Chatham News

“Women Who Make & Create” is the focus of the October 14th, 9th Annual Think Big Forum, hosted by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University

“Makers” come to Chatham: Women who make highlighted at Chatham University entrepreneurship forum for women business owners

PITTSBURGH—The ninth annual Think Big Forum hosted by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University will focus on “Women Who Make & Create.” Speakers include Georgena Terry, CEO of Heart of Steel Bicycles, Chatham University Alumnae and creator of custom bikes for women; Lani Lazzari, CEO & Founder of Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars, a national success and a “Shark Tank” star; and Heather Knight, founder and chief roboticist of Marilyn Monroebot, a pioneer in the intersection of robotics and entertainment. These amazing women will share their struggles, successes, and tips for building a business out of making at the evening forum to be held on Tuesday, October 14th from 4:30pm-8:00pm at Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus.

This forum also provides exclusive business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking opportunities, a chance for all attendees to meet the speakers personally, and a coffee & dessert reception. The cost to attend is $45. For more information or to register for this event, visit www.chatham.edu/cwe/events/thinkbig or call 412-365-1253.

Sponsors of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship include PNC Bank, UPMC Health Plan, UPS, and Baierl Automotive. Partners for the Think Big event include NBC Universal/Comcast, Women’s Independent Press, and the Executive Women’s Council of Greater Pittsburgh.

About the Speakers

Georgena Terry’s business evolved from a desire to work for herself without the constraints of a traditional corporate lifestyle. She likes to call herself a “seat of the pants” entrepreneur – one who follows her intuition and plays to her strengths while ignoring her weaknesses. Relying on anecdotal and scientific evidence, she created bicycles designed for women. Prior to this, the industry treated all bike riders as “unisex” (which we know means “male”). There were lots of ups and downs as her business evolved, but her passion for designing bicycles has never waned. It continues today in Heart of Steel Bicycles, a nod to her love affair with steel, which originated, no doubt, in Pittsburgh—and with 65.52 miles of bike lanes in Pittsburgh and a 408% increase in bike commuting since 2000, Pittsburgh has become a haven of biking activity.

Lani Lazzari will talk about the Simple Sugars story, which is about identifying a personal need that grew out of frustration with the options available to her, having the initiative to want to find something better and then the determination to make it happen! Attendees will find out why a big growth spurt is only the beginning for the founder of Simple Sugars!

Assisted by her pint-sized robot comedian, Heather Knight will describe social robotics, how we make snap decisions about the capabilities and intent of machine, and how robot designers can influence these impressions via motion. From call centers to mobile robots, we have emotional reactions to technology and apply social conventions to machines. In designing robots, Heather wants to influence these attributions, because that enables or limits the effectiveness and acceptance of these machines in human environments. By adapting strategies from physical theater, Heather researches how robots can communicate via motion, identifying features that non-anthropomorphic robots can use to interact with us successfully & appropriately.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University creates economic opportunities for women through entrepreneurial education and training, mentoring, and networking. Building on Chatham University’s tradition of educating world-ready women for over 120 years, The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has provided quality education and training for women entrepreneurs since 2005. Current funding for The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has been provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the PNC Foundation, and the Alcoa Foundation. Initial funding was provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation. For more information about programs offered by The Center call 412-365-1253 or visit http://www.chatham.edu/cwe.

About Chatham University
Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has a long history of commitment to global understanding, women’s leadership and the environment. Chatham is the alma mater of environmental icon, Rachel Carson, and is recognized today as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been selected for The Princeton Review’s Green College Guide listing four years in a row, named to Sierra magazines list of top 20 “cool schools” and mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.”

Building on these accomplishments, Chatham opened in 2014 the world’s first fully sustainable campus in higher education, Eden Hall Campus, with completion of the first stage of construction on its 20-year master plan. Now fully coed, Chatham is the highest ranked institution in the US News & World Report Best Colleges Regional North – University category in Western Pennsylvania, and works to prepare its 2,000+ undergraduate and graduate students in the fields driving tomorrow’s economy—sustainability, health sciences, business and communication, and the arts and sciences.

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