Three area residents who are operating successful ventures will talk about their experiences founding, growing, and pivoting their companies at the next Fireside Chat on Wednesday, April 20.

The story-telling experience is being held in the Morgan Room of Hubbard Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. and speakers will begin discussion at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all students, the campus community, and the local community.

Cazenovia College is hosting the community entrepreneurship series of Fireside Chats as an initiative with Innovation Collective. Innovation Collective is coordinating the chats to feature the visions and experiences of business founders and innovators in the region. These and other community gatherings are designed to spark entrepreneurial spirit and activity locally.


The speakers are:

  • Kate Brodock, founding partner of W Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in tech startups led by underrepresented individuals. She is also chief executive officer of Switch, a global ecosystem working to shape the future of the global innovation economy. She has been active in the tech startup world locally and globally for almost 20 years, has been involved in the women-in-tech leadership space for 15 years, and has presented at or appeared on hundreds of national media outlets and tech platforms. They include SXSW, Collision Conference, Fast Company, Fifteen Seconds, UNLEASH, Microsoft, IBM, MSNBC, Techcrunch, IBT, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.
  • Anthony Owens (“AO”) worked in the motion picture and film industries, doing directing, editing, music licensing, social media, live music, entertainment, and audio engineering. He began a vocal booth and studio for musicians and artists, but when COVID hit and restrictions ensued, was forced to pivot and restructure his business model. He then founded Audioptix Gaming. The firm offers coaching, creative services, and streaming for the billion-dollar esports industry.
  • Anna Richards founded 2020 Consulting while a graduate student and working at Cornell University. The firm now consists of seven accounting, financial, and business startup analysts and consultants, and provides expertise in business succession planning, management accounting system design and implementation, and financial analysis and business consulting for startups. Richards initially attended Cazenovia College then earned a bachelor’s degree in in Agricultural Business Management from SUNY Cobleskill and master’s degrees in business management from both Cornell University and Queen’s University.


Cazenovia College sponsors the fireside chats, coffee and concept meetings, and other activities coordinated by Innovation Collective to bring innovation and entrepreneurship topics and discussions to the campus and the greater community. More information about the College’s partnership with Innovation Collective is available at: