Host a Pitch Competition

Julian Ajenifuja
Program Coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Research and Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Darlene Ajayi
Program Manager, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University
Josh Berry
Head of Sales, Startup Tree

Attendees will learn how they can maximize their competitions’ impact using Startup Tree and take a look at how they can best streamline their communication to applicants, coaches, judges, and more over the course of their program. Panelists will be sharing exclusive resources that can be utilized for attendees’ own program:

  • judging rubrics and scoring workflows
  • templates for coordinating judges and mentors/coaches
  • tips for organizing multi-round competitions
  • reporting tools and metrics to track the impact of your competitions
1:00PM - 1:50PM

The Intersection of Self-efficacy and Entrepreneurship in Undergraduate HBCU Students

Dr. Tiffanie Turner-Henderson
Assistant Professor, Marketing, Johnson C. Smith University

There is a growing interest from undergraduate students in entrepreneurial programs, resources, and experiential opportunities. There is an intersection between entrepreneurial curriculum and metacognitive skill development. The presentation will highlight research specifically examining the role of self-efficacy and entrepreneurship in undergraduates through a case study of students attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities in North Carolina. The implications of this study will provide insights to make informed decisions in entrepreneurship pedagogy and resource allocation to meet a diverse student population and desired career paths.

1:51 PM – 2:00PM


2:00PM - 2:50PM

Truist Presents: Bank on your success - Business Finance Basics

Jeffery Miles
Vice President Commercial Banker with Truist
Ronald Thurston
Vice President Commercial Banker with Truist

Our business finance basics course will help participants learn the steps to manage cash flow, explore ways to expand, and understand insurance. This interactive session will show you how to build and protect your business for years to come.

2:51PM - 3:00PM


3:00PM 3:50PM

Pitch Perfect: Using The Matrix to Vision a Business

Joy Smith
Dean, Elizabeth City State University

The Matrix marries a traditional business planning canvas with problem-based learning and offers a series of questions used by fledgling entrepreneurs to address in their pitches. Using data from a recent multi-institution pitch competition, this session will introduce the Matrix, share strengths and weaknesses across institutions on the Matrix, and will discuss possible ways of strengthening the weaknesses.


This conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with peers to share your outstanding research, programming and/or teaching innovations. Dynamic, interactive presentations will help advance entrepreneurship education by creating space to crowdsource solutions and generate engaging feedback on your experiential exercises, research ideas and programmatic challenges. Come reconnect with colleagues and make new contacts. The HBCU Entrepreneurship Conference will feature four presentation tracks:

Track A: A new vision for experiential education in entrepreneurship (exercises, cases, simulations, virtual reality, AI, digital assets, NFTs, crypto)

Experiential education in entrepreneurship has changed over time from using case studies to starting and operating businesses and many pedagogical innovations in between. It is important to recognize the pedagogies, tools, and techniques that are working in the classroom and beyond. At the same time, technology is evolving and tools such as simulations, virtual reality, and digital assets have come into the entrepreneurship classroom. This track addresses a path forward in experiential education.

Track B: Connecting town and gown to maximize opportunities for all – fostering strong local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems (hubs, centers, coworking, cooperative programming, and collaborations)

The future of entrepreneurship extends far beyond the walls of the academy. The most vibrant and successful university entrepreneurship efforts bridge the gaps between the academy and the community. Colleges and universities have taken multiple approaches to engagement in the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and this track addresses them. Whether a university creates an innovation and entrepreneurship hub, an accelerator, an e-lab, or a center, it is finding a way to make connections. Coworking and other shared spaces abound. Even absent physical spaces, there are many interesting and productive collaborations and examples of cooperative programming.

Track C: Engagement beyond the business school - building university entrepreneurship ecosystems (curricular and co-curricular efforts to connect the silos)

Progress starts within. A strong university entrepreneurship ecosystem has support across colleges, departments, and disciplines. Entrepreneurship is infused throughout the curriculum and there are champions at all levels and across the organization. Often, this means that entrepreneurship programs and centers are housed outside the business school. Other times, courses are taught in many parts of the university. Perhaps, the core or general education includes an entrepreneurial mindset course. Entrepreneurship minors are available to students across campus. Student clubs, like Enactus, recruit students across campus.

Track D: Measuring success in entrepreneurship education (competencies, skills, indices, microcredentials, certifications, badging, RISE, Certiport, and the like)

We get what we measure. There has been debate about the very definition of entrepreneurship and the pedagogy has changed over the years. Today, it is clear that experiential entrepreneurship education dominates. However, the literature (and faculty) continues to discuss what the skills and competencies to teach are and how they can best be measured. In other words, what is success and how can we tell? The field has gone beyond entrepreneurial intentions but is still struggling to get a handle on this. At the same time, the European Union created the EntreComp framework and testing for secondary school students and there are efforts to define the competencies and measures in the United States and abroad. Microcredentials, certifications, and badging are all the rage. RISE and Certiport are two of the commercial products in this emerging field. This raised opportunities and questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bowie State University Entrepreneurship Innovation Center collaborates with various academic classes and co-curricular experiences across campus and in the community to make entrepreneurial education a priority.
The HBCU Entrepreneurship Conference is a forum for like-minded faculty, campus and community entrepreneur champions to share best practices, amplify all the great work, connect with colleagues and strengthen our HBCU entrepreneurial ecosystem.
HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Admission to the 2022 HBCU Entrepreneurship Conference is free. Special thanks to Truist, our Presenting Sponsor, for covering the cost of registration for all attendees.
The 2022 HBCU Entrepreneurship Conference will take place on October 6th from 9:00AM – 5:00PM EST.
Visit https://hbcueshipconference.com/Click “login” and select a conference session to join. Login instructions will be provided via email after you register.
After you login, visit the virtual Info Desk for technical support.


Email eic@bowiestate.edu or hbcue-shipconference@bowiestate.edu for more information.

Bowie State University Entrepreneurship Innovation Center