ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP FORUM on FINANCING: Strategy & Tactics for Attracting Capital & Alternative Sources of Financing presented by Womensphere Institute

(The program starts at 4PM. Schedule below.)

This is a MUST-ATTEND event for entrepreneurs, business owners, and new aspiring entrepreneurs seeking access to funds and capital TODAY.

This Forum is designed for entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking to GAIN ACCESS TO CAPITAL NOW and who are crafting a SOLID FINANCING STRATEGY to weather today's economic storm.

Program Overview

Navigating a turbulent economy, entrepreneurs and business owners must exercise solid leadership and management of your company's financial strategy and the financing needed to sustain the lifeblood of your venture, and drive business growth.

The Womensphere Institute's Entrepreneurial Leadership Forum on Entrepreneurial Financing is designed for entrepreneurs and business owners who are seeking to craft a solid financing strategy to weather today's economic storm, and who are seeking access to sources of capital during an economic period when capital is scarce.

Focused on the financial strategies and funding needs of entrepreneurs and business owners, this program will feature industry leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors, seed funders, microlenders, experts, and CEOs and business owners, who will share their insight and knowledge on strategies and tactics needed to build a solid financing strategy and plan to fuel your business' growth, as well as share insight and enable access to much-needed capital in these challenging times.


$45 full registration (online);  $55 onsite registration / at the door.



3:30 - 4:00 PM     Registration & Networking

4:00 - 7:00 PM    

Session 1:   Entrepreneurs Roundtable & Interactive Session on Financing

Session 2:  Accessing Capital: Bank Loans, Grants, Microloans, Government Services, and Alternative Financing Sources

Session 3:  Growth Sectors & Entrepreneurial Opportunities:  Where Angel & Venture Funding Are Going & How to Attract Capital

7:00 - 8:00 PM     Wine & Cocktail Networking Reception (Cash Bar)



We will feature industry leaders and speakers including leading entrepreneurs and business owners, and leaders in the angel investment and venture capital communities, as well as institutions in small business lending and financing.

Speakers include:

Owen Davis - Managing Director, NYC SEED

David Pakman – Venture Capitalist, Partner, VENROCK

Vanessa Wilson – Forum Investor, GOLDEN SEEDS Angel Investors Network; Former Managing Director, Deutsche Bank


Kathlin Argiro – President & Founder, KATHLIN ARGIRO ATELIER

Terri Coffel - Partner (and Entrepreneurs Strategic Finance Advisor), CITRIN COOPERMAN

Karen-Michelle Mirko – Director, NYC BUSINESS SOLUTIONS / SEEDCO

Nichole Wright - President & Founder, Bon Vivant; VP of Business Development, Womensphere; Strategic Financial Advisor to Entrepreneurs, Wealth Advisory Group


Managing Director, NYC SEED

Owen is currently Managing Director of NYC Seed, a seed stage venture capital fund in New York City. Owen has worked in all aspects of the online world, including work with early versions of AOL and MSN. He created one of the first 200 web sites on-line and founded Thinking Media in the summer of 1995, an online marketing firm which pioneered client-side tracking of pages and advertisements, which has become the standard method for online measurement. He co-founded Sonata in 1999, a wireless company that provided location-based services and marketing to cell phones. Owen also co-founded, Petal Computing, a firm that developed software which allowed large numbers of commodity PCs to act like a single unit, useful in industries ranging from image rendering to pharmaceuticals.

Owen is the author of various patents in Internet methods and technologies. He is also the author of the book Instant Java Applets, available from Ziff-Davis Press. He is an original member of the World Wide Web Artists Consortium, and served on that group's original board. He was also an original member of the Board setting online advertising and media specifications and has served as Managing Director of the Wireless Advertising Association. Owen was named various times as one of the 100 Top Internet Executives in New York by The Silicon Alley Reporter and most recently was named one of the 100 most influential people in Silicon Alley for 2008. He received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Partner, VENROCK

David joined Venrock in 2008 as a Partner. Previously, he was the CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music.  Prior to joining eMusic, Pakman was Co-Founder of Myplay, Inc., the broadband application services company that introduced the “digital music locker” and pioneered the  locker category, later sold to Bertelsmann.  Before Myplay, he was Vice President at N2K Entertainment, which created the first digital music download service.  He also was the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.

