Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit

This annual event, hosted by the UF Warrington College of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, offers inspirational stories and lessons learned from successful women entrepreneurs. The event provides opportunities for women to connect with peers and other successful women business leaders to foster a community of women in entrepreneurship where they benefit through mentoring, network building, start-up and career advice, internships and role models.

2023 Summit

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs & Leaders: the Importance of Advisors, Mentors, and Sponsors

Friday March 31, 2023
10:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Offered virtually via Zoom

Learn about, share and celebrate the empowering potential of women’s entrepreneurship.

The UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center and the Collaboratory for Women Innovators invite students, faculty, staff, and members of the UF community to attend the Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit. This event offers inspirational stories and lessons learned from successful women entrepreneurs. The event provides opportunities for UF women to connect with peers and other successful business leaders to foster shared learning and community-building, as well as networking, mentoring, start-up and career advice, and career connections.

Zoom recordings:

The 2023 virtual event will feature:

  • Lauren Pasquarella Daley
    Lauren Pasquarella Daley


    Lauren Pasquarella Daley, Ph.D. is Vice President at Catalyst, a global research and consulting organization. She is also a UF graduate. Dr. Daley serves as Catalyst’s lead subject matter expert on women and the future of work, where she develops cutting-edge research, builds innovative learning products, and conducts data-driven consulting for companies and leaders. A recognized future of work thought leader, her work has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, CNBC, Thrive Global, and Fortune. Before joining Catalyst, Dr. Daley worked as a counselor in university career services and in private practice.

    Lauren on LinkedIn

  • Kim Kaupe
    Kim Kaupe


    Kim is a UF graduate who is a founder, keynote speaker, and teacher. As a student at UF, she appeared on ABC’s hit primetime show, Shark Tank (securing offers from 4 out of 5 sharks!). From worldwide stages to her online courses, Kim’s mission of investing in yourself, supercharging your career and building your network has garnered the praise of corporate clients such as American Express, YPO, TEDx and LinkedIn. Her weekly live series, Coffee With Kim brings in experts, founders & leaders to share tips, tricks and strategies that help them excel. Additionally, Kim is a partner in a fan engagement agency, Bright Ideas Only, working with A-list properties such as Paul McCartney, Oprah, the NY Mets and Shawn Mendes to create marketing programs, new revenue streams and branding. She was named to Inc.’s 35 Under 35, Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 and Forbes 30 Under 30.

    Kim’s website

  • Maria Vargas
    Maria Vargas


    Maria lives by the phrases: “It’s your world” and “seek discomfort.” She has a background in communications, strategic storytelling, and entrepreneurship. Her company, Brand Spark Consulting, supports purpose-driven organizations through consulting, and advisory. ​Maria is an ultra-endurance athlete having completed an Ironman 70.3, a 10-mile open water swim, two marathons, and is training for a 50K. Her Substack publication, It’s Your World, became popular after her story asking her Uber driver and a stranger to go paragliding. Born in Bogota, Colombia, Maria grew up in Gainesville, FL, graduated from the University of Florida, and lives in Austin, Texas.

  • Vivian Filer
    Vivian Filer


    Vivian Washington Filer is a long time resident of Gainesville, Florida. She is a retired Professor of Nursing from Santa Fe College. She was educated at the University of Florida, Nova University and the University of South Florida. She has served as a community advocate, active member of Mt. Olive AME Church and a frequent visitor in schools and churches as a Storyteller. Presently she serves on a number of Boards and Committees in the city, spending the majority of her time in her roles as Founder and CEO of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center.

  • Wanda Nichols
    Wanda Nichols, RN


    Wanda has been a Nurse for 34 years. Her experience includes Unit Manager, Nurse Educator, CPR instructor, Research Nurse, Parish Nurse, Community Health Educator, and Advocate. Currently she works as a Program Coordinator in the UF College of Medicine Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Division and she is an active member of the Greater Gainesville Black Nurse Association and Gnv4All. Wanda also works as a Health, Wellness, Natural Food Advocate to engage, educate and empower individuals, churches, organizations and communities to take their health back through advocacy in the practice of lifestyle medicine. She enjoys beach life, exercise, cooking, reading, hanging out with family and friends. Wanda is most proud of being a mother to her son & daughter and a nana to Riley & CJ.

