WeROC Event Teaches Women Entrepreneurs How To Overcome Obstacles In Funding Their Businesses

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Women entrepreneur-focused conference coming to Salt Lake City later this month

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“At WeROC, we’ve got the experts who will help you overcome negative perceptions and mindsets to get the funding you need for your business to grow," said Debra Beresini, event organizer.

Women entrepreneurs will learn how to shatter the perceptions and change mindsets about funding women-led companies at WeROC, a conference coming to Salt Lake Community College on Oct. 26.

The Women Entrepreneurs Realizing Opportunity for Capital (WeROC) conference, featuring successful women entrepreneurs, influencers and investors, is focused on answering two complex questions: Why do women-led companies have a hard time raising capital? Why do investors have a tough time funding women-led businesses? If women entrepreneurs want to succeed, they must learn how to pulverize the perception that women lack leadership and creativity, and that they're less innovative.

The WeROC event features keynote speakers, and two panels — one focused on why it's difficult for women to raise equity for her company, and the other focused on how women can overcome the challenges of attracting investors. Then three pre-selected women entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors, venture capitalists and influencers, followed by a reception.

The speakers and panelists include:

  • Carolyn Rodz: She has helped raise billions for innovative organizations, created a luxury retail line sold in more than 400 stores nationwide, and launched a global marketing firm that supported specialty product launches within Fortune 500 enterprises and startups positioning themselves for industry leadership. Rodz now advocates for women entrepreneurs, connecting them to capital sources, strategic partners and mentors to create businesses that scale. She is committed to closing the gender gap in the startup environment by helping female founders implement key strategies for sustainable, accelerated business growth.

Rodz is a member of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, a Fortune Most Powerful Women attendee, and has received numerous accolades, including being chosen as a Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneur and American Express Micro to Millions awardee. She is a TEDx speaker, regular contributor to major media outlets, and is a board member for the Texas A&M Mays College of Business.

  • Lisa Conte: She is the founder, president and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors of Jaguar Health, a natural product pharmaceuticals company focused on the commercialization and development of novel gastrointestinal products for both human prescription use and animals on a global basis. Its products include Mytesi®, a human drug approved by the FDA for symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy. It's a first-in-class anti-secretory agent and the first oral drug approved by the FDA under botanical guidance. She has raised more than $400 million for the company (once two enterprises: Napo Pharmaceuticals, a human-focused pharmaceuticals company, and Jaguar Animal Health, the veterinary-focused licensor of all of Napo’s technology) over 28 years.

Conte is also currently a member of the board of directors of Healing Forest Conservatory and a member of the Board of Visitors for the Dickey Center of International Understanding at Dartmouth College.

  • Nancy Philippart: She is general partner and co-founder of BELLE Michigan, an early-stage venture fund that invests in women-led startups. She serves as co-director of the Global Executive Track Doctorate Program at Wayne State University and is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Engineering and Mike Ilitch School of Business. She consults with new business ventures and is currently on the boards of several technology startups.

Philippart spent 30 years in the automobile industry, most recently as executive director, GM Accessories, a $1 billion-plus General Motors Corporation new venture that helps sell vehicles and grow corporate profits by enabling vehicle personalization at point of sale. She has extensive experience in international management and operations, product development, strategic planning and new venture startups.

  • Rose Maizner: She is an associate with RenewableTech Ventures and co-founder of Womenpreneurs — a collective focused on shattering Utah's dismal gender metrics by promoting female entrepreneurship and leadership. She also is the founder and CEO of CauseRock Consulting, which focuses on helping nonprofits and early-stage ventures to improve fundraising strategies, refine business models and strengthen management teams. She is passionate about assisting early-stage startups, especially those that are female-founded and those working to solve pressing social and environmental challenges.

Maizner serves on the board of Sustainable Startups and the advisory boards of SXSW Eco and the Utah Cleantech Open. Before entering the private sector, she spent years in the nonprofit world, serving as both associate director and interim executive director of an organization working with underserved communities in Salt Lake City.

  • Phillip Grimm has 30-plus years in managing both large-scale organizations and emerging businesses. As Chief Financial Officer and then general manager of DOD Electronics, he was instrumental in growing the high-technology consumer electronics business from sub-$10 million revenue to more than $50 million in three years. Grimm also served at executive levels with companies, including Motorola, and ventured into developing his portfolio of business ventures and completed acquisitions, business stabilization and growth, culminating in successful exits with high multiple returns over a 10-year period. Also, he served as CEO of DxNA LLC, a company bringing leading-edge technology to the biomedical field in the area of rapid and portable disease-diagnostic solutions.

Since 2011, Grimm has focused on consulting services, mentoring emerging businesses and participating in early-stage financial investments. He is the chairman of VentureCapital.org, executive director of SLC Angels and a consultant to the University of Utah's commercialization office and Utah State University. He also actively participates in early-stage businesses as an executive chairman.

“If you're a woman entrepreneur, you need to know how to smash the barriers to find funding for your company,” said Debra Beresini, event organizer. “At WeROC, we’ve got the experts who will help you overcome negative perceptions and mindsets to get the funding you need for your business to grow.”

The WeROC conference will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, October. 26, at Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Conference Center, 9750 300 West, Sandy, Utah. For more information and to register for this event, visit EventBrite.

About WeROC
Women Entrepreneurs Realizing Opportunity for Capital (WeROC) is sponsored by VentureCapital.org and is designed to assist women entrepreneurs in overcoming the obstacles to secure capital for their companies. To learn more about WeROC, visit http://www.venturecapital.org/weroc.

About VentureCapital.org
VentureCapital.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit (formed in 1983 as the Wayne Brown Institute®), and it is one of the oldest and most successful venture acceleration organizations in the world. Thousands of companies have been served by VentureCapital.org, and over 850 firms have participated in its annual Investors Choice™ Venture Capital Conference. Since 2009, VentureCapital.org alumni companies have realized over $9 billion in monies raised or investor payouts via Merger & Acquisition transactions. For more information, call 801-595-1141 or visit http://www.VentureCapital.org.

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