The UM Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) proudly presents the inaugural REDe Entrepreneurship Summit October 18-19, 2018. Our goal for the REDe Summit is to inspire students with varied academic backgrounds, such as in the arts, engineering, pharmacy, or business, to engage in entrepreneurship.

This summit is created to encourage, celebrate, and enhance entrepreneurial endeavors among Ole Miss students across campus, with a different focus each year. This year, REDe will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs. Shiza Shahid will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, followed by a panel discussion of successful Mississippi women entrepreneurs on Friday. There will also be student mentoring sessions (by invitation only) with the panelists and other local entrepreneurs on Friday.

Featured Speaker

Shiza Shahid - Featured Speaker - 2018 REDe Summit

Shiza Shahid

Shiza Shahid is an entrepreneur, technologist, investor and impact leader.

Shiza co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She focused on creating access to high quality education for all children around the world.

Shiza launched NOW Ventures in Silicon Valley, in partnership with AngelList, the largest Venture Capital Platform in the world. She invests in mission-driven technology startups, that are solving the world’s most pressing challenges through technology, innovation, and high-growth business models. Shiza is the founder of The Collective, a community of leading entrepreneurs that come together to build collaborative change.

Shiza is the host of the new USA Today show “ASPIREist,” which inspires millennials to take action on the issues that matter most.

Shiza is passionate about the future of impact through technology; she studied exponential technologies at Singularity University, which is dedicated to applying futuristic innovations to advancing humanity.

Shiza also graduated from Stanford University with University Distinction. She was a business analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Shiza is renowned for her work, receiving many awards as a thought leader. She was named one of TIME’s “30 Under 30 People Changing the World,” Forbes “30 Under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs” and a Tribeca Institute Disruptive Innovator. She is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council and has been featured in multiple publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Elle, Glamour, Town and Country, The Edit, CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, MSNBC and others.

Shiza is a prominent speaker and has spoken frequently at major international events, including Aspen Ideas Fest, Milken Global Institute, Forbes Women, Fortune Most Powerful Women, Inc Women, Women Moving Millions, World Economic Forum and others.



Jan Farrington - Panelist - 2018 REDe Summit

Jan Farrington

Jan is the executive director of Medical Support and Development Organization Inc. She also serves on the board of directors for FNC Inc., Mississippi Technology Alliance, and Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian.
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Gail Pittman - Panelist - 2018 REDe Summit

Gail Pittman

Gail Pittman, Inc. grew into one of Mississippi’s most recognized businesses, with dinnerware designs in restaurants and homes all over the world. She has designed for many celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Gene Hackman, Faith Hill, Katie Couric, Donald Trump, and Paula Dean. She was also the Creative Director for Southern Living at Home from 2005 to 2010.
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Donna Barksdale - Panelist - 2018 REDe Summit

Donna Barksdale

Donna Kennedy Barksdale started her own company in 1991 as the founder and owner of Mississippi River Trading Company, an importer from China. As part of Mississippi River Trading, Donna designed and manufactured her own clothing line under the name of Hamilton Kennedy. She travelled extensively throughout China for over 10 years. Her clothing line was sold internationally and through stores in the US such as Neiman Marcus and Saks. She serves on the board of The Aspen Institute, is chair of the board of MississippiToday, a nonpartisan nonprofit digital news organization and Nunoerin, an interactive digital play experience company.Learn More

Leigh Reeves - Panelist - 2018 REDe Summit

Leigh Reeves

Leigh is the owner of RSVP Publications in Jackson, MS, and President of Snapshot Publishing. She was also the founder and publisher of VIP Jackson Magazine.
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Liza Looser - Panelist - 2018 REDe Summit

Liza Cirlot Looser

Liza is the founder and CEO of The Cirlot Agency, a global brand strategy, integrated communications and business development firm specializing in public relations, creative development and media strategy with offices in Jackson, MS, and Washington, DC.
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Special Presentation By

Bella Gonzalez - Presenter - 2018 REDe Summit

Bella Gonzalez

Bella Gonzalez is the founder of Lala Letter and Bellagonzalez.art. She is a recent graduate from the University of Mississippi with a BBA in Marketing and a BFA in Graphic Design, which works well with her stationery and photography ventures. In her final year at Ole Miss, Bella created and launched a planner and stationery start-up company, Lala Letter.

She placed second in the Gillespie Business Plan Competition and also received a seed grant from the Rebel Venture Capital Fund, as well as winning Landshark Tank and the Business Model Competition. Since graduating, Bella has channeled her energy full-time into creating, manufacturing, and distributing her planners with hopes of getting them in the hands of young women across the nation. Learn more about Bella and Lala Letter at lalaletter.com.



October 18-19, 2018
Student Union Ballroom

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs and network with peers and alumni.

The 2018 REDe Summit should be a rewarding experience for all those attending.

Thursday, October 18

11:00 am

Keynote speaker: Shiza Shahid

Co-founder and founding CEO, Malala Fund and founder of Now Ventures (a seed fund that invests in mission-driven startups). Shiza is presently with Now Ventures.

Friday, October 19

9:00 am

Mississippi Women Entrepreneurs Panel Discussion
Jan Farrington, Gail Pittman, Donna Barksdale, and Leigh Reeves. Moderator: Liza Cirlot Looser

Student Entrepreneurship Perspective
Bella Gonzalez