Student Services

Women in Business: Entrepreneurial Experiences

Women in Business Today and Tomorrow:

Entrepreneurial Experiences: Me, Myself and I as the Boss

September 22, 2015 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM in BU 220 (The Board Room)

On September 22nd, students from the College of Business heard from three women entrenched in the Cleveland entrepreneurial ecosystem who have served, and continue to serve as champions for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Attendees learned what it takes to build a business and then networked with a variety of women business professionals in a number of different industries and career fields.

Featured Speakers:

Reka Barabas, Director, Bad Girl Ventures

Reka Barabas, Director; Bad Girl Ventures

Reka Barabas became the Director of Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) Cleveland in 2011. In this role, she leads BGV’s chapter in Northeast Ohio and is in charge of fundraising, relationship management and operations. She is constantly building a support network for the entrepreneurs BGV works with, while also ensuring the quality of their education, and raising funds for the loan pool.

Before joining Bad Girl Ventures, Reka served as the Executive Director of The International Entrepreneur (TiE) Ohio for three years. TiE is driven by established foreign-born entrepreneurs who mentor the next generation of immigrant entrepreneurs and help them forge connections in the U.S. Prior to that, while at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Reka managed all international programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that bring foreign professionals to Cleveland for short-term training. She was responsible for strategy, development, new technology implementation, website and marketing related to the program.

Jennifer L. Smith, Director, ZIG MarketingJennifer Smith, Director, Analytics & Technology, Media; ZIG Marketing, Inc.

Jennifer Smith is a digital marketing expert with over 15 years of advertising agency experience. Her expertise in data analytics and media planning, buying and execution has made her a "go-to" resource for her clients in helping to identify trends and provide insights for making important business decisions. Her industry experience spans healthcare, banking, home/hardware, B2B, manufacturing, hospitality and other industries.

Katie Van Dyke, Director, CSU SBDCKatie A. Van Dyke, Director, Cleveland State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) within the Monte Ahuja College of Business

For the past four years, Katie Van Dyke has worked as an advisor to entrepreneurs and small businesses providing advice, expertise and counseling. She is the Director at the CSU SBDC, one of the facilitators for Startup Vikes, CSU's very own Startup weekend and most recently led the CSU SBDC to win the Innovation and Excellence Award from the Small Business Administration. Katie has a passion for designing and facilitating curriculum in entrepreneurship and has taught business and marketing classes at LCCC. Katie is a Cleveland State University MBA alumna and got her start at Ernst & Young as an eLearning Consultant and Instructional Designer training new hires.

This student engagement program is sponsored by the Undergraduate Programs and Student Services Office.  If you have any questions about the event please contact Anne Nelson at