Montana State University

MSU launches speaker series Jan. 19 featuring social entrepreneurs

January 12, 2017 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN — The Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the MSU LaunchCats will soon kick off a four-part speaker series exploring the many forms of entrepreneurship.

The first event in the series, focused on social entrepreneurship, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 19, from 5:30-7 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall. Interested individuals are invited to attend to learn how entrepreneurship can make positive change in the world. The event is free and open to the public.

At the event, four panelists will speak on issues spanning food security, environmentally sustainable products, designing for autism and music education. A question and answer session will follow.

The panelists – who are also members of the HATCH Network – are Mark Brand, Mark Goerner, AJ Paron-Wildes and Philip Sheppard.

Brand is one of Canada’s most recognized social entrepreneurs. Having successfully created 11 businesses in Vancouver, he has become a prominent example of a new generation of leadership that focuses on passion and purpose. Brand and his teams are determined to breathe new life into marginalized and isolated communities through food, training and meaningful employment.

Goerner is the founder of Eqogo, a tool that connects users with the products and communities that reflect their values. Eqogo serves as a comprehensive resource app for product analysis that allows users to evaluate up-to-date statistics on the constitution of products. Goerner is also a concept illustrator for movies like Avatar, Thor and Superman. His new studio centers around innovative products and spaces not yet known.

Paron-Wildes has been involved in the interior design industry for more than 20 years. She focuses on design for corporations, higher education, K-12 education, the public sector and non-profits. She has spent 17 years being a thought leader for designing for autism, where she has designed countless projects, pioneered research and written three books on the design principles surrounding this population.

Sheppard is a virtuoso cellist, composer, producer, inventor and creative thinker. His talent for bridging musical genres, media and industries has led to collaborations with David Bowie, Alexander McQueen, Jeff Buckley and others. He has scored more than 30 films and was a producer for the Beijing and London Olympic Games. In addition, J.J. Abrams and Disney recently used his music to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For more information, contact Linda Ward in the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship at (406) 994-1995 or  

Contact: Linda Ward, (406) 994-1995 or