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Join us as we showcase the stories of women who embody adaptability and resilience in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship. In 2022, the U.S. VC Female Founders Dashboard reported that businesses founded exclusively by women represented only 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups. How can we collectively empower and uplift women entrepreneurs to break barriers and increase representation in venture-backed startups?

Event Schedule

Welcome Remarks: Regina Weiss, Managing Director, BDO

Opening Remarks: Kristen Prinz, Principal, The Prinz Law Firm

Moderated Conversation: Yasmin Curtis, Founder and CEO, Two Fish Distribution/Crab ShackJennifer Fried, CEO and Co-Founder, Flow Medical; Thru Shivakumar, CEO and Co-Founder, CohesionStarr Marcello, Deputy Dean, MBA Programs, Chicago Booth

Closing Remarks: Jessica Fairchild, Partner, Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres

Yasmin Curtis, Founder and CEO, Two Fish Distribution/Crab Shack

Yasmin Curtis is a Southside Chicago native who has been a part of the local business community for over a decade. Her spirit for community development and entrepreneurship guided Yasmin to launch Two Fish Crab Shack Co. in 2016 to offer locals a vibrant and fun dining destination for fresh seafood paired with her unique and irresistible sauces. In 2020, Yasmin launched her second endeavor, Two Fish Distribution, to bring the flavor of her Bronzeville restaurant to retailers nationwide.

Jennifer Fried, CEO and Co-Founder, Flow Medical

Jennifer is the CEO and co-founder of Flow Medical, developer of a novel thrombolysis catheter to treat pulmonary embolism. Previously, Jennifer was the GM of Explorer Surgical, a GHX Company, after leading the company as CEO and Co-Founder from inception to exit. Both companies were founded with leading physicians at The University of Chicago Medical Center. Within the university, Jennifer also serves on the faculty at Booth as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Thru Shivakumar, CEO and Co-Founder, Cohesion

Thru Shivakumar is the CEO and Co-Founder at Cohesion, a real estate software company that creates intelligent buildings and enhances human experiences by connecting people and systems in a single, comprehensive platform. She is responsible for leading Cohesion’s alignment and execution of its strategic vision, as well as delivering shareholder value.  Thru has 19+ years of experience in private, public, and civic sectors of the economy holding positions across finance, business strategy, M&A, entrepreneurship and business development.

Starr Marcello, Deputy Dean, MBA Programs, Chicago Booth

As the Deputy Dean for MBA Programs, Starr oversees the full-time, evening, weekend, and executive MBA Programs at Chicago Booth. In addition, she oversees Booth’s new masters programs, the Master in Management and the Master in Finance. Starr has helped hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and community members launch the next generation of high-impact ventures, including the founding teams of Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), Braintree Venmo (acquired by Ebay’s PayPal for $800M), Simple Mills, and Tovala.

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