The fifth Women Entrepreneurs Festival (WE5), an annual conference developed and produced by NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at the Tisch School of the Arts, will take place on Wednesday, January 21 and Thursday, January 22 at New York University. The festival’s mission is to celebrate and encourage women entrepreneurs to create a strong network of like-minded women for support, skills, connections and advice.


“Women are famously good at doing everything at once. Multi-tasking is our middle name: home, work, friends, love, life, and community – always deliciously out of balance, sometimes enriching, sometimes overwhelming,” said Nancy Hechinger, a faculty member at ITP who co-chairs WE5 together with writer, start-up investor and Gotham Gal founder Joanne Wilson. “But if you want to start and grow a successful business, you need to get on a first-name basis with focus - first to articulate a clear vision for your company, and then to implement that vision.”

The program will kick off with a keynote address on January 21 by renowned fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, President and CEO Of DVF. Von Furstenberg rose to fame in the early 1970s as the designer of the famous wrap dress, which came to symbolize power and independence for an entire generation of women. Today, DVF is a leading luxury lifestyle brand encompassing ready-to-wear and accessories sold in over 55 countries around the world.

The second day of the conference will consist of panels and breakout sessions designed to illuminate and demystify the process of starting a business for women at various stages in their careers, and to give attendees the opportunity meet and share ideas and experiences. This year WE5 focuses on retail/e-commerce, health and medical, food and hard goods.

“The goal of the WE Festival has always been to sow the seeds for a community of women entrepreneurs, to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial leap, the pre-entrepreneurs, to women who have,” said Hechinger. “No one person flew the Spaceship Enterprise, it took a team. As we enter our fifth year of this festival, we know participants will find not only a team of extraordinary panelists, but they will meet a whole village of women all aiming to explore the frontier.”

ITP, run for decades by the late legendary IT pioneer and educator Red Burns, has garnered a global reputation for leveraging technology to foster novel, counterintuitive and artistic cross-disciplinary creation, counting Dennis Crowley (Foursquare), Leo Villareal (LED Artist) and Tom Igoe (Arduino) as alumni. Unlike most prestigious technology-focused graduate programs, ITP regularly achieves a 50/50 gender balance among students in the 2-year graduate program. The goal of ITP, housed in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies – how they might augment, improve and bring delight and art into people’s lives.

The Women Entrepreneurs Festival limited to 240 participants, and has sold out every year since its inception. To apply for attendance, visit our registration website. WE5 is produced by Midori Yasuda. The Festival will be streamed by Livestream and is produced by ITP. To request a press pass, please contact Shonna Keogan at 212-998-6796 or email


Press Contact

Shonna Keogan
Shonna Keogan
(212) 998-6796