2024 Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship program: Innovate, elevate, and empower

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USPTO Black innovation and entrepreneurship program

Do you want to learn more about becoming a successful entrepreneur, small business owner, or inventor? Do you want to hear how you can connect to the innovation ecosystem to jumpstart your business idea? Joins us virtually or in person for our free 2024 Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship program on Thursday, February 22 from 1-4:30 p.m. CT at the T-REX Building in St. Louis, Missouri.

Special guests and expert panelists will discuss resources and services that can help you access capital, protect your intellectual property (IP), find mentors, and network with fellow innovators and entrepreneurs. 

After the program, in-person participants can attend a networking session with subject matter experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Join the program

Agenda

(Subject to change. All times CT)

TimeTopicSpeakers
1-1:04 p.m. WelcomeLynette Watson
Regional Director, Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
1:04-1:07 p.m.Greetings from USPTO leadershipDerrick Brent
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO
1:07-1:10 p.m.Program overviewNaThanya Ferguson
Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO
1:10-1:15 p.m.Ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the USPTO and The National Business League

Derrick Brent 
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO

Dr. Kenneth Harris
President and CEO, The National Business League

1:15-1:40 p.m.Fireside conversation

Arriel Bivens-Biggs
CEO, Young Biz Kids

J'Montez Cameron
Student, Harris-Stowe State University

Dr. Kenneth Harris 
President and CEO, The National Business League

Kristy Jackson
Executive Director, Center of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Harris-Stowe State University

Derrick Brent (moderator)
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO

1:40-1:43 p.m.Break 
1:43-2:20 p.m.Innovate, elevate, and empower: Engaging conversations with local entrepreneurs

Byron Strong
CEO, 2Day's Special

Marvin Thomas
CEO, BFT Products

Terrance Wheeler
Founder and CEO, LumiereVodka

James Wilson (moderator)
Acting Regional Director, Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office, USPTO

2:20-2:23 p.m.Break 
2:23-3 p.m.

Support from America's Innovation Agency:

Learn about USPTO resources, including Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs), Trademarks Customer Outreach, the Patent Pro Bono Program, Office of Education, Office of Innovation Outreach, and the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office.

Christina Calloway
Attorney Advisor, Trademarks Customer Outreach, USPTO

Eleanore Chadderdon
Librarian, St. Louis Public Library Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)

Anand Desai
Patent Pro Bono Program, USPTO

NaThanya Ferguson
Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO

Reggie Duncan (moderator)
Education Program Specialist, Office of Education, USPTO

3-3:03 p.m.Break 
3:03-3:33 p.m.Access to funding

Stacey Fowler
Senior VP, Minority and Small Business Empowerment, St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

Todd Gilyard
Project Director, Missouri Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center

Kevin Wilson
Executive Director, Small Business Empowerment Center

Sean Wilkerson (moderator)
Innovation Outreach Specialist, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO

3:33-3:35 p.m.Wrap-up and closingNaThanya Ferguson 
Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO
3:35-4:30 p.m.Networking event (in-person only): Meet with subject matter experts from the USPTO, SBDC, MBDA, and SLDC 

 

Speaker biographies

 

The Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program is presented by the Office of Innovation Outreach. For more information, or if you have any questions, please email InnovationOutreach@​uspto.gov

To see recordings of previous Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs, visit the event series page and select the event you want to watch.

The content and opinions shared by our guest speakers during this program are not those of the USPTO, nor an endorsement of any persons, products, programs, or policies mentioned therein.


The USPTO offers inspirational and educational events, open to all, that feature successful innovators from a wide variety of backgrounds. Come learn about intellectual property, innovation, and valuable resources available to independent inventors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and underrepresented or underserved populations. Find out more at www.uspto.gov/innovationforall.

 

Accessibility accommodation

Accessibility

If you are an individual with a disability and would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please submit your request to the contact information listed above.

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