Brigitte Daniel Joins Foundation Breakfast Lineup March 8

We are happy to announce the addition of Brigitte Daniel to our Foundation Breakfast lineup. Brigitte is the EVP of Wilco Electronic Systems, a private cable operator dedicated to providing innovative technology services to underserved communities and to addressing diversity and inclusion inequities within technology ecosystems across the Nation.

As an acknowledged  ‘telecom visionary’ and vocal advocate for gender and cultural diversity in the tech industry, Brigitte Daniel is the EVP of Wilco Electronic Systems, her family’s private cable operation that has specialized in providing affordable technology to underserved communities for over 40 years.

Over the last few years, Brigitte has created several substantial private/public partnerships providing innovative solutions to address digital disparities and lack of representation within technology sectors across the Nation, thus positioning Wilco, as a broadband and technology leader, specifically working on behalf of disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.

Driven by her mission to address digital divides and tech diversity and inclusion inequities, Brigitte has emerged as a national thought leader and was recently appointed to the FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment by Chairman Ajit Pai in 2017, was awarded a 2011 Eisenhower Fellowship where she traveled to India and Sri Lanka examining emerging technologies beneficial to urban low income communities in the United States, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the “Top Women In Technology” according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. 

As a distinguished speaker and founder of Mogulette, an organization committed to diversifying and expanding the reach of opportunities within technology ecosystems, Brigitte has been featured at TEDX Philadelphia, Philadelphia Magazine’s Think Fest, The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, Spelman College, the National Urban League, the SXSW Conference, and most recently was a key presenter at the unveiling of the City of Philadelphia’s submission of its’ Amazon HQ2 pitch.


Natalie J. Egan, Founder and CEO of Translator

Natalie J. Egan (she / her / hers) is an openly transgender B2B software entrepreneur. As CEO and founder of Translator, she is on a mission to scale empathy and equality through technology. Natalie has over 20 years of experience driving digital change, developing high performing teams, building complex products, and selling enterprise solutions. Prior to founding Translator in 2016 – and prior to her transition – Natalie was CEO and founder of PeopleLinx, a venture capital backed social selling technology solution that was recently acquired by a leading sales acceleration company. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Natalie has also worked in leadership positions at LinkedIn, Autonomy, and Ecolab. Based in New York City, she spends her free time with her three children or mentoring female entrepreneurs and LGBTQ youth. Natalie is a graduate of Cornell University and The Villanova School of Business and is currently writing her first book about her transition from male to female CEO and the business lessons learned along the way.

Ross Baird, Founder & President of Village Capital

Ross is an entrepreneur and investor who is best known for finding, developing, and investing in entrepreneurs in places and industries where most people aren’t looking.

He founded Village Capital in 2009 and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in over fifty countries since then. He has visited over a hundred cities worldwide by train, plane, and bus in an effort to find new entrepreneurs and help people supporting them, and he and Village Capital have partnered with over twenty Fortune 500 companies to help large institutions uncover new innovations. Before joining Village Capital, Ross worked for a venture capital firm and was on the founding team of four different startups.

Ross and his work have been featured by more than fifty media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Inc., and FastCompany. He has also lectured in entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia since 2012. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.


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.