PACT Foundation Breakfast Recap: Diversity Over Breakfast

Written by Danielle Pinto, Director, Events, PACT

On Wednesday March 8th, as tens of thousands of people around the world celebrated International Women’s Day, more than 300 members of the innovation community in Philadelphia gathered for the PACT Foundation Breakfast, a celebration of women-led enterprises.

A portion of the proceeds from the breakfast went directly to the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs’ AWE Ventures – Powered by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a crowd-funded, donation-driven capital pool exclusively in support of women-led startups and emerging enterprises.

The breakfast program featured a series of lightning talks from leading female innovators, focused around the theme “Connect. Engage. Grow.”

  • Lisa Skeete Tatum, Co-Founder and CEO of Landit, a technology platform created to increase the success and engagement of women in the workplace, talked about how important it is that women track and celebrate their own professional accomplishments, and suggested that every woman assemble a personal “Board of Advisors.”
  • Lucinda Duncalfe, ‎President & CEO of Monetate, highlighted how past connections helped steer her career path, and stressed the importance of personal authenticity in professional life. She talked about the idea of “designing your life” – finding a way to structure your personal life to support your professional goals.
  • Bethany Edwards, Co-Founder of Lia Diagnostics, emphasized that lifelong learning is essential for both personal growth and growth in one’s career. Her “desire to build beyond what is known” led to the development of Lia, a first-of-its-kind biodegradable, flushable pregnancy test.

Program moderator Nancy Dunleavy, Founder, President and CEO of Dunleavy & Associates, described these women as “lightning rods,” who with their words and work have channeled energy and inspired innovation.

Other highlights of the program included:

  • Event Chair Corinne Good, a Partner at EY, who contrasted the growing international economic impact of women with the social and professional hurdles women continue to face, and spoke of EY’s commitment to closing the gap towards the achievement of gender parity.
  • Ellie Stang, Founder, President and CEO of ProgenyHealth and President, The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, updated the group on the progress of AWE Ventures, which since its inception in 2015 has approved investment in 19 early stage women-led enterprises.

For more information about the progress of AWE Ventures and the companies the fund has invested in, CLICK HERE [1].

And don’t forget to make your own donation to AWE Ventures.  Whatever the size of your gift, it will help us support women-led enterprises as we work towards a more diverse and equitable innovation community.


[1] See BFTP one-sheet attachment.

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