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SpeakHER Series Watch Party (Economic Development & FoundHERs)

June 5 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Join us for an exciting session of the Entrepreneurship SpeakHER Series featuring Lisa Smith, an experienced female entrepreneur with over 30 years of economic development experience. Discover how entrepreneurship has evolved and its impact on the economy in both Canada and the U.S. Dive into the significant contributions of female founders to the growth of the entrepreneurship sector. Gain strategic insights and inspiration so that we can all continue to strive for success and innovation. Register now to save your spot! If you aren’t able to attend live, still do register and we will send you a copy of the event recording.

To connect with Lisa, visit her LinkedIn profile here: Lisa S. Smith | LinkedIn

*Although this series is targeted to women-identifying speakers and participants, we welcome all to attend and interact with the activities in this virtual session.*

Lisa’s Bio: Lisa Smith is the Founder and President of North Star Innovation Partners, a woman-owned consulting firm providing leadership, management and strategic advisory services for economic development organizations, business incubator/accelerator programs, and colleges to activate and amplify entrepreneurial ecosystem development, growth, and economic impact.

Development International. She also provided launch management for four business incubation programs in the Washington, DC-Baltimore area: the Frederick Innovative Technology Center (FITCI), Fairfax County BioAccelerator, the Harford County Business Innovation Center (HBIC) and most recently, the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC), located on the campus of Bowie State University (BSU) the oldest Historically Black College and university (HBCU) in Maryland.

Soon after Lisa helped launch Bowie BIC in 2010, she incorporated a Women’s Business Center (WBC) into the Bowie BIC program, becoming the first business incubator in Maryland to be co-located with a WBC. In 2018 Lisa launched a women’s breakfast series and cash training sessions with Capital One sponsorship. In January 2019, she established the award-winning Bowie BIC 8(a) Accelerator Program–America’s first 8(a) business accelerator program–for underserved contractors, including women and veteran-owned government contractors certified to participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) business development program. The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) named Bowie BIC the Most Innovative Entrepreneurship Center of the Year in 2020 for the 8(a) Accelerator Program. Bowie BIC received InBIA’s first Julius Morgan Diversity and Inclusion Award for Business Incubation in 2022.

Based on the impact of the 8(a) Accelerator Program, Lisa helped Bowie BIC secure $3M in designated federal funding in May 2022 to launch the Bowie BIC 8(a) Center of Excellence for Government Contracting at Bowie State University. Lisa concluded her contract as Executive Director in 2022 but continues to provide development support under contract for Bowie BIC.

Lisa serves on the Board of Directors of the International Business Innovation Center (InBIA), the association of global entrepreneurship ecosystem builders. She contributed to two InBIA best-selling publications: Developing a Business Incubation Program and A Practical Guide to Business Incubator Marketing. She also previously served on the board of directors for the Maryland Business Innovation Association (MBIA), advancing business incubation and Innovation in Maryland.

Lisa earned a master’s degree in business communication from The American University Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C., and she is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.


June 5
8:00 am - 5:00 pm