  • Ann Christiano
    Ann Christiano


    Ann Searight Christiano is the founder and Director of the Center for Public Interest Communications. Public Interest Communications uses science-driven strategic communications and storytelling to advance positive social change. She regularly trains scientists and other leaders to convey the importance of their work. Before coming to UF, Searight was a senior communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Barron’s, the Stanford Social Innovation Review and JAMA. She has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, the U.S. Department of State, the Gates Foundation, the International Labor Organization, and nonprofits and foundations throughout the world.

  • Eugenia Blaubach
    Eugenia Blaubach


    Eugenia Blaubach is a strategic storyteller with over four years of experience crafting communications strategies that advance climate justice, public health, and gender equity around the world. As an associate at Burness, she has worked with the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, the Rights and Resources Initiative, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its grantees. Eugenia is from Valencia, Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish and French. She graduated with a B.S. in public relations and a minor in French and Francophone studies from the University of Florida, where she was deeply involved with the Center for Public Interest Communications.

    Eugenia’s LinkedIn

  • Terri Bailey
    Terri Bailey


    Terri L. Bailey, MA is native of Gainesville’s oldest historically Black community, the Pleasant Street District. She is a graduate of Bethune Cookman University, Southern New Hampshire University (MA English/Creative Writing) and the University of Florida (MA in Women Studies). Bailey is a certified Master Coach (Life & Empowerment) and EFT/TFT Practitioner. Terri is a writer of poetry, speculative fiction, Afrofuturism and Black horror. She is the founder of the Bailey Learning and Arts Collective (501c3), Queens Room Women’s Empowerment Group and Terri Bailey CHATs. Terri still lives in Pleasant Street with her husband Turbado and daughter, Aaliyah.

  • Imani Sanchez
    Imani Sanchez


    Imani Sanchez is a second-year student at the University of Florida. She double majors in Political Science and International Studies. Imani interned for Mrs. Terri Bailey through UF’s Active Learning Program in the Spring of 2022. Her responsibilities included updating websites, weekly communication, and community outreach. Imani has been involved in community service at UF through the Hispanic Student Association and Circle K International. During her internship, Mrs. Bailey taught Imani the importance of community engagement and how to be involved in the greater Gainesville area. As she continues to serve the community, Imani looks to Mrs. Bailey for mentorship and guidance. Inspired by Mrs. Bailey, Imani has partnered with the Alachua County school system to help close the inequality gap in Alachua public schools.

  • Betsy Carlson
    Betsy Carlson

    Moment of Movement

    Betsy Carlson is a co-founder of Searchlight Yoga and has been teaching yoga in Gainesville for 20 years. Her teaching includes moments of still meditation mixed with breathwork and movement flows where each pose transitions slowly to the next. Betsy came to yoga through dance and approaches each class as a choreography. She seeks a balance in her classes between yinyasa (flowing) and longer held poses with alignment achieved through both anatomy-based cues and inspiration through poetic imagery. She also has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UF and has worked for 27 years as a Senior Principal Investigator specializing in Caribbean and Southeast historic and prehistoric archaeology at SEARCH, Inc.

  • Anna Sampson
    Anna Sampson

    Carbon, Water, Plastic, and Waste Calculating & Offsetting Expert and our WES Offsetting Partner: Anna Sampson of We Are Neutral & Sense of Scale, a certified B Corp

    Anna Grace Sampson is the director of We Are Neutral, an environmental nonprofit that assists individuals and organizations with understanding, reducing, and managing their comprehensive carbon footprints. She received her Masters in Sustainable Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 and completed the required 5,600 Intern Development Program hours to become a licensed architect. She has since used her creative and mathematical education to fight climate change in the nonprofit sector. Anna is a volunteer energy auditor, TEDx speaker, guest lecturer, and mentor to young professionals.

Presented by:

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, Warrington College of Business
  • UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research
  • Collaboratory for Inclusive Entrepreneurship


  • Inclusion, Engagement, Excellence: We Are Warrington, University of Florida
  • Florida Women in Business Association, University of Florida


Past Speakers

Photo Album: 2017 Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium