Introducing Empower 2023’s keynote speakers

Written by
Claire Grace Shin, Class of 2025
March 30, 2023

This year’s Empower conference on April 26, 27 and 28, hosted by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council to spotlight and uplift underrepresented groups in entrepreneurship, will celebrate women academic entrepreneurs and all those commercializing university intellectual property. Empower 2023’s keynote speakers, Katie Rae, Kate Goodall and Julia Boorstin Samuelson, are exemplars of that theme.

Katie Rae is the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference, April 26th; she is the CEO & Managing Partner of MIT’s The Engine, founded in 2017. She also serves as a Board Member for several of The Engine Fund's portfolio companies. Aligned closely with the objectives of the Empower Conference, The Engine works to bridge the gap between discovery in the lab and commercialization for the most promising teams and breakthrough inventions. The firm works to create positive impacts on society and the environment, focusing on Tough Tech to address the planet’s most challenging problems and to help achieve a healthier population, a more accessible and adaptive society, and a more resilient world through science, engineering and leadership. Katie is an extraordinary female leader and a titan in the world of venture capital. In her role at The Engine, she shares the vision of the Empower Conference to support women and other underrepresented academic entrepreneurs and to help close the funding gaps they face.  

The keynote speaker on the second day of the conference, April 27th, is Kate Goodall, Co-Founder and CEO of Halcyon, an incubator for early-stage impact ventures. Halcyon believes impact-driven businesses represent a powerful opportunity to drive equity and inclusivity in the workplace and in society, a conviction that mirrors the inspiration behind the  Empower Conference to celebrate underrepresented academic entrepreneurs. Kate is an exceptional voice for impact ventures and their growing influence in our world economy. Purpose-driven startups are additionally noteworthy because women entrepreneurs are often leading this growth. Kate brings insights and expertise to social impact leadership, one of the themes of the second day of the Empower Conference.

Empower 2023’s Day 3 keynote speaker is Julia Boorstin Samuelson, CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent. Significantly, she also helped launch and now leads the network’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender and diversity gaps. She is the author of the bestseller When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them, published in the fall of 2022. In her book, Julia highlights the distinctive leadership qualities of women entrepreneurs. She explores skills and talents including empathy, transparency, interpersonal communications, resiliency, diversity values and self-evaluation that distinguish women leaders and propelling more and more of them to greater heights. Julia’s insights will inspire attendees at the Empower Conference to leverage their talents and pursue their dreams.

Princeton Innovation is excited to have Rae, Goodall and Boorstin share their entrepreneurial insights at the Empower 2023 Conference and Pitch Competition. Registration is now open for the Empower Conference, which takes place virtually on April 26, 27 and 28. For more information and detailed biographical sketches of each of these keynote speakers, please visit the Speakers page at the Empower website.