Basketball legend Magic Johnson and Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss were just some of the sought-after influencers that graced the stage at this year’s Dream Project Symposium.
Held at Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis, the two-day business event assembled a stellar lineup of speakers. From celebrity entrepreneurs to industry movers and shakers who all shared insider tips on turning dreams into a profitable reality.
Now in its fourth year, the Dream Project is a series of signature forums to give entrepreneurs, professionals, and small business owners the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to take their vision to the next level. At the most recent conference, April 21-22, more 300 attendees benefited from talks led by a host of experts on topics such as ‘Creating a Star Brand’ to building a scalable business venture.
Presented by New York-based award-winning marketing firm EGAMI Consulting Group, with Prudential Financial at the title sponsor, this year’s convention called on attendees to ‘Unleash the Creator Within.’ The mission’s to inspire participants to become the creators they were born to be to manifest their dreams.
“We have one vision and that’s to inspire a new generation of dreamers,” said Teneshia Jackson-Warner, founder and CEO of EGAMI Group, during her impactful opening speech. “A dreamer believes in the impossible. A dreamer is an idealist. A dreamer gives little regard for the way others do things and they do it their way.”
Highlights included a keynote speech by basketball legend-turned-business mogul Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who talked openly about building a solid reputation, over-delivering in partnerships, and reinvesting in your company.
“Always reinvest in your business,” said the 6-foot-9 towering NBA legend during his impassioned talk. “Your lifestyle change can wait until not only do you have your first business but then you’ve got the second, the fourth, the tenth, the fifteenth because that’s when you’re really going to get paid.”
“I didn’t take money out of Starbucks until we built the fiftieth store,” added Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. “Now you’re building a building a scalable business. “
Still, Johnson believes it crucial for businesses to have an exit strategy. “Don’t fall in love with anything. You sell and then you go to the next dream you have.”
Other noticeable speakers were Jennifer Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway. Her innovative company is revolutionizing the fashion industry by making designer dress rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women.
“One reason why I’m deeply passionate about supporting female entrepreneurship and diversity of entrepreneurs is because only when we are starting our own companies, will we actually address the needs of the world around us, “said Fleiss during her keynote session moderated by veteran journalist Tai Beauchamp.
“And there’s such a diversity of needs we need that representation. I don’t think a man could have started Rent the Runway because he wouldn’t have understood the white space.”
In fact, Rent the Runway has recently launched Project Entrepreneur, a competition to give female founders the chance to secure capital and invaluable mentorship. The initiative aims to provide women access to the tools, training, and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies.
Additional guest speakers who participated in interactive and intimate workshops included the experts such as Luvvie Ajayi (Digital Strategist, Awesomely Luvvie,) Ty Hunter (Fashion Director/Designer and Stylist to Beyoncé,) Elisa Camahort Page (Chief Community Officer, She Knows Media). OWN reality TV star and restaurateur, Robbie Montgomery, also appeared as a keynote speaker.
The convention kicked off with an evening VIP cocktail reception featuring Guest DJ MC Lyte. Day 2 featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and a plethora of information from coveted speakers. Other sponsors included Delta Air Lines and The Coca-Cola Company.
Main Photo: Teneshia J. Warner with a Dream attendee (photo credit: Jasmine Alston)
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