Women Entrepreneurship Week is from October 13 - 20 and is open to Texas State faculty, staff, students, and guests. The week’s activities are a joint effort among Texas State University, the Chamber of Commerce of San Marcos, and our Round Rock campus. Check out our flyer for a quick summary!

Speaker Series

Speaker sessions will be held on the 19th (Friday) at both the San Marcos and Round Rock (Avery 256) as well as streamed live on the Texas State Entrepreneurs Facebook page. The Speaker Series will be held on Friday, Oct 19, 1p-6.30p. It is the other half of our programming for the week; you do not need to participate in the innovation program to attend!

Kerry Rupp_Headshot.jpeg

Our keynote speaker this year is Kerry Rupp. She's a General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led businesses in consumer health and sustainable products and technologies.

For over 20 years, Kerry Rupp has launched, developed and grown startup companies and new lines of business for established firms. As the prior CEO and General Partner at DreamIt, a Top Ten US startup accelerator and early-stage venture fund, Kerry was directly involved with the launch of over 150 companies. During her 5-year tenure with DreamIt, she grew its programs to five cities and raised and managed ~$20M in investment funds including DreamIt Access (minority entrepreneur), DreamIt Athena (female entrepreneur), and DreamIt Health programs.

Before DreamIt, Kerry was the founder of an online travel service, Holiday Golightly, which organized unique group travel excursions for women. She has also advised senior executives at Allrecipes.com, ReadersDigest, LexisNexis, Payscale, and Taleo on strategy, business development and marketing. She held Vice President positions at AllRecipes.com, Jobster, Classmates.com and LexisNexis (and several startups that preceded these). Kerry began her career as a consultant with McKinsey and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Kerry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Biology from Duke University. She serves on the leadership teams of [email protected], the Austin chapter of Harvard Business School Alumni Club, and on the board of the Texas 4000 for Cancer. Kerry also mentors at Capital Factory and other startup hubs in Texas and is judge or coach on many local and national start-up competitions (e.g., athenahealth, Harvard Business School, Rice University Business Plan Competition, Energizing Health Houston, Texas Venture Labs, AARP Health Innovation). She is also a nationally-certified instructor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovations Corps (I-Corps) program.


12.30-1.15 Registration & Photo Releases Signed

1.15-2.00pm Keynote - Out performance and Opportunities: Women Entrepreneurs and Women Investors with Kerry Rupp
When women are on the management team of companies, whether they’re public companies or venture-backed startups, the companies perform significantly better financially. Yet, despite this out performance, fewer than 3% of companies funded by venture capitalists have a woman CEO. That’s a missed opportunity! So, who best to take advantage of it? Well, women investors are more likely to outperform - whether they’re money managers, hedge fund managers, or women VCs investing in women entrepreneurs. And by 2030, it’s estimated that US women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth. So, we believe they’re a key to changing these poor funding metrics for women entrepreneurs.

2.00-2.15pm Networking Break

2.15-3.00pm Understanding your Entrepreneurial Ecosystem with Carina Boston Pinales, Amy Mizcles, and Steven Frayser
An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is the social and economic environment in which an entrepreneur operates. Businesses located in geographical areas with a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem have greater chances for success. Learn about some of our systems within the our central Texas region.

3.00-3.30pm Around the World in 30 Minutes
This session will include Skype interviews of entrepreneurs from around the world. Learn from these global entrepreneurs the challenges that they face in starting and operating their businesses.

3.30-4.00pm Diversity/Inclusion with Dana Callender, Richard Lopez
Diversity and inclusion are not the same thing. In order for diversity to be successful, inclusion must also be a priority for businesses. Hear about how Dell is making diversity and inclusion a priority and why a local accelerator program has made it their mission.

4.00-4.30pm Making Your Entrepreneurial Vision a Reality Sooner Rather than Later: Getting Help From others Who Care with Jan Triplett, PhD
Asking for assistance to start your entrepreneurial adventure is important. Learn about who you should be asking for assistance and what assistance you can expect to receive.

4.30-5.15pm Know Your Funding with Peg Richmond, Kristine Wright, MS, and Terrance McClain
You want to start a business, but it takes funding. Learn about the different funding sources in the central Texas area. Also, learn about what resources that are available to you now to get your finances in order.

5.15-5.30pm Break

5.30-6.30pm Dream, Girl documentary film with Carina Boston Pinales
Dream, Girl the documentary showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs. Let’s stop telling girls they can be anything they want to be and show them what it means to be a leader.


During Women Entrepreneur Week, we are also offering a non-academic innovation program to explore startup ideas. Founders will lead teams of talented men and women to launch a company during the week with support from mentors and program facilitators. Teams can apply together. You do not need to be on a team to apply. Female founders strongly encouraged!

(Meals are included at each event. All events are held at STAR Park.)

Saturday Oct 13, 10a-3p. Market Validation

This first day of the 4-day program will cover the basics of team development, initial pitch of business concept, and market validation. Everyone thinks that their idea is the best! But, will others be willing to support that business? In this session, you will learn how to ask questions in objective and non-leading ways to determine if there is a market for your business. You will then be charged with going out and asking potential customers.

Tuesday Oct 16, 5.30p-8.30p. Business Development

This is the second day of the 4-day program. Now that you have asked potential customers about their problems, how has your business concept changed? What else do you need to do to make this a viable business? What does the archetypal customer look like? What do you already know about your potential customers? We will answer these questions and more during this session.

Thursday Oct 18, 5.30p-8.30p. Pitch Development

This is the third day of the 4-day program. During this session participants will learn how to professional pitch their business concept. You will learn what the best practices are in developing a pitch while examining the top 10 mistakes that entrepreneurs make in trying to pitch their concept. You never know who might be interested in investing time and/or money into your business, unless you pitch your business concept to them.

Saturday Oct 20, 10a-5p. Pitch to Entrepreneurial Panel

You’ve made it! You have completed the first three days of this program. This last session, you will pitch your business concept to entrepreneurial mentors. You will examine what needs to be done to go forward on your project. You will set goals and milestones to assist you to continue to work on your program. You will have the opportunity to apply for a Texas State NSF I-Corps Site grant ($1,00-$3,000 per team) after completing the 4-day program.


Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @TXSTXL
Instagram: @TXSTXL


NSF I-Corps Program; Materials Applications Research Center; McCoy College of Business Administration; Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Program; Center for Diversity and Gender Studies; Service-Learning Excellence Program; Round Rock Chamber of Commerce