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: Harlem’s Maxine Daniels, Founder of I Bike Harlem @ibikeharlem

Name: Maxine Daniels
Title: Founder
Twitter: @ibikeharlem

I Bike Harlem is a bike tour operator offering guided “Bike and Bite” tours and daily bike rentals throughout the best kept secret: Harlem, Upper Manhattan, New York City. I Bike Harlem was founded by Maxine Daniels (who originally hails from Chicago) a resident of Harlem with entrepreneurial roots that stem long and strong in Harlem. Her grandparents owned “Soul Food” restaurants in Harlem in the 50′ and 60’s and her aunt (whom she is named after) owned a grocery store on 110th and Lenox Avenue.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Maxine: I come from a family of entrepreneurs and I love the smiles on my riders faces after experiencing one of our tours.


Innovator Insights: Amy Kaherl, Executive Director of Detroit SOUP @detroitsoup

Name: Amy Kaherl
Title: Executive Director of Detroit SOUP

A visit to Detroit earlier this year as part of Comcast’s Tomorrow Tour is frankly, the networking gift that keeps giving. Case in point: meeting a true champion of change, Amy Kaherl. Amy founded Detroit SOUP in 2010. Its mission is simple and absolutely brilliant: Detroit SOUP is a public soup dinner. You pay $5.00 to attend, eat soup (+ bread + salad) and learn about creative projects happening in the city of Detroit. Your $5.00 also gets you a vote to decide which project goes home with the money raised at the dinner. As of 2015, SOUP events have raised more than $100,000. Past SOUP winners have started nonprofits, local businesses, after school programs and park clean-ups. By the numbers:

  • 800+ ideas have been submitted to Detroit SOUP
  • 450+ ideas have pitched at SOUP
  • Over 15,000 people have attended a Detroit SOUP dinner

Detroit SOUP holds events in 12 neighborhoods around Detroit — and yes, Amy wants others to use the power of SOUP to fund new projects/people/ideas in their communities. You can find information on starting a SOUP here.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Amy: I like to say that I am an accidental entrepreneur! I have my MA in Theology and while I had a lot of amazing classes in Seminary I did not take a business class! I run Detroit SOUP because it is so much of who I am and how I think communities can be transformed. I believe that we can gather together and talk together about what makes community great! I stumbled into the project and then helped make it to what it is now. It’s been a lot of fun to watch it grow around the world.


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:



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




Kelly mentors on