Innovate State Speaker Series Kicks Off

EAST LANSING — The MSU Innovation Center welcomes Christen Rochon, creator of, to start the 2015-16 Innovate State Speaker Series at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Rochon, a New York City-based graduate of Michigan State University, is an accomplished writer and creator of multiple successful web ventures. is a bridge between lifestyle and technology focusing on an African American audience. The Divas and Dorks blog brings together men and women who enjoy learning about fashion, technology and entertainment. Featured on, and, Divas and Dorks highlights gadgets, groundbreaking tech and a community linking everything back to fashion and lifestyle.

Rochon studied advertising and public relations at MSU, was voted a top blogger by Black Enterprise, The Root and was recently featured in the Verizon Wireless “Potential of Us” initiative as part of Black History Month. Rochon has more than 10 years of radio marketing experience and is currently expanding her Divas and Dorks website into the automotive and travel realms with and

“Christen’s entrepreneurial spirit is something we hope to instill in every student coming through our doors,” said Paul Jaques, director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations. “Combining multiple topics into a very successful blog and turning that blog into a business, students will be able to learn about working in the digital field and what it takes to be successful in the market today from Christen’s presentation.”

The Innovate State Speakers Series is free, but attendees are asked to register via Eventbrite before the event. Rochon’s presentation will take place at the MSU Innovation Center in the 300 Room at 325 E. Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

The Innovate State speaker series is a free monthly event, giving students the ability to learn from and interact with successful entrepreneurs. Future Innovate State speakers include Henry Balanon, Oct. 13; Nathan Bashaw, Nov. 17; Eric Jorgenson, Dec. 8; Marc Hudson, Jan. 19; Megan Gebhart, March 24; and Jeremy Lindlbauer, April 12.

Learn more about the full series at

The MSU Innovation Center combines innovation, technology transfer, start-up support, and a portfolio of dedicated business and community partnerships to bring cutting-edge ideas to the marketplace. Composed of MSU Technologies, Business-Connect and Spartan Innovations, the MSU Innovation Center stewards ideas from concept to product, launching more than 130 discoveries into patented products and start-up businesses annually. Learn more at

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