XccelerateEntrepreneursFinalDIVERSIFY Your Business & Have FUN!

Friday, August 25th, 10am-5pm
Renaissance Hotel 999 Ninth St NW DC 20001

*Creative Workshops *Memorable Networking
& a KICK A$$ Evening of Entertainment & Cultural Diversity!



Xccelerate is a one-day event connecting entrepreneurs, small businesses, community and business leaders, local chambers and economic development groups coming together to connect resources. We will be bringing crowdsourcing experts, grant specialists, social media experts, public speaking gurus, government resources, and private financing specialists to offer solutions for all types of startups and small businesses.  The event will also connect budding Entrepreneurs from local Universities in the DC Metro area giving them an opportunity to learn & develop skills needed in an ever-changing entrepreneurial world!

Speaking sessions will be 35-45 minutes with opportunities for think tank style opportunities, questions & interactive activities.  Xccelerate is part of DCBX#9 Annual Conference bringing 7,000 + attendees from 50 States & 33 countries to Do, Connect, Be & eXperience.

DCBX is Cultural Collaborators in Dance, Latin Music, Film, Entrepreneurship, Business and food coming together to Do, Connect, Be & eXperience!  This undertaking is a cultural, informative, community affair that will position businesses in front of international and local attendees from 50 States & 33 Countries

Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses Moving Forward…

Date:  Friday, August 25, 2018
Location:  Renaissance Hotel 999 Ninth St NW DC 20001
10am-5pm Educational Sessions & Collaborative Learning
6pm-8pm Lobby Networking + Diversity Event with a Live Latin Band, Performances & More
8pm-4am DCBX Cultural Evening Party Shows & Entertainment 7 Ballrooms of Dancing (Extra Cost)

2018 PRESENTERS will be announced by May 1st!  


screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-4-17-24-am screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-4-16-55-am

screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-2-40-57-amMIKE CORDERO
CHEF Restaurant Expert & Brand Entrepreneur
A 40 year veteran of the hospitality industry, Mike Cordero has always always possessed the innovative instinct and relentless drive needed for the fast paced, ever-changing restaurant business. His Northern Virginia restaurants have been featured in publications including the Washington Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Restaurant News, Restaurant Magazine, Restaurant Institute, and Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. Quoted on being one of the new tastemakers in the Washington DC area, Chef Cordero is known for his culinary creativity and thriving restaurants that give back to the community.


Marianne Palmisano
Communication Consultant
A native to the DC metro area, Marianne is privileged to have taught the art of public speaking to professionals and students throughout the U.S. since 2001. A graduate of George Mason University and post-graduate of The University of Alabama, she specializes in crafting public communication to a targeted audience, enhancing the structure of a presentation, and training others to master a delivery style unique to each individual speaker. Privileged to have received over 200 public speaking awards, Marianne is an accomplished University-level Communication Instructor and proficient Communication Consultant across various professional sectors. She has authored several published articles on public speaking training, reviewed public speaking textbooks for major publishers, and coached at public speaking camps/seminars throughout the country. Although Marianne has expertise in corporate communications, education, human resources, and publishing, her true passion lies in working with aspiring public speakers to reach their full potential as orators.  A firm believer in marrying strong content with exceptional delivery, she is able to bring out the best in novice and experienced speakers with a unique and engaging training style.

screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-2-41-56-amCarol Herndon and Paul Bennett
Partnership Experts
Lead workshops all over the world on the topic of partnerships. They are prepared to bring the distinctions that make partnerships effective, positive and productive.Carol was a business attorney for 35 years. She brought clarity to her clients’ business relationships, treating the contracts she wrote as the foundation for integrity and satisfaction. Paul writes for nonprofit organizations committed to the environment, women’s issues, education and health care.Paul and Carol live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have raised four children between them, and enjoy their only grandchild enormously.
screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-2-41-05-amAmanda Gant – Small Business Lending Officer, DC
Amanda Gant joined LEDC as a Small Busines Lending Officer in January 2017. She previously worked with the non-profit CRDF Global where she developed and organized startup boot camps and virtual mentorship programs to support technology startup entrepreneurs in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Amanda has long had the entrepreneurship bug, selling bracelets on the beach of her hometown of Cocoa Beach, FL since middle school, and it was this experience which inspired her to study international development at Georgetown, with the goal to empower others to realize their dreams by starting their own businesses. Amanda has also researched technology’s role in improving microfinance outreach in Kenya. Amanda holds a master’s degree in International Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
latinoKarina Mendoza – Small Business Coach, DC
A University of Southern California graduate, a high school teacher in South Central L.A., a chocolatier and inventory manager in Wisconsin, a small business coach in Washington DC, and currently a CPA student at Syracuse University, Karina Mendoza brings with to LEDC a diverse professional experience that encompasses the many intricate sides of entrepreneurship. Formerly at Crossroads Community Food Network, where she managed the Microenterprise Training Program, assisting entrepreneurs in Maryland start food businesses, Karina is dedicated to assisting marginalized community members increase their financial well-being.
screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-2-41-25-amRandall Gafner
The Awaken Creative Potential community is a subscription-based membership group found at www.lessonsfromachair.com for individual and group commentary and support of head, heart and hands combined for a personally meaningful outcome. Within the group we celebrate the mindfulness and spiritual nature of creating your own things, of getting your projects done, of completion of your personal creative projects that you haven’t done for years. Resilience, self-actualization, self-reliance are positive results of focused meditation on creative projects for ourselves or as a gifts for others.We decode life, encourage DIY, support the Maker Movement, and Life Hacking.  Benefits of group are writing, blogging, story-telling, entrepreneurial support to reduce self-judgment and the judgment of others that often blocks creative expression.
Eduardo Villavicenco
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/edvisionit/
Project Manager, Learning Catalyst, Transition Leader, Techonlogy Trainer
LEARNING CATALYST & TRANSITION LEADER with 20 years of technology leadership experience seeks to contribute to a team-oriented environment committed to results-driven performance. Ideal roles will capitalize on my international travel, multilingual capacity, technology integration/migration skills, communication & facilitation versatility and entrepreneurial spirit. Proven experience with adult learning principles, methodologies, and course design techniques. Project manager able to effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment.
Liz StromLife Coach Entrepreneur
Liz Strom helps you…(CAREER) Find the position, sharpen your resume, rock the interview like a boss, get the job.
(LIFE) Get clear with what you want/need, organize priorities, shift you in the most positive of directions, et al
She writes, speaks, leads workshops, empowers, builds communities, mentors, & holds a sacred place for clarity-bringing conversations.Workshops? Yes! Stress-management, career development, healthy living, relationship growing, Desire Mapping, “Fire Starting” (The Fire Starter Sessions)Interactive. Creative. Empowering.

cory-brim-head-shot-1Cory Brim is the Founder and CEO of Sugar Rim Bar, today’s top mobile event service. Offering affordable services and specializing in the Art of Mixology, Cory, also known as the “Traveling Pour Star” has launched Sugar Rim Bar in 5 states, 7 cities and exploded in the Nation’s
Capital. Averaging 20 events per week, Cory has built his company off the idea of going above
and beyond for his clients. Sugar Rim Bar says: “Be a Guest At Your Own Party!” and they will
take care of the rest! Event Guru, Author and Cocktail Extraordinaire are just a few of many
other titles Cory takes on all while multi tasking between his Event Business, Credit Repair
Business and Change 4 Good, Inc., his Non-Profit that focuses on giving back. Change 4 Good,
Inc. focuses on growing gardens and building homes for those who need them most. Sugar Rim
Bar’s fearless leader can be found on all major social media sites. Cheers!

Facebook: Cory Brim
Facebook: SugarRimBar
Instagram: @travelingpourstar
Instagram: @sugarrimbar
Twitter: @SugarRimBar

Kat “La Gata” Aguilar-Smith
Chief Operations Officer & Co-Founder of DCBX
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/kat-aguilar-smith/
Of Peruvian and El Salvadorian descent Kat Aguilar-Smith is a Latina entrepreneur whose experiences have serendipitously positioned her into the entertainment management position she now holds as Chief