Pakman is a graduate of and a member of the Board of Overseers at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering, serves on the Leadership Committee  for the UJA-NY’s Music For Youth, and is an avid musician and songwriter.

About Venrock: 
Venrock was founded in 1969 as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller Family, with $2.2 billion under management.  Venrock provides funding and services for entrepreneurs with breakthrough ideas in technology, healthcare, media and energy.  Venrock's entrepreneurs have charted new advancements in  cancer and HIV treatments, powered semiconductors and the digital era, secured our information technology infrastructure, pioneered on-line advertising, delighted consumers and most recently, generating power through alternative means.

Forum Investor, GOLDEN SEEDS

Vanessa Wilson is a Forum Investor in the Golden Seeds angel investment network. Vanessa Wilson has 19 years of public markets and M&A experience on Wall Street as a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, DLJ, and CSFB. As an equity research analyst specializing in life insurance, Ms. Wilson was ranked on the Institutional Investor “All-American Research Team” for 10 years and lead- or co-managed 15 IPOs. She sits on the public board of Protective Life  Corporation and the non-profit boards of Count Me In, Ethel Walker School and St. James. Ms. Wilson holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an MBA from  NYU's Stern School of Business.

About Golden Seeds:
Golden Seeds focuses on women-owned, women-led companies - specifically companies that have a woman CEO who owns equity in the company, or, if she is  not the CEO, then she is a Founder and CXO (i.e., a COO, CAO, CTO etc). Golden Seeds is not sector specific as Golden Seeds investors are interested in  building diversified portfolios across various industries.

The Golden Seeds Angel Investor Forum is an investor group that provides early stage and growth capital across all sectors to women entrepreneurs. Portfolio companies become part of the Golden Seeds community and have different levels of assistance available to them, depending upon their needs.


President & Founder

Jane Wesman is the creative force behind the public relations agency that bears her name. The author of Dive Right In - The Sharks Won't Bite: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Guide to Success, which The New York Times called "a clear and concise blueprint for the tasks of operating a business," Wesman is an expert on public relations and marketing. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Inc. and American Bookseller, and she has been a frequent guest on television and radio. In 1980, she founded Jane Wesman Public Relations, a firm serving the publishing and art worlds.

Having worked as publicity director of St. Martin's Press, Grosset & Dunlap, and Harry N. Abrams, Inc., she launched dozens of bestselling books, including James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small, Richard Nixon's Memoirs, and Robert Redford's The Outlaw Trail. She has also worked with such renowned artists and museums as David Hockney, Helen Frankenthaler, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As head of Jane Wesman Public Relations, she has been the mastermind behind some of the company's most successful and far-reaching publicity programs, working with such publishers as Random House, Simon & Schuster, Warner Books, Wiley, McGraw-Hill, and Penguin.

Jane Wesman earned a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Journalism at Simmons College in Boston. She has served as treasurer of the Publishers Publicity Association; as Program Chair and as a Board Member of the Women's Media Group; and as Program Committee Chair of ArtTable, an organization of professional women in the arts. She has also donated her time to such organizations as Learning Through Art and the Goddard Riverside Book Fair for the Homeless. Wesman has taught at the Learning Annex, the American Woman's Economic Development Corporation, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.


CEO & Founder,

Ms. Argiro discovered her “passion for fashion” when she was just fourteen years old and needed a dress for her first high school dance. After graduating  with honors from Parsons School of Design, she honed her knowledge of couture dressmaking techniques while working for designers Arnold Scaasi and Carmen Marc Valvo. Kathlin incorporates this knowledge into her designs through the use of beautiful fabrics including exclusive prints and embroideries.

