by: Hannah Shraim ’20 (Ladies First Founder and Dingman Center Marketing Intern)
Passion, tenacity, and courage — all three qualities are essential to being an entrepreneur. With that being said, those brave enough to take on the Herculean task must navigate through numerous obstacles. In a system that disproportionately excludes people of color from entrepreneurial spaces, and with the amount of struggle that entrepreneurs face by nature, it is paramount to uplift the voices of black entrepreneurs.
The Being Black in Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat on Feb. 26 from 6-8 p.m. in 2333 Van Munching Hall is supported by Maryland Smith’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Diversity of Inclusion, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Student Success Leadership Council. The event that will bring together black entrepreneurs for evening of discussion and breakout sessions. If you’re thinking of starting a business, this session will provide you with a toolkit that you can use to understand what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Register today!
There are some incredible speakers lined up for the evening — let’s take a quick look into their experiences:
Michael Echols ’87 – Founder and CEO of MAX Cybersecurity
Michael A. Echols (Mike) is a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative – Harvard Kennedy School of Public Health and the Federal Executive Institute. He holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Biotechnology, a Graduate Certificate in Technology Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; all from the University of Maryland. Mike is the CEO of Max Cybersecurity LLC. He launched the company after 7 years at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In 2015, Mr. Echols became the White House point person for the rollout of Presidential Executive Order 13691 – Promoting Private Sector Cyber Information Sharing. Most recently Mr. Echols authored five Forbes articles and was featured on a PBS cybersecurity special. Mr. Echols has also led two organizations to CSO 50 Award honors for information sharing in the last three years. He is currently on the Health and Human Services CISA Cyber Awareness Task Force.