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OPEN Washington DC Hosted 14th Annual Conference: Change Through Innovative Entrepreneurship Keynotes

More than 150 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to network and learn from key figures leading the business and entrepreneurship industries on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, MD.

The diverse lineup of speakers included Marissa Levin, a globally recognized growth strategist who empowered the audience with ideas to be mindful of: “be intentional with your communities,” said Levin, describing the need to have co-workers that care and feel connected to the business. Levin also advocated believing in faith over the fear of failure.

Jackie Robinson-Burnette, deputy associate administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and soon to be a contracting expert at Live Oak Bank, shared her story on being humble and exceptional at what you do. “This is not about you, it’s about all the firms you’re supposed to guide and be accessible to.”
The youngest speaker was Salar Riar, the 13-year-old founder of Pet Ping and recipient of the U.S.

Presidential Educational Excellence Award. The annual conference was a platform for him to share his vision for Pet Ping and the inspiration behind it – a GPS-tracking solution to the 8 million pets lost every year.

Attendees gained valuable insight through panels of expert industry leaders on social entrepreneurship and Blockchain technology, a revolutionary digital data-recording tool for business.

The conference also held an opportunity to raise funds for one winning strategic team competing in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition. VakSea won $3,000 towards their business – creating oral vaccines for the aquaculture industry. VakSea and the other two competitors – SmartBridge and IP Jukebox – were judged by Shahed Amanullah of Affinis Labs, Tricia Ratliff, angel investor, and Fred Gumbinner of Keiretsu Forum.

Like the pitch competition, the speed networking session is a staple at OPEN DC’s conferences, encouraging the networking aspect of OPEN’s mission.

The conference was the 14th annual event hosted by the non-profit OPEN Washington DC.

“OPEN has expanded tremendously over the years,” said OPEN Washington DC President, Farooq Cheema, “the annual conference connects speakers and guests across identities through one common link: we are all invested in creating substantial and world-changing businesses. Our expert panelists reflect our true diversity.”

Panelists included:

Blockchain Technology Applications panel
Dan Doney, co-founder, Securrency Inc.
Dan Callahan, vice president, Government Blockchain Association (GBA)

Social Entrepreneurship panel

Cynthia Ritchie, founder, Kultur, Inc.
Shafiq Khan, founding partner, Teach-the-World Foundation
Jennifer Clinton, president, Global Ties U.S.

OPEN Washington DC is a voluntary, not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and leadership.

Founded in 1988, OPEN has 12 chapters including Washington D.C., Silicon Valley, London, New York, and Islamabad. OPEN Washington DC is supported by a coveted group of highly successful local business leaders spanning various industries, contributing over $1.4 billion each year to the local economy.

Event Media Sponsor : Next LifeStyle TV
Photography: Asad Khan, John Khan

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