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2022 Virtual Accelerator Program Detailed Agenda
Agenda subject to change as speakers and mentors are confirmed. 

June 21

Network Effect

There are 7 billion + people in the world waiting to be met. Start by connecting with your fellow attendees and mentors. Learn about different communication styles and put your teamwork to the test

9:30 - 10:00


Discuss what it means to be a good networker and put new skills to practice as you get to know your peers and mentors.

10:00 - 12:00

Conscious Leadership with Gentzy Franz

Dr. Gentzy Franz's workshop will help provide a shared set of skills to help participants communicate. Practice speaking cleanly and openly and learn how to support one another in ways that benefit self, other, and community.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Real Colors

Learn about different communication styles and use simple assessments to identify your own. Practice providing feedback and making decisions with those who have different styles and preferences than you.

Featured Speakers:

Gentzy Franz

Dr. Gentzy Franz is an educator, tech executive, and innovative leadership coach. He has a PhD in organizational behavior from the University of Illinois (where he remains a member of the Graduate Adjunct Faculty). Through the coaching and consulting practice he founded, Lightly, he works with leaders and teams in finance, tech, private equity, and manufacturing to instill behaviors that lead to high performance and personal well-being. He firmly believes work can AND should be an additive component of life, and is committed to practices that support that belief.

June 22

Day of Adulting

Despite its occasional bad reputation, being an independent adult can be pretty great. Things run smoother if you know how to manage your career and finances. These sessions build skills to help guide you into your future.

9:30 - 11:00

Personal Finance 101

Learn the basics of what you need to know to live a financially independent life. Topics include goal setting, budgeting, credit, taxes, insurance, and more.

11:00 - 12:00

Investing in the Stock Market

Become comfortable with investment lingo as you hear advice on getting started in investing.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Stock Portfolio Challenge

Work in teams to create a diversified stock portfolio. Pitch your selections to Cresset’s Chief Investment Officer, Jack Ablin, and hear feedback and insight on up-and-coming trends.

Featured Speakers:

Jack Ablin


Jack is the Chief Investment Officer at Cresset, leading investment strategy and philosophy for the firm. With over 40 years of  experience, Jack is a thought leader, author and frequent contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal. 

Wen Nottebohm


Mohsen Ghazi


Noel Campbell


Thursday, June 23

Design Your World

The ability to design is imperative, from designing a product to designing your life. Learn the steps of the design thinking process and put them to use as you and your small groups finalize a business idea. 

9:30 - 10:00

Market Gaps and Brainstorming

Learn how to create a space for creative and effective brainstorming. Join your group of peers who will act as your business partners for the remainder of the program and get started on creating the next big idea. 

10:00 - 12:00

Design Thinking Workshop

Take your ideas through the design thinking process to ensure your business is solving the right problem for the right customers. Partner up and practice using empathy to get to know the needs of a potential customer and design a creative product that meets their unique needs.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Team Time - Brainstorming

Work with your team to brainstorm a new business idea and prepare for market research. 

June 24

Doing Good and Well

Can you make money and make the world a better place at the same time? Hear from industry experts on what they look for when investing in a business, from pitches and finances to ethics and social responsibility. 

9:30 - 10:30

Ethics, Stakeholders, and Decision Making

Create stakeholder maps for your final business ideas to identify the implications and ethics of your start-up. Finalize your business idea with your team. 

10:30 - 12:00

The Pitch

Hear from leading venture capitalist, Matt McCall, about what makes a business attractive to investors and how to create the perfect pitch. Matt will work with each team to help them solidify their business idea.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Team Time - Pitch Perfect

Work as a team to begin building out your pitch deck. Put tips from the morning's session into practice.

Featured Speakers:

Matt McCall


Matthew McCall is a Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and was formerly a founding partner with DFJ Portage and author of the popular blog, Over his 25+ years in the business, he has backed over 70 companies, completed more than 400 financings and evaluation over 20,000 business plans. He has had over $50B in enterprise exit value. He also has a strong interest studying the drivers & derailers to high performing cultures and sustainable entrepreneurial success. He is certified in an array of leadership and coaching programs

June 27

On Brand

What's in a brand? Hear from industry experts on what goes into brand development and marketing. Put your new knowledge to work as you build on your brand and marketing strategy.

9:30 - 10:30

Target Market

Your customers are not “everyone.” Explore demographics and psychographics so you can reach greater success in selling your products or services.

10:30  - 12:00

Building Your Brand

Hear from an expert who has mastered the art of branding and learn tips to help you distinguish your company from competitors. 

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Team Time - Branding & Marketing Strategy

Work with your team, a dedicated business mentor, and visiting experts to create your branding and marketing strategy. 

