WINnovation 2017


Five remarkable local women will headline WINnovation 2017, Walter’s third annual celebration of women and innovation. These entrepreneurs and creators from the worlds of jazz, fashion, real estate, the environment, and energy drinks will share TED-style talks on the challenges and triumphs, lessons and wisdom of their individual creative journeys.

Sponsored by Bank of America and the Umstead Hotel & Spa, WINnovation 2017 will take place at the Umstead on September 8 and feature a cocktail hour, three-course gourmet dinner, WIN talks, and panel discussion. A pre-cocktail startup session sponsored by Diamonds Direct for interested attendees will also provide an opportunity to network and learn from other local entrepreneurial leaders.

This event sold out in 2015 and 2016.  


WINnovation 2017’s speakers
Nnenna Freelon is a world-renowned jazz singer, composer, producer, actress, and six-time Grammy nominee. She is also the recent co-founder, with her husband, architect Phil Freelon, of the Freelon ALS Fund.
Tatiana Birgisson is the founder of Mati, the healthy energy drink she created in her Duke dorm room a few years ago. A new 30,000 square foot manufacturing facility will soon have her brewing up to one million cans a month for sale at Whole Foods and other retailers across the southeast and beyond.
Alice Hinman is the founder of Apiopolis, a nonprofit urban bee sanctuary that tends to more than 6 million downtown bees; she is also a conservator, educator, and researcher.
Donna Preiss is the founder and chief executive officer of The Preiss Company, one of the nation’s top 10 providers of student housing, and the largest woman-owned owner and operator of student housing.
Sarah Yarborough is the co-founder and CEO of Raleigh Denim. She and her husband Victor Lytvinenko started making jeans in Raleigh in 2007. Today they sell their jeans and other designs in 14 states are are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.