Author and Investor, Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is a networking expert whose forthcoming book Build Your Dream Network is to be released in January 2017 by Tarcher Perigee. “Stop committing random acts of networking” is her frequent (and favorite) advice.

Kelly’s career story is one transformation, and can only be explained by her unique ability to tap into networks and make valuable connections. Her career started in corporate law, eventually transitioning to the management side of Big Law. A chance opportunity in 2009 to work with a visionary leader sparked her transition from earning a paycheck to seeking equity. Co-founding a startup accelerator then an interim CMO role with a startup are part of her journey of reinvention as an influencer, author and investor.

As a connector, and networking expert, Kelly has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“25 Smartest Women On Twitter”). She has a column on, blogs on (as well as Medium and and tweets frequently (@jkhoey). Kelly has appeared as an investor panelist on CNBC’s Power Pitch and is the host of the BroadMic podcast.

Kelly’s social media influence has been sought out by for projects with companies such as The New Yorker, HSBC, Coca-Cola, ECCO, P&G, PBS, L’Oreal, Clinque, Ghurka, Physician’s Formula, Capital One, Comcast and New York Life. She is sought out for her unique perspective into networking and community building, addressing members of the European Commission and audiences at SXSW, IEEE Women in Leadership, 2014 & 2015 PGA Championships, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Women In The Boardroom, Bank of America, Disruptors (Dublin), MoDev, MINC (Malmo), ArabNet (Beirut), ATECH (Aruba), Tech Venture Conference, TiECon (Ottawa) and Women in Tech Summit, amongst others.

A recognized leader in the startup eco-system, Kelly’s motto is “invest in the change you want to see in the world.” In addition to her portfolio of angel investments (Levo League, Hullabalu, Smigin, CloudPeeps,, she is a LP in Laconia Capital Group. Kelly continues to mentor startups through her involvement in selected accelerator programs and is an advisor to several startup initiatives (NZTE and CTA). She is an adjunct professor at LIM College in New York City. In addition to these professional pursuits, Kelly is the Chief Tech Ambassador for the YWCA of NYC’s Girls Geek Club.

Speaker & Moderator

Writing & Blogging

Innovator Insights: Detroit’s Willie Brake, Founder of All About Technology and @StartWithBuild Alumni

Innovator Insights: Detroit’s Willie Brake, Founder of All About Technology and @StartWithBuild Alumni

Name: Willie Brake
Title: Founder, All About Technology
Facebook: @allabouttechnology

Willie Brake is committed to bridging the digital divide — that’s why he founded All About Technology after a 12-year career in Fortune 100 companies. All About Technology is a total solutions provider and value added reseller of IT products and services (plus a Certified Minority Business Enterprise). Willie is an alumni of Build Institute (Build Institute helps entrepreneurs like Willie turn business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit). Willie also contributes to the Detroit community as Executive Director and board member for a local nonprofit and as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Willie: To monetize an activity that could be used to help others while being personally rewarding.


How To Bleisure: Mixing Work And Leisure Travel In Providence, Rhode Island

Travel trend or simply the hot work reality for a growing generation of freelancers, entrepreneurs, (and yes, employees with side-hacks), frequent travelers are mixing R&R with how they are earning a living. It’s a trend that is increasing a lifestyle choice, not completely a business necessity (according to travel insights site Skift). So whether you are a remote worker or freelancer or digital nomad looking for a change of scenery or simply someone looking for collaborative space and great WiFi (plus opportunity to network like the locals) here are the how to and where insights on networking in Providence.

Name: Linda Descano, EVP at Havas PR
Location: Linda recently relocated to Providence, Rhode Island and has quickly tapped into its vibrant networking scene.

Linda’s recommendations:


Innovator Insights: Detroit’s Jessica R. Simmons, Founder of DSR Apparel @dsrapparel

Name: Jessica R. Simmons
Title: Owner of DSR Apparel
Twitter: @dsrapparel

Who is the DSR Apparel woman? Someone who is just like its founder, Jessica Simmons. Jessica and I met at Techtown Detroit during a stop on Comcast’s Tomorrow Tour. Jessica had been following me on Twitter, signed up for the event and came armed with a signature “Smart, Bold, Ambitious” DSR Apparel t-shirt for me. Yes, she had sized up my support for woman entrepreneurs and those who ambitiously pursue their ventures, exactly. I immediately ditched the top I was wearing and delivered my keynote in DSR. To quote Jessica, the DSR Apparel woman is: Ambitious. Audacious. Confident, but never cocky. She’s got passion. She’s got fire. She’s not a quitter, She’s a fighter. And even when times get tough, And things aren’t going her way, She doesn’t stop, She keeps going. She’s brave. She’s bold. She’s fearless.She’s unstoppable. She’s you. She’s me. She’s Jessica.


Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Jessica: I’m an entrepreneur because I’ve always wanted to own my own t-shirt company.  I’ve always wanted to run my own business.


Innovator Insights: Radically Generous, Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO @vickis

Name: Vicki Saunders
Title: Founder of SheEO
Twitter: @vickis

Vicki Saunders is an entrepreneurial game-changer: advocating for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world, not simply as ROI. Vicki is the Founder of SheEO, an initiative to radically transform how female entrepreneurs are supported, celebrated and funded. SheEO is a new model that brings together and combines crowdfunding, coaching, buying power and expertise to leverage not just the wisdom of the crowd – but its financial power and yes, heart.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Vicki: I have always been obsessed with being free and making a big positive impact. As I looked for places to do good and make money, I couldn’t find any existing job in the world that would give me that. And then I was in Europe when the Berlin wall fell and it changed my life. Everyone around me was talking about what they were going to do now that they were free. And I thought, “I’m free too!” So I looked around me, noticed what was needed and started my first business. I’ve started 4 more since and I’m now totally unemployable. I love being an entrepreneur.



For further information on working with Kelly, please contact Melissa Broadway at




Kelly mentors on