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An introduction to government contracting and government financing — Oct 8, 2020

Join us to explore ways that Government and emerging and small businesses can work together and benefit each other.

Think of government and innovation, government and small businesses as diametrically opposite? Think it again! 

Join me to explore ways that Government and emerging and small businesses can work together and benefit each other, by a fireside chat with two leading experts who have worked in the conjunction of government and small and emerging businesses: Stan Soloway and Katie Bilek.

During the chat we’ll try to address the topics below:

Gov space where emerging and small businesses can have a sweet spot: e.g. digital services; business processes

Gov contracting 101: difference between a startup and an emerging business

Gov financing 101: SBIR, STTR and other alternative financing vehicles

Date: Thu, October 8, 2020
Time: 12-1PM PST
Location: Online
Cost: Free

About Stan Soloway

Stan Soloway is President & CEO of Celero Strategies, LLC, a full-service strategic consultancy focused on the federal market.

Prior to founding Celero Strategies in January, 2016, Stan served for 15 years as the President & CEO of the Professional Services Council, the largest and most influential national association of government technology and professional services firms. While at PSC, Soloway was the industry’s leading voice, policy strategist and resource for both government and the private sector. He regularly testified before Congress, was a prolific writer, appeared often on radio and television; and was routinely sought out by both corporate and government organizations to discuss current market trends, dynamics and strategies. Stan was the recipient of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Government Technology Leadership Award and, in 2015, was inducted into the Greater Washington Government Contractor Hall of Fame. He also was named the IT Industry Executive of the Year in 2013 by Government Computer News; has regularly been named one of the 100 most influential business leaders in Washington (Washington Business Journal) and one of the 100 most influential figures in national defense (Defense News and Gannett). He is a three-time winner of the Federal 100 Award for his leadership in federal information technology and is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Contract Management Association, where he also serves on the Executive Advisory Board. He is a principal at the Partnership for Public Service where he serves as a Senior Advisor to Government Executives (SAGE) and in 2016 was appointed to the Community Advisory Board of WAMU Radio, Washington, DC’s National Public Radio outlet.

During the second half of the Clinton Administration, Stan served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and was responsible for wide-ranging reforms to defense acquisition and technology policy and practices, and broader department-wide re-engineering. In recognition of his leadership in the department, Stan was awarded both the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

As passionate believer in the importance and value of public service, Stan also served from 2007 to 2013 as a Senate-confirmed member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps and other national service programs, and is a major source of funding and leadership for community service organizations across the nation. Earlier in his career he was a public policy and public affairs consultant for nearly 20 years. He also co-produced the acclaimed PBS series “Great Confrontations at the Oxford Union.”

About Katie Bilek

Katie Bilek is the Co-Founder, govmates Consortium, and SVP, Republic Capital Access.

Govmates serves as the bridge between Government and Industry – maintain deep industry ties with thousands of non-traditional contractors.

Republic Capital Access, LLC is a leading provider of financing to companies doing business with the U.S. Government. They offer a unique approach to providing capital to businesses that provide goods and services to the U.S. Government, either directly or through contractual arrangements with U.S. Government contractors. They work with start-ups, companies in growth modes, companies going through mergers and acquisitions, or facing financial challenges, to structure unique funding solutions based on the company’s specific financing needs.

About WAFFA

The Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to accelerate the success of Penn Wharton female founders and investors. Today, 13% of Penn founders are women but they raise just 6% of venture capital. WAFFA harnesses the power of the Penn Wharton network to educate, support, and foster connections for female founders and funders.

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A dialogue with Elaine Pofeldt about creating a business that you love — Sept 24, 2020

Please join us to have a dialogue with Elaine Pofeldt, the author of “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business,” to explore how existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, esp. women, can find and create a business that you love, is profitable, and offers the freedom and flexibility to take care of other aspects of your life!

The talk will try to address the topics below:

+ Elaine’s personal journey & her life philosophy 

+ What this book is about

+ The entrepreneurs’ side of the story if possible, by Elaine’s guest(s)

We will also want to make sure to leave plenty of time for audience Q and A.


Date: Thu, September 24, 2020
Time: 12-1 PM PST
Location: Online
Cost: Free

About Elaine Pofeldt

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist and speaker who specializes in careers and entrepreneurship. She is author of the book The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business (Random House, January 2018), where she looks at how entrepreneurs are scaling to $1 million in revenue prior to hiring employees.  

As a senior editor at Fortune Small Business magazine, she was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her feature stories. Her work has appeared in FORTUNEMoneyCNBCInc., Forbes, Crain’s New York Business and many other business publications and she is a contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

About WAFFA

The Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to accelerate the success of Penn Wharton female founders and investors. Today, 13% of Penn founders are women but they raise just 6% of venture capital. WAFFA harnesses the power of the Penn Wharton network to educate, support, and foster connections for female founders and funders.

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When a Moment Sparks a Movement — Sept 23, 2020

Human and climate health are deemed the great equalizers, but Ita Ekpoudom and Davida Herzl highlight the racial disparities in both.

After the devastating murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, Ita Ekpoudom, #WhartonWoman and Partner at GingerBread Capital, wrote a deeply personal and moving essay about what happens when systematic racial inequalities in justice and healthcare collide. On Wednesday, September 23, join us for a conversation on how she channels this frustration into her work at GingerBread, a firm that invests exclusively in unstoppable female founders. 

One of these founders is Davida Herzl, CEO of Aclima, a company that maps global air quality by measuring and analyzing air pollution and greenhouse gases, block by block. Human health and climate health are undeniably intertwined, and right now 92% of the population breathes unhealthy air. In this conversation, we will dig into the economic and health inequities caused by air pollution in communities of color—inequities that make the coronavirus so much deadlier, especially for Black, Latinx and Indigenous people, as health statisticsclearly show. Public health is an essential foundation of a functioning economy and balanced existence, but pollution exposure and access to healthcare are not uniform—who you are and where you live matters.

We recommend reading Ita’s essay and taking 10 minutes to watch Davida’s address from Collision earlier this year.

Date: Wed, September 23. 2020
Time: 12-1PM PST
Location: Online
Cost: Free

About Ita Ekpoudom

Ita is a Partner at venture capital firm GingerBread Capital, which backs high growth female founded companies. Her mission is to engage, educate, and elevate the next generation of successful women business leaders and investors. In 2014, Ita founded Tigress Ventures, an advisory and consulting firm that tapped her considerable network to bring together visionary entrepreneurs with seasoned professionals to help women scale their businesses and hone their leadership skills. 

Ita also served as Venture Partner at Plum Alley Investments, where she oversaw investment opportunities and pipeline for high-growth female-founded and gender-diverse startups. Previously, Ita held product management roles at TravelClick and American Express. She began her career at Goldman Sachs as an analyst in Credit Capital Markets and an institutional trader of preferred stock.

Ita holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and earned a Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Psychology, with a certificate in Finance, from Princeton University.

About Davida Herzl

Davida Herzl is co-founder and CEO of Aclima. Herzl leads a diverse team meeting the urgent need for a new class of tools to accelerate bold climate action. Aclima’s platform translates its block-by-block scientific measurements of air pollution and greenhouse gases into climate intelligence that helps governments, communities, and industry reduce emissions and protect public health. Herzl holds a Juris Doctorate, as well as a BA in Economics, Political Science, and Communications. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company (2019), one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2018 by Goldman Sachs, and a Grist 50 Fixer (2017).

About WAFFA

The Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to accelerate the success of Penn Wharton female founders and investors. Today, 13% of Penn founders are women but they raise just 6% of venture capital. WAFFA harnesses the power of the Penn Wharton network to educate, support, and foster connections for female founders and funders.

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Unapologetically Shellye: A Candid Discussion on Advancing Your Career – September 9, 2020

Join WAFFA for a discussion with Shellye Archambeau, a #WhartonWoman and one of tech’s first Black female CEOs, on her new book Unapologetically Ambitious. Growing up, Shellye faced more hurdles than most as she managed her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and in her subsequent roles as President of Blockbuster.com, CEO of MetricSystem, and a board member at Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies and Okta. 

In her book, Unapologetically Ambitious, that comes out this October, Shellye discovers that ambition alone is not enough to achieve success as she shares practical tools and approaches to employ right now, including concrete steps to: capitalize on the power of planning, developing financial literacy, building your network and integrating work, marriage, parenthood and self-care. Join us for a talk on Wednesday, September 9th from 12-1pm PT and pre-order your copy of Unapologetically Ambitious here.

“In a world that too often tells women, especially Black women, to stay small, keep quiet, and know their limits, this book says otherwise.” – Sheryl Sandburg, COO at Facebook 

Join the #UnapologeticallyShellye movement on Twitter and Instagram @ShelArchambeau  

Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Time: 12-1 PM PT / 3-4 PM ET
Location: Online, webinar link to be provided to registrants only
Cost: Free

About Shellye

Ms. Archambeau is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high performance teams, and organizations. Ms. Archambeau currently serves on the boards of Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies, and Okta. She is also a strategic advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada, Capital Markets Group.

Ms. Archambeau has over 30 years of experience in technology.  She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based, governance, risk, and compliance software company.  During her tenure MetricStream grew from a fledgling startup into a global market leader. 

She is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms. A book that will inspire you and provide the tools to enable you to fight the battles, make the tradeoffs and create the life you want.Ms. Archambeau enjoys the performing arts, traveling, cooking and writing a blog that provides career advice, insights and other musings (https://shellye.com).

About WAFFA

The Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to accelerate the success of Penn Wharton female founders and investors. Today, 13% of Penn founders are women but they raise just 6% of venture capital. WAFFA harnesses the power of the Penn Wharton network to educate, support, and foster connections for female founders and funders.