Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sponsored By

Organizing Team

Dr. Pauline Assenza

Dr. Pauline Assenza is responsible for the Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management option in the Management Major of the Ancell School of Business at Western CT State University. She is also responsible for ERIC@THEGARAGE, the Center for Entrepreneurship, Research, Innovation, and Creativity at WCSU, currently a student club and a resource center for students, faculty, staff and the greater Danbury community, providing assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses, supporting innovation in both corporate and “gig” economy environments. Dr. Assenza produces an Entrepreneurial Arc Panel discussion every semester showcasing local business owners, one of whom is always a WCSU grad. For more on her approach to entrepreneurship, see "What is entrepreneurship?".

In the community Dr. Assenza is on the Steering Committee of the Women’s Business Council of the Danbury Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of the Village Center for the Arts in New Milford, CT, and Vice-Chairman of the Connecticut Consortium of Entrepreneurship Educators. She has worked with community leaders in Danbury and New Milford to help develop programming that could stimulate a local innovation ecosystem, and was a coauthor of the submission that made Danbury an Innovation Places Finalist in 2017.

Prior to Dr. Assenza’s arrival at WCSU she worked as a consultant in both manufacturing and service industries, helping organizations deal with management training and organization development issues. She is a past-president of the Connecticut chapter of ATD, The Association for Talent Development. She also runs a small business, The August Collection, importing and selling Eastern European folk art.

Ryan Keating

Ryan spent the last decade between Florida, California, and Texas. Returning to Connecticut in 2016 he is excited as the Keating Agency prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. An entrepreneur at heart Ryan enjoys working with other entrepreneurs and business owners on their business and personal insurance needs.


Ryan was the founding President of FLOW – Future Leaders of West Hartford, a young professional group focused on bringing people together through networking, philanthropy and professional development.


Ryan enjoys giving back and spending time within the community. He currently sits on the Playhouse Theatre Advisory Board, Elizabeth Park Wine and Roses Host Committee, and is a part of the 2018 Leadership Greater Hartford QUEST class.

Bill Kenney

Bill Kenney has founded 6 companies and currently leads to growing ventures. MEET, which specializes in helping growth companies effectively exhibit at trade shows. Test My Pitch is an online platform that helps students, entrepreneurs and professionals develop their communication skills quickly in a safe and collegial environment.


Bill entertains audiences frequently and speaks on a variety of topics, including entrepreneurship, networking, revenue generation and community building.


He also co-leads several community building efforts in his home state, Connecticut, USA. Bill is an active participant in the Startup Champions Network (formerly Startup America). He is an avid sailor, cyclist, and paddleboarder.

Mark Lassoff

Mark Lassoff is the founder and president of LearnToProgram.tv and Punk Learning. Mark and his company have taught over one million people web and mobile development online, in the corporate classroom and in secondary schools across the country. Mark's courses are distributed through various websites as well as on the company's Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV channels.


Prior to founding LearnToProgram, Mark started several companies in the Austin, Texas area and continues to promote entrepreneurship and computer science. He is an in-demand speaker and has authored eight books on programming. He was named to the 40 Under 40 in both Austin, Texas and Hartford, CT. In 2017, Mark was awarded the prestigious eLearning Guildmaster Award.


He lives on the Connecticut coast, where he is in the process of redecorating his condo. Want to help?

Tim Laubacher

Tim Laubacher has worked in software for over 20 years, initially in Connecticut's insurance industry with software vendor AMS Services. Tim left AMS to work for the startup Duck Creek Technologies based in Bolivar, Missouri.


In 2006, Tim started Laubacher Multimedia, a web design/development and marketing company. For four years, Tim built his customer base and over that time served over 250 clients. Tim sold Laubacher Multimedia in 2010 to ImageWorks of Vernon, Connecticut.


In 2014, Tim started developing Launch EZ to help serve startups in Connecticut, which he launched in January of 2015. Since then, Tim has focused on building MVP products for web and mobile based startups, and on growing Launch EZ.

Mollie Ring

Mollie Ring works as a consultant to non-profits and social enterprises in the areas of fund development, strategic partnership building, communications and entrepreneurship.


In 2013, she helped to found Kinesis Group LLC, an advisory firm that supports high-potential entrepreneurs in frontier markets who have vision for, and commitment to, innovation to increase their levels of productivity, global competitiveness, and to achieve sustainable levels of growth.


Based in New London, she is currently teaching a course at Connecticut College titled: Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change.

Ann Rogers

Ann P. Rogers has been the Executive Director of the Norwalk Community College Foundation since September 2013. The Foundation’s mission is to raise funds for NCC programs and scholarships, invest, administer and distribute these funds to promote student success, and inspire and engage our local Fairfield County community to share talents and resources.


One of the Foundation’s key initiatives is to infuse entrepreneurship throughout the NCC community by fostering a culture that integrates and supports entrepreneurship at all levels. Under her leadership, the Foundation has distributed $2-3 million to NCC annually.


Ann holds a BA in Economics from Bucknell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.