By Tim Omarzu Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Promoting women entrepreneurship will be the theme of the "Mad, Bad and Dangerous" entrepreneurial summit for women next month in Chattanooga. Shark Tank Star Lori Greiner will headline the event which features a women's and girls' marketplace with more than 50 vendors, talks throughout the day and CoLab's 24Hour Generator in which some 30 girls will solve a business problem.
Forget an MBA. If you want to get ahead in today's "innovation era," get schooled in MBD, or Mad, Bad and Dangerous.
So says Stephanie Crowe, co-chair of the second annual Mad, Bad and Dangerous entrepreneurial summit for women to be held by Girls Preparatory School.
It kicks off Friday, March 11, with a $50-a-seat luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center featuring Lori Greiner, a star of ABC's entrepreneurial reality show "Shark Tank."
That's followed Saturday, March 12, with a free, all-day event open to everyone at GPS' campus in North Chattanooga.
Saturday's event will feature a women's and girls' marketplace with more than 50 vendors, talks throughout the day and CoLab's 24Hour Generator in which some 30 girls will solve a business problem.
"Over 24 hours they're 'incubated' by mentors and they come up with a business idea, they generate a business plan and they pull together a presentation," said Crowe, an executive vice president at Smart Bank in Chattanooga. "The next day, they get in front of a huge audience and a panel of judges and they pitch their business idea. And there are prizes."
"What's neat about this is the girls are mixed into teams, so it's not competitions between schools," she added.
Organizers hope this year's event will be even bigger than last year's, which featured a personalized video message from Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, author of "Lean In" and founder of leanin.com.
Mad, Bad and Dangerous was a priority for Autumn Graves, who became head of GPS in July 2014.
"I hope that it becomes an institution," said Dana Bailey, an EPB marketing vice president who is the event's other co-chair. "I certainly think having a high-profile TV star [Greiner] is a positive. But I think the excitement is there, regardless."
Intuition can help women succeed as entrepreneurs, Crowe said.
"At the end of the day, the most successful investors and entrepreneurs listen to their gut and they pay attention," she said. "I think women have a strong sense of intuition and if we can learn to listen and trust our gut, I think we'll be more successful in life."
Crowe said Mad, Bad and Dangerous is designed to encourage more women to start to grow their own companies and to help link more female entrepreneurs with investors.
"This is a neat event because it attracts high-potential kids who may not be 'A' students or the National Merit Scholar kids," she said. "These are kids that kind of march to their own drum. They have big ideas. They love a challenge."