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2021 Virtual Accelerator Program


Wednesday, July 28

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

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.

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.

Thursday, July 29

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. 

Additional Cresset Financial Advisors:

Brooks Hays

Kimberly DuBord

Janet Dougherty

Pat Biladeau

Friday, July 30

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. Hear from entrepreneurs Julia Vlock and Joel Campo on how they use the design thinking process to pivot to a new business model.

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. 

Featured Speakers:

Julia Vlock

Julia received a bachelor’s degree in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought from Amherst College. In 2017, she co-founded space-ship, a nonprofit organization fostering civic discourse and social justice via artistic and cultural exhibitions. She is also pursuing an MBA at Columbia Business School, beginning her studies this Fall.

Joel Campo

Joel received a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Amherst College. He later went on to intern at a VC fund and a startup, before co-founding space-ship in 2017. space-ship was a nonprofit organization fostering civic discourse and social justice via artistic and cultural exhibitions. In August, he will begin studying for an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons School of Design.

Monday, August 2

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, with VC Logan Allin

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 Logan into practice.

Featured Speakers:

Logan Allin

Logan is the Managing General Partner and Founder of Fin Venture Capital where he is responsible for management of the firm and sourcing investments. Logan was most recently Vice President of SoFi Ventures, where he was tasked with investing in and working hands-on with FinTech companies, as well as running SoFi’s accelerator and corporate development efforts. 

Hear from a leading Venture Capitalist about what makes a business attractive to investors and how to create the perfect pitch. Logan will work with each team to help them solidify their business idea.

logan allin.jpeg

Tuesday, August 3

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

Team Time - Branding & Marketing Strategy

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

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00

Branding with Michael Mente

Hear from Revolve founder, Michael Mente, who has mastered the art of branding and learn tips to help you distinguish your company from competitors. 

Featured Speakers:

Michael Mente

Michael Mente is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of REVOLVE, the next-generation fashion retailer for Millenial and Gen Z consumers. Michael leads fashion, design, and corporate branding for REVOLVE, its luxury segment FORWARD, and over 20 owned brands.

Niara Wright

Niara is the CEO and President of TWL (The Wright Look) Creative Consulting Agency which offers services for personal style, interior design and digital branding. She is also the Assistant Manger of Women’s Trend at Nordstrom in the Cherry Hill location and a driving force in the North East Social Selling Committee where she teaches the top sellers how to sell through social media.

Wednesday, August 4

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:

Alex Halbardier

Alex is the Chief Customer Officer at Alto, a rideshare service founded in 2018 that focuses on safety, consistency, and hospitality. Prior to Alto, Alex spent 6 years as a management consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, creating brand and marketing strategies for over 50 consumer brands.

Chris Place

Chris, a serial entrepreneur, moved from England to Hong Kong after college to pursue his passion for product design and manufacturing.  In 2016 Chris and his business partner founded Prepd, a kitchenware start-up,  and has since raised over $10M in crowd funding, bringing 5 separate innovative products to market.  Chris has established himself as a specialist at bringing ideas from conception to market utilizing innovative and alternative crowdfunding methods.

Mimi Tran Zambetti


Mimi is a co-founder & product lead at Wren, a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to helping end the climate crisis. Wren is a website that lets you calculate your carbon footprint and easily fund tree planting and rainforest conservation to offset your carbon footprint. Mimi and her two co-founders launched Wren in 2019, and were part of YC’s Summer 2019 batch

Thursday, August 5

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

Friday, August 6

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.

Avy Stein

Avy Stein is Cresset Capital Management’s co-founder and co-chairman. With his Cresset co-founder, Avy has been involved with starting, investing in and growing over 150 businesses and raising funds totaling over $8 billion. In 2017, Avy served as Chief Executive Officer of Willis Stein & Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 1994, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s investments in the education, recycling, telecommunications, energy and consumer sectors. 

Megan Kellerman


Megan Kellerman, CFA, serves as a Managing Director of Business Development for Cresset Partners. In her role, Megan is responsible for expanding business opportunities for Cresset Partners. Megan most recently was a Principal of Business Development for the Client Group at GCM Grosvenor in Chicago, where she had responsibility for sales and client relationships with pensions, endowments, foundations, family offices, and RIAs. 

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