TV personality Star Jones will be in Portland for Techfest NW on Thursday, but don't expect paparazzi. Jones' recent Caribbean wedding was covered by tabloids everywhere in March, but, for her, this trip is all about business.
Jones is promoting both the growing international flavor of Techfest NW and the gender diversity that may come to define this fest: first, as president of the International Professional Diversity Network (NASDAQ: IPDN) and second, as spokesperson for the International Association of Women.
Jones is functioning as an ambassador for a group of 20 Chinese business leaders IPDN is bringing, to TechfestNW she says. Jones describes the Chinese attendees as "leading business owners or investors" from "several major cities in China.
Jones says she's most excited about the talks by women leaders like journalist Kara Swisher and Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario.
"I love that there are a number of women who are in lead positions who are going to be presenting," Jones says. "I'm going to be taking notes because these ladies are leaders in their industries, and I look forward to learning from other women leaders, always."
The global nature of Techfest NW — now in its seventh year — is evident.
Four Canadian and three German startups will compete at this year's PitchfestNW. Invest in Bavaria (Germany) and Invest Hong Kong will have booths on the main stage floor.
And an Israeli cybersecurity company, Twistlock, is giving a workshop titled "Cybersecurity at the Speed of Software,"
The company opened a Portland office on the North Park Blocks in 2016.
"It's more than just another office," writes the company's Vice President of Marketing, Joshua Thorngren. "As of 2018, Portland is our global headquarters."