TV Pioneer Brings Business Passion, Expertise To Startup Week

By Dave Flessner
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Kay Koplivitz broke the glass ceiling in the TV industry by becoming the first woman to head a television network. Now she is helping other female industry disruptors grow their businesses through a nonprofit accelerator known as Springboard Enterprises.

Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

When Kay Koplivitz began in the television industry in the 1960s, there were only three television networks and no top female broadcast executives.

Koplivitz, who wrote her master’s thesis on satellite technology and its potential impact on communications in the late 1960s, had a vision for a new type of television. When she tested her thesis in the business world, she helped to not only revolutionize television, she also broke the industry glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to head a television network.

“I really felt I had a great idea and wanted to pursue it,” said Koplivitz, the founder and CEO of USA Networks. “It took seven years and it wasn’t easy to get started, but satellite television proved to be a great disruptor.”

Decades later, the TV pioneer and entrepreneur is helping other female industry disruptors grow their businesses through a nonprofit accelerator known as Springboard Enterprises that has already trained 627 woman-led companies in technology and life sciences to raise more than $7 billion in capital.

Koplivitz will bring her entrepreneurial passion and expertise to Chattanooga on Monday to help kick off this year’s Startup Week. Her address at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Miller Plaza is one of 175 events scheduled from Oct. 3-7 in downtown Chattanooga as part of the third annual Startup Week in the self-described “Gig City.”

Stephanie Hays, one of the organizers for Startup Week, said next week will bring hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and others interested in startup businesses together for a variety of programs.

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