Featured Speakers:

Maryam Banikarim


Maryam Banikarim captured national attention with her viral New York Times essay on taking a “pause” at the height of her highly successful career. As a chief marketing officer who led four major businesses through sweeping transformations and topline growth, Maryam has made a name for herself as a purpose-driven change agent who embraces diversity and inclusion and builds brands that are respected and loved. 

Maryam’s passion for community drew her to Nextdoor, the neighborhood network where neighbors go to connect to the neighborhoods that matter to them so they can belong. At Nextdoor, Maryam oversees marketing, community and global. 

Natasha Lerner


Natasha Lerner is a social media manager at New York Magazine. She also manages the social media accounts of Tom Kitt, an award winning Broadaway composer and orchestrator. Previously Natasha helped launch the social media account for NYCNext, a volunteer movement aimed at supporting New York’s artist community and revitalizing the city. She also was an assistant producer on NYCNext’s award-winning, star-studded rendition of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind that garnered over 2.5B earned media impressions. Natasha is a recent graduate of Barnard College where she majored in film studies. She is a long-time resident of New York City.

June 28

Down to Business

Discover the logistics of starting a company and putting structure into place to build something great. Practice reading standard business financial statements and building your own start up projections

9:30 - 10:30

Business Finance 101

Learn the basics of financial statements and work to put together financial projections for your business.

10:30 - 12:00

Young Entrepreneur Panel

Hear from entrepreneurs in various industries about their successes, failures, and their tips for the next generation. Spend time in your business groups with these experienced business owners as they give advice for your business strategy and final pitch. 

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Team Time - Figuring out the Finances

Leverage new knowledge to build out the operations and financial projections for your new business.

Featured Speakers:

Dr. Carrie Singer


Dr. Carrie Singer is a Licensed Psychologist and group mental health practice owner employing over 40 therapists in the DC suburbs. Her clinic grew to $5M in 5 years and made the Inc 5000 list for fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. multiple times. Dr. Singer is currently developing a mental health technology platform that will improve mental healthcare access and coordination for patients, physicians, and employers. Dr. Singer coaches other small business owners and serves on advisory boards for numerous digital health companies. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, real estate investing, and spending time with her two young children. 

Cooper Newby

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Cooper is a mission driven startup founder. Previously he founded Bluecrew, a Y Combinator startup, helping hundreds of thousands of blue collar employees find work (with benefits) in light industrial jobs across the country. Currently he is building Classet, a startup closing the skills gap by helping career seekers explore paid apprenticeships in the skilled trades. He is a mechanical engineer, coder, and holds a Stanford graduate degree in music and acoustics.

Oliver Rose


June 29

Take the Lead

You'll be prepped on the best ways to engage while presenting and how to stay resilient in times of high stress. Experience crunch time as you gear up for the final presentations!

9:30 - 12:00

Presenting Yourself With Broadway Star Melody Betts

Learn to use storytelling to effectively present your ideas and tips to present your personal brand during the final presentation and beyond.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Team Time - Final Stretch

Finalize your business pitch and begin planning and preparing for your final presentation.

Featured Speakers:

Melody Betts

Melody A Betts from the National Tour of The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess) was last seen in the world premiere of Secret of My Success as Rose Lockhart. She was recently Becky/Nurse Norma on Broadway & the first National Tour of Waitress the Musical directed by Tony Award Winner, Diane Paulus. 

Thursday, June 30

Speak Up

Utilize everything you learned, present your idea in front of mentors, parents, potential investors, and local media. 

9:30 - 10:30

Dress Rehearsal

Work as a team to perfect your pitch before the big presentation.

10:30 - 12:00

Business Presentations

Present your business pitches in front of a panel of industry professionals, friends, family, and mentors.

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Taking it Home: How to Lead and Launch

Learn how to take everything learned at Launch Generation into the real world, and enjoy some more time together!

Featured Judges:

Eric Becker

Eric Becker is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Cresset Asset Management, an award-winning multi-family office with over $13.3 billion assets under management. Eric has a long history of starting, backing, and nurturing companies. Prior to Cresset, Eric co-founded Sterling Partners (1983), At Sterling, Eric served for 32 years as Senior Managing Director and Co-Chairman of the Operating Committee.

Amy Cosper


Amy Cosper is the editor in chief for Family Business magazine and MLR Media. She is the former vice president and editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, she served as WiesnerMedia's entrepreneur in residence, where she sought out and evaluated new business plans, ventures and partnerships. Cosper first entered the entrepreneurial trenches with her own media consulting business. Her journalism roots, however, began in the tech world, as a reporter on assignment in several countries across the globe, from Israel to France to Brazil. Cosper speaks around the globe on the topic of storytelling and the creative industries.

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