Mather Entrepreneurship Day

A one-day learning opportunity covering the basics of entrepreneurship while centering women's experiences, with a focus on Northeast Ohio. 

According to the Association for Women in Science’s Revolutionizing the STEM Entrepreneurship Ecosystem report, “less than 4% of venture capital is awarded to women.” In Ohio, the status of women entrepreneurs has been trending better — as of 2019, American Express’s annual State of Women-Owned Business report showed the number of women-owned businesses in Ohio grew 37 percent since 2007. The Cleveland Metropolitan Area showed even more impressive numbers with a little more than 24,500 new businesses added since 2007 which is a 52 percent increase. Employment in that area also increased by 11 percent. In order to continue progressing forward, we need to keep investing in our local women entrepreneurs.

The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, in collaboration with Jumpstart and the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship, is excited for our first Mather Entrepreneurship Day. Titled "The First Entrepreneurs Club," this event is a no-cost, one-day event covering the basics of launching your entrepreneurship journey with sessions and panels centered around women entrepreneurs. 

This event will be Saturday, June 4th, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd Suite 248, Cleveland, OH 44106. Parking and/or a return RTA pass will be provided.


8:30am-9:00am Registration and Breakfast
9:00am-9:30am Welcome Address from Dr. Angela Clark-Taylor
9:30am-10:20am Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
10:30am-11:15pm Branding and Social Media (Group 1) Idea Development (Group 2)
11:15pm-12:00pm Finance (Group 1) Branding and Social Media (Group 2)
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm-1:45pm Creating Your Branding (Group 1) Financing Your Venture (Group 2)
2:00pm-2:50pm Creating a Better ___________
3:00pm-3:50pm Value Proposition and Local Resources
4:00pm-4:50pm Women Leading the Way in Entrepreneurship Panel
4:50pm-5:00pm Closing

Session Leads


Sharia Livingston


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As a Mother, Entrepreneur, Registered Nurse, and once a teen mom; Sharia Livingston defines the idea that one’s past does not determine where they are going. Rather than succumb to society’s stereotypes and expectations of failure, Sharia saw her dreams come true: the vision of creating a brand that encourages leaders through the power of fashion whilst encouraging individual thought was made into a reality.

Coming from the streets of East Cleveland Ohio, she knew how hard it was to get real guidance and mentorship. Wanting to give go-getters a real head start by giving them the jewels it took her years to obtain, Sharia birthed Rich Scholars. A resource that extends a helping hand to emerging entrepreneurs.


Mery Sanchez

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Mery Sanchez is the Digital Learning Center Site Coordinator for Jumpstart Inc. Mery is responsible for managing the Clark Fulton Learning Center powered by Jumpstart funded by Verizon. In this role, she will be creating and supporting the relationships in the center with the Hispanic community and businesses.

Prior to Jumpstart, Mery worked in a digital marketing agency as the social media community manager creating content and developing social media campaigns. After moving to Cleveland, she has used her knowledge and skills to work in the digital marketing industry as well as management at Istyle Furniture stores. Most recently she worked as a bilingual recruiter to help fellow Hispanic/Latinos find a job match that would suit their set of skills.

Mery has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in Marketing and a Certification on Digital Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.


Phelan Spence

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Phelan Spence is the Services & Financial Analysis Associate for Jumpstart Inc. Phelan empowers entrepreneurs and business owners by helping illuminate their financial possibilities. In Spanish and English, Phelan advises clients on pricing, financial projections, goal-setting, and presenting financials to investors and lenders.

Five years of experience in finance & accounting give Phelan the clarity and conscientiousness to work through complex financial situations. At JumpStart, Phelan was initially hired to handle accounts payable, accounts receivable, and 1099 tax filings, but he quickly progressed to completing intricate account reconciliations, regularly processing payments, managing interns, writing training manuals, and redesigning forms like our Supplier Diversity Questionnaire. From the beginning of his time at JumpStart, Phelan has been passionate about directly helping local entrepreneurs through opportunities like the Core City: Impact Program, and he volunteered to advise clients whenever he could. This eventually led to his transition from the Finance & Accounting team to the Services team.

