#SGWomen Month: From Idea to Exit: Innovating, Fundraising & Pivoting During Crisis

Grand Rapids
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 7:00 PM (EDT)

About this event


#SGWomen Month, presented with Google for Startups and SVB Bank is proud to host a panel that includes three entrepreneurs at different stages of their journey: innovating, fundraising, and pivoting during this time of uncertainty. We're joined by Freshta Tori Jan, an early-stage founder, and Kim Lavine and Lucinda Wright, both seasoned entrepreneurs currently facing different challenges.

As we celebrate women entrepreneurs, we at Startup Grind recognize the need to advocate for and are committed to promoting and helping realize gender equity.

Globally, there's a lot of work to be done. 

As we think about gender equity, here are some things on our minds at Startup Grind Grand Rapids:

  • According to a 2019 McKinsey report, "44 percent of companies have three or more women in their C-suite, up from 29 percent of companies in 2015, yet about 1 in 5 C-suite executives is a woman—and only 1 in 25 C-suite executives is a woman of color."
  • In a report from Credit Suisse, it's shown that women make better entrepreneurs than their male fellows (there are hundreds of supporting studies) and here's a recent CNN Business article regarding woman-led response to the pandemic at the state level
  • Covid-19 represents an incredible global-leveler, yet it's disrupting the lives of women very differently (also here, here, and here)
  • Amid staggering levels of cuts to payrolls, we're already seeing intentional and unintentional consequences in gender equity
  • Tech isn't a cureall, as there are barriers to access beyond a connection to the internet according to recent testimony at the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

So, in an effort to promote entrepreneurship among women, we are focused on highlighting resources available in our ecosystem to women founders and entrepreneurs as well as highlight success stories in hopes to inspire those who may have not thought entrepreneurship an opportunity. Together, we can help reduce the barriers to access including funding, talent, education, and resources.


Our panel of women entrepreneurs includes:

  • Kim Lavine, CEO & Founder of MemorySPEX

    Identified as America’s Expert on Inspirational Business Advice, Kim touches and inspires millions around the world through her appearances on The Today Show, Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, NBC & ABC news, CNN, CNBC, FOX, NPR, Oprah & Friends Radio Network, and features in USA Today, Country Living, Guideposts, Inc, Business Week, Entrepreneur, Women's World, and Forbes to name a few.

    Kim’s book MOMMY MILLIONAIRE (St. Martin's, NY 2007) has been called by Publisher’s Weekly in a Starred Review: “A top-notch, how-to guide on launching a business. Lavine’s human and authoritative story make this one of the most engaging and useful resources available for readers hoping to convert their passion into a healthy company…a rare gem.” USA Today says “Mommy Millionaire is loaded with resources for a fledgling business person…armed with a good idea and boundless energy.” Barbara De Angelis, PH.D.—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author says, “Mommy Millionaire is an inspiring gift and road map to success for anyone who’s ever had a dream.”

    Strategy and Business Magazine chose Mommy Millionaire as one of the best business books of the year. “Kim Lavine’s memoir-cum-business-primer breaks new ground in the crowded field of startup sagas. By seamlessly blending the epiphanies that she gained through launching a business with practical lessons, Lavine has packaged a core set of new-venture tenets into something fresh and relevant." 

  • Freshta Tori Jan, Founder of Sew True

    Skilled in Government, Communication, Experienced Speaker, and Team Building. Strong community and social services ambassador currently pursuing a major in International Relations and Strategic Communications with minors in Business and Pre-Law at Calvin University. Freshta is the Founder of Sew True, a company answering needs seen in our community.

  • Lucinda Wright, Co-Founder & CEO of Cask & Kettle USA

    Senior Executive with comprehensive experience in new business creation, retail, and global consumer package goods marketing. Proven track record in Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial environments delivering strong revenue and operating profit growth in roles with P&L responsibility. Classically trained brand management leader and seasoned strategic thinker with ability to drive innovation, create new brands/business platforms, develop business-building programs and effectively champion award-winning advertising. Played key leadership role in Mergers & Acquisitions, New Business Development & Global Sourcing Operational start-ups.


  • 7PM EST - Introductions
  • 7:10PM EST - Panel discussion



Wednesday, Jun 24
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)

Brought to you by

  • Corey Hart

    Corey Hart

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director

Brought to you by

Local sponsor