#SGWomen Month: Women in Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Michigan Moderated by Terry Barclay

Jun 9, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 PM

#SGWomen Month, presented with Google for Startups and SVB Bank is proud to host a panel that includes leaders in Michigan's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Moderated by Terry Barclay, join Amanda Lewan, Emily Heintz, Laurie Supinski, Jennifer Szunko, and Anne Pentiak as we get into the new & emerging state of equity for women, resources for women, and a look at opportunities for women as we rebuild.

Virtual event

About this event


#SGWomen Month, presented with Google for Startups and SVB Bank is proud to host a panel that includes leaders in Michigan's entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Moderated by Terry Barclay, join Amanda Lewan, Emily Heintz, Laurie Supinski, Jennifer Szunko, and Anne Pentiak as we get into:

  • the new & emerging state of equity for women here in Michigan communities
  • resources for Michigan women entrepreneurs & leaders
  • a look into what opportunities our panelists have for, and see for women as we rebuild here at home in Michigan


As we think of what life will look like as we all emerge on the other side of the pandemic, and as it relates to equity, balance, and marginalized populations, is this the best chance in generations at increased gender equity?

Now, as we contemplate the answer to that, 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


Terry Barclay is the CEO & President of Inforum.

Since joining Inforum as CEO in 2001, Terry has seen them grow the organization tenfold to become the largest of its kind in the country. 

Inforum has launched several successful industry-specific leadership, economic development, and research initiatives that have played a role in Michigan’s economic resurgence. Learn more at inforummichigan.org.

She is the co-author of the” Michigan Women’s Leadership Report” and the co-editor of a book, “The Road to the Top is Not on the Map: Conversations with Automotive’s Top Women” published in September 2019.


Our panel of women leaders and stakeholders in building our Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystems includes:

  • Emily Heintz, Founder & Managing Director of Entrypoint. Emily is a self-proclaimed data geek who wants in on the action of addressing the challenges and highlighting the strengths of the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem. To do this, she gathers data from investors, businesses, and community organizations, and use the findings to develop programming designed to support the growth of entrepreneurial economies throughout the region.

  • Amanda Lewan is a writer, entrepreneur, and community builder. Her life mission is to unite others and move our world forward. Amanda worked at a variety of startups in marketing & operations before launching Bamboo as its Co-founder & CEO. One of the first co-working spaces in Detroit, Bamboo specializes in building collaborative workspaces and community. Her leadership has been honored locally and nationally.

  • Laurie Supinski's work at Start Garden in Community Relations focuses on defining and assessing the start-up and entrepreneurial support ecosystem in West Michigan. This involves connecting directly with entrepreneurs to help them navigate the many options of resources provided by the variety of organizations that offer support services. This also involves working with the entrepreneurial support organizations in the region to help them identify the programs and services within their scope that are effectively helping to move the entrepreneur forward toward launching a business. 

    Laurie also hosts an incredible virtual event series launched in response to the pandemic called The Juice, where the good, bad, and ugly of being a startup entrepreneur are discussed at length. Recorded events can be watched here.

  • Jennifer Szunko, the Executive Director of TCNewTech, a Traverse City-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the goal to facilitate networking and interaction among individuals and organizations in Northern Michigan that have an interest in technology. Her role is to support and grow the organization through the creation and implementation of programs and special events in order to expand the reach of TCNewTech and support the mission to grow a successful technology hub around the Grand Traverse Region.

  • Anne Pentiak works with West Michigan Tech Talent & West Michigan Works! Business Solutions. West Michigan Tech Talent connects local employers, educators, community organizations, and workforce experts who are invested in creating a strong tech workforce. By sharing best practices, leveraging resources, and collaborating on innovative solutions, they address the tech talent gap. 


  • 6PM EST - Introductions
  • 6:10PM EST - Panel discussion
  • 7PM

Check out what happened


  • Amanda Lewan


    Co-founder & CEO

  • Emily Heintz


    Founder & Managing Director

  • Laurie Supinski

    Start Garden

    Community Relations

  • Anne Pentiak

    West Michigan Tech Talent

    Industry Council Lead

  • Jennifer Szunko


    Executive Director


  • Terry Barclay


    CEO & President



Tuesday, June 9, 2020
10:00 PM – 11:00 PM UTC


Panel discussion


  • Corey Hart

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director


  • Corey Hart, Startup Grind

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director

  • Renee De Haan

    Principal Financial Group

    Chapter Co-director

  • Vanessa Mahoney

    Chapter Co-Director

  • Margaret Periard

    Startup & Venture Capital Intern

  • Whitney Allred

    WhitMarie Media

    Social Media Manager

Global sponsor

Dell Technologies logo

Dell Technologies


Brewery Vivant logo

Brewery Vivant

Sidepitch logo


Hello West Michigan logo

Hello West Michigan

West Michigan Tech Talent logo

West Michigan Tech Talent

Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation logo

Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Westbound Productions logo

Westbound Productions

Code For Good West Michigan logo

Code For Good West Michigan

Green Frog Photography logo

Green Frog Photography

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