At Cleveland State University, Phelan earned a BBA in International Business and a BA in Spanish, both cum laude. In addition, he studied abroad in Spain and Nicaragua. Phelan currently lives, gardens, and cooks in Cleveland Heights with his partner, Mindy.

Camille Heard

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As Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Camille serves JumpStart’s entrepreneur clients by guiding them through market validation, customer discovery, creating a scalable business model, and navigating Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial resources. Camille also services The Urban League, The President’s Council, The Hispanic Business Center, and ECDI in efforts to support founders of color and build up Cleveland’s Black and Hispanic startup community.

Camille is passionate about entrepreneurship and is a start-up founder herself.  She has led her own company FELOH through idea, market validation, and product development, and is currently working with her growing team to scale the company. Prior to following her entrepreneurial calling, Camille worked alongside healthcare lobbyists to advocate for legislative and regulatory initiatives for underserved communities.

Camille holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied medical anthropology and a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied health policy and management.


Patrycja Ajdukiewicz


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As Senior Advisor, Small Business Education & Support, Patrycja “Patty” Ajdukiewicz supports JumpStart’s educational programming efforts while also providing direct technical assistance to our highest potential clients.

Prior to joining JumpStart, Patty was a Development Finance Analyst at City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Department, where she oversaw the development of the small business retail incubator in Glenville. Beforehand, as a relationship manager at the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), she coached small business entrepreneurs seeking funding to expand or start their businesses that resulted in $1,500,000 in micro-loans to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Patty is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University


Feowyn Mackinnon

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Feowyn MacKinnon is currently the Partner, Learning Center Curriculum and Education where she is responsible for curriculum, education, and outreach as part of the Verizon Community Forward initiative.

Prior to taking on this role, Feowyn served as the Head of School at MC2STEM High School, a STEM, Project-Based, Mastery Learning environment that is a part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Feowyn began her education career as part of the prestigious New York City Teaching Fellows program, teaching English at Archimedes Academy for Science, Technology & Math in the Bronx while simultaneously earning her M.S in English Education at Fordham University. At the completion of the program, she returned to Cleveland so she could teach in the district she, herself attended. She has worked at MC2STEM High School and the Cleveland School of the Arts in both teaching and administration & leadership roles.

Throughout her time in Cleveland, Feowyn has maintained an active involvement with the Ohio STEM community, working as a consultant with the Great Lakes Science Center, Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE), as well as the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES).

Feowyn is passionate about education, STEM, and outreach, and is committed to serving Cleveland Community.


Erika Howard


Erika Howard

Erika Howard is currently the Women in STEM Program Manager, where she works with the CWRU community to create a more equitable world in STEM. This includes working with the student group WISER, working with young women in STEM undergraduate programs to create pathways to advanced STEM degrees, and working with local K-12 schools to encourage young girls interested in STEM to pursue the fields in higher education. Previously, Erika worked in a STEM-focused high school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, first as a teacher and later as a Digital Learning Coordinator, where she worked with a wide range of students to help recover past credit and plan for their futures.


Parking will be validated for this event; participants can park in the underground garage located at 11172 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106.

This event is held in the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women in the Tinkham Veale University Center; when entering the garage, follow the large blue sign and proceed to the left. The entrance is a marked set of gray doors with the TVUC logo and a wheelchair ramp leading to it.

Take the elevator to the second floor and turn to the right; we will have signs directing participants to the Mather Center.

If you would prefer to take the RTA to the event, we are also able to provide an RTA pass (just make sure you request it in your registration).

At this time, Case Western Reserve University does not require masks in the building, though those who would prefer to wear a mask are welcome to do so. 

Because space is limited, we want to ensure that we are able to maximize attendance. If you register for the event but are no longer able to attend, you must email by June 1, 2022 with a cancellation request. If you do not do so, you may be charged a $20 "no-show" fee.

If you attempt to register for the event but registration is full, you will be able to register to be on the waitlist. If someone cancels, you will receive an email notification saying a spot has opened, and you will have 24 hours to confirm if you would still like to attend. If you do not respond within 24 hours, we will move to the next person on the waitlist.