National Entrepreneurs Association hosting 2024 Entrepreneurs Forum May 31 in Detroit

DETROITThe National Entrepreneurs Association will host the 2024 Entrepreneurs Forum May 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hollywood Casino Greektown in Detroit.

The event, designed to bring entrepreneurs and influencers together to network, learn and grow, has the theme “Opportunity Knocks.” It will focus on new opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as how entrepreneurs can create their own opportunities.

Since 2011, the Entrepreneurs Forum has provided a space for entrepreneurs to connect, share ideas and discuss the issues that matter most to business owners. Through keynote speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions, the event provides numerous opportunities for growth. Exhibitors will be on hand to provide resources essential to the entrepreneurial journey.

Keynoting the 2024 Entrepreneurs Forum is Awenate Cobinna, CEO of Bedford Manufacturing Co., which owns Shinola, the Detroit-based watch brand, and Filson, a 127-year-old clothing brand based in Seattle. As CEO, Awenate oversees the growth and long-term viability of well-known American icons that design, manufacture, and sell products consumers value for their quality, craftsmanship, and unique character. He is also responsible for driving Bedrock’s growth initiatives, including building on the Shinola Hotel’s success. Previously, Awenate was the vice president of public and business affairs for Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, as well as executive director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. At the 2024 Entrepreneurs Forum entrepreneurs will learn about opportunities to drive growth in their businesses as Awenate discusses how Shinola grew to become one of America’s most successful lifestyle brands.

Kicking of the event will be award-winning entrepreneur Cynthia Kay, a longtime communications professional whose firm serves businesses and organizations from the Fortune Global 100 to small business and non-profits. A graduate of Michigan State University, Kay holds a master’s degree in communications. She has been honored four times as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The company has been named twice as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies. She serves on the Board of the National Small Business Association. Her book, Small Business for Big Thinkers, was published by Career Press in 2013.

Also speaking will be David Tessler, CEO and co-founder of Michigan Funders and an angel investor based in metro Detroit. With extensive experience in alternative financing, including crowdfunding, angel investment, venture capital, and debt financing, Tessler has played a pivotal role in helping companies raise millions of dollars. A serial entrepreneur with a track record of success, Tessler has helped generate more than a quarter billion dollars in revenue for his companies. He serves as the managing partner of Recraft, a boutique real estate development firm in Detroit.

The event will include several panel discussions, including “Opportunity Knocks: How to Create Your Own Opportunities,” moderated by Geneva Williams. Panelists include Pamela Mack, founder of The Mack Law Group; Vickie Lewis, founder and CEO of VMX International; Colleen Budde, co-owner of Office Evolution; and Dennis G. Shaver, entrepreneur and director of product development at the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University. Other resource providers include the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Southfield Chamber of Commerce, QT Business Solutions and YTI Office Express.

“Opportunities are abundant for entrepreneurs,” said National Entrepreneurs Association President ZaLonya Allen. “Technology has made it possible to start a business quickly for little to no cost, which has resulted in more entrepreneurs starting businesses than ever. This forum connects growing entrepreneurs with resources and people who can help.”

The event will also include breakout sessions on social media marketing, money management, working with big business, artificial intelligence, alternative funding, women and minority owned business certification, and more.

Sponsors include Comerica Bank and Dell Technologies. The event is open to the public. Registration is $97 and includes breakfast and lunch. For the full agenda or to register visit or call (248) 416-7278.

The National Entrepreneurs Association is a 501c3 non- profit created to empower entrepreneurs to grow and sustain successful businesses through quality networking events and training programs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.