Highlights of the Empower 2023 Conference and Pitch Competition

Written by
Don Seitz '79
Aug. 10, 2023

Empower is a Princeton University initiative celebrating underrepresented academic entrepreneurs (those commercializing IP developed at universities across the globe) and all founders and funders who are committed to diversity and inclusion. Empower brings together national thought-leaders to share actionable knowledge and tools that can help transform university discoveries into companies and ventures that advance societal and economic progress. This year’s conference was held virtually over three days and included a live, in-person pitch competition with a $100K grand cash prize. Highlights of the Empower 2023 Conference and Pitch Competition included:

    •    A range of funding discussions, including a keynote fireside chat featuring Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine and Sydney Thomas, Founding Partner of Impressionism Capital and several panel discussions on tech transfer strategies, non-dilutive grants, funding strategies, insights from venture capitalists and more. These discussions led up to the live pitch competition (link to separate article) held in NYC and featuring six exceptional female founders selected as part of a rigorous application process.

    •    Conversations among founders and funders in three different sectors: biotech, physical sciences, and social sciences/humanities.  

    •    Additional expert insights in discussions with Julia Boorstin (CNBC Senior Media and Tech Reporter and author of When Women Lead), Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (President of KNOWN Holdings, a new financial platform focused on accelerating and scaling the BIPOC economy), Kate Goodall (CEO of social impact firm Halcyon), and Marian Croak (Vice President, Engineering, Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technology, Google).

    •    Each day also featured one workshop each with the themes of customer discovery, storytelling, and strategic planning.

We encourage you to watch recordings of these sessions here.