Ms. Argiro has been designing under her own label for 12 years. Her collections include: Ready to Wear, Bridesmaids, Special Order, Cocktail and Graduation.

The Kathlin Argiro Collection is unique in the world of fashion because it allows the customer to create her own semi-custom dress in an easy 3-step process.

Kathlin Argiro Bridesmaids dresses have been featured on TODAY SHOW THROWS A WEDDING two years in a row. They have also been featured regularly in top bridal magazines including ELEGANT BRIDE, IN STYLE WEDDINGS, NEW YORK MAGAZINE and MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS.  Designs from Ms. Argiro’s ready to wear collection have been featured in VOGUE, IN STYLE, WOMENS WEAR DAILY, US WEEKLY and THE WASHINGTON POST.



Karen-Michelle Mirko is the Director of the NYC Business Solutions, Lower Manhattan Center operated by Seedco. She and her staff of nine provide small  business consulting services including facilitating financing, reviewing business strategy, developing business plans, creating financial statements and improving bookkeeping systems. The team also connects operating businesses to hiring and benefit services, MWBE certification and City incentives.

While Karen-Michelle has worked with a diverse range of small businesses from parking lots to gyms, she has cultivated an expertise working with retailers, designers and wholesalers.

Prior to joining the NYC Business Solutions, Karen-Michelle Mirko was part of Citigroup’s Citi Cards MBA Leadership Development program and held various roles in operations, finance and marketing for its small business portfolio. Before receiving her MBA, she opened The Vintage Thrift Store with $500,000 in annual sales for a Lower East Side local development corporation.

Karen-Michelle holds a B.A. in English from Adelphi University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

This Forum is designed for entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking to GAIN ACCESS TO CAPITAL NOW and who are crafting a SOLID FINANCING STRATEGY to weather today's economic storm.



President, BON VIVANT LLC;  Financial Advisor, WEALTH ADVISORY GROUP
Vice President, Business Development, WOMENSPHERE

A Texas native, Nichole has lived in New York City for eight years. Her work in communications and finance in New York City, Washington D.C. and Texas have brought her in touch with a broad array of contacts in finance, politics, media and society. Both backgrounds have melded her worlds and experience together to create her professional career and network.

Nichole has recently returned to practicing financial advisory at Wealth Advisory Group LLC, affiliated with Guardian and Park Avenue Securities. She helps individuals and small business owners with their overall financial planning needs including insurance, investments, and cash management.  Prior to Wealth Advisory Group, Nichole was the Marketing Director at Multinational Strategic Financing  (MSF Enterprises, LLC) in Manhattan. In this role, she was instrumental in helping grow the company from a boutique firm into a thriving global business. She directed marketing and business development initiatives for the company as well as sales efforts for raise assets for alternative investments (hedge funds, funds of funds, private equity, venture capital and real estate) from high-net worth and institutional investors. Previously she was a Financial Advisor in the Private Wealth Management Group at Smith Barney Citigroup. She was a member of one of the firm’s top 15 Portfolio Management teams with $1B of assets under management for individuals as well as small & mid-sized companies. She managed high-net worth asset allocations and separate accounts. Ms. Wright holds a Series 7, 63, Life Insurance & Annuities as well as Financial Planning Specialist & Alternative Investment designations. Ms. Wright was formerly an executive at Ruder Finn, Inc. in the agency’s Corporate Reputation and Restructuring Group. Prior to that, Wright was at Weber Shandwick Worldwide, leading campaigns in corporate communications, IR and public affairs for clients in the US, Europe and Asia.

While simultaneously working in finance, Nichole created Bon Vivant LLC, in which she is the Founder and President. Nichole has a passion for finding the best of the best – from travel, to venues, to entertainment to food. As a resource to all her friends, she has a knack for connecting people, places and ideas. This is why she created a company that would help clients with their imaging, marketing and events needs.  Ms. Wright holds a B.A. in Communications & Marketing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While at SMU, she was Captain of the women’s golf team.

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