The Road to Entrepreneurship

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be your own boss? What does it take to be a business owner? Join us for a round table discussion with entrepreneurs and how they are changing the face of modern business. Learn how you, too, can achieve breakthrough results and take your company to new heights!

Featured Speakers

In May of 1999, the company, WomenGamers.Com was founded by Phaedra Boinodiris, a successful entrepeneur with one profitable company already under her belt, and her sister, Ismini Boinodiris. Both avid gamers, they were searching for a gaming website that specifically addresses the needs of women. Dissatisfied with the number of gaming sites that focus on the male audience, the hard-core market, or on specific game genres, Phaedra and Ismini envisioned a gaming site geared towards both women and men, where they wouldn't be bothered by banner ads showcasing semi-nude women, technological terminology aimed towards gearheads, and chat rooms where the main focus of discussion is the "hot babe" someone had seen at the video store. After careful research, Phaedra assembled a team of experts to help launch in July 1999. The experts range from a practicing psychologist to programmers, and review journalists. By March of 2000, has achieved acclaim with a write-up in Entertainment Weekly and offers to appear at various trade shows and on-line discussions. Due in part to Phaedra's belief in strength in numbers, WG has focused on increasing strategic partnerships, diversifying and expanding the site features, and continuing to increase their customer base.

According to the ESA, 38% of American videogame players and 48% of gaming parents are women. In other countries such as Korea, statistics show as much as 69.5% of women are playing video games. Even so, women's interests continue to be grossly under-represented, leaving women as single largest untapped market segment in the gaming industry.

Our mission is threefold: first, to provide a fun, dynamic online gaming site that caters to the interests and needs of different types of women gamers. To achieve the widest possible appeal, all game genres are reviewed and discussed.
Second, the site serves as a platform or the dissemination of information about games from an informed, socially-conscious, female-centered perspective.
Third, gathers information from visitors about their gaming preferences, opinions, concerns, and ideas for the future of gaming, and the industry.
Fourth, WomenGamers.Com offers a suite of services that includes customized consulting services, market research, and support services to game companies and universities. Its revenues stem mainly from advertising.

Incorporated in 1999, WomenGamers.Com works outside of convention, continually pursuing these goals by doing what no other site has done before. By launching the country's first women's game design scholarships, and setting up a network for women who play video games, buy videogames and work with videogames, has built up a reputable brand well-respected in the industry. We work with educational institutions such as DigiPen Institute of Technology, Guildhall at SMU, NC State University, the University of Florida and other colleges to promote participation by women in the gaming industry, specifically in game design, by establishing scholarship programs and offering consulting and lectures on careers in gaming. To date these programs have been and continue to be extremely successful.

Hugh M. O'Neill
Professor O'Neill, former editor of the Academy of Management Executive, is currently Associate Dean for the Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program at the University of North Carolina since 1997. He has been active in the Business Policy Division of the Academy of Management. His research interests focus on strategies for corporate turnaround and renewal. His publications have appeared in the AMJ, AMR, AME., SMJ and other journals.

Bob Freese, Ph.D,
Bob Freese, Ph.D, is an serial entrepreneur who formed his first venture - Alphatronics - based on his research work with 3M. He is active in the Triangle community, and has been extensively involved in university related technology spin-offs. His most recent work involves a venture with scientists from the University of South Carolina.

Schedule of Events

6:15 Registration & Networking
7:00 Speaker
7:50 Questions and Answers
8:00 Session Evaluation, Raffle and Networking
8:30 Adjourn