Introduction

First WISE Symposium held

First WISE Symposium held

Whitman 100 graphic

WISE Symposium held

WISE symposium sign

Recognizing the impact of women-led businesses on economic growth as well as the untapped potential among women, the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship partnered with KeyBank to launch the annual symposium “Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship,” known as WISE was first held in April 2003 at Syracuse’s OnCenter. Some 20 venture capitalists, consultants, successful entrepreneurs and educators came together to share experiences and tactics with several hundred conference participants. The day-long event included sessions on pitching new ventures, dealing with investors, negotiating deals, navigating legal issues, leveraging SBA and Chamber of Commerce resources, and guerrilla marketing.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Joline Godfrey, the author of No More Frogs to Kiss and CEO of Independent Means, a leading provider of products and services that teach girls financial independence, and by Karen Johnson Street, associate deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Johnson Street manages the SBA’s business development programs that provide education and counseling to more than one million clients annually. The WISE Symposium continues to be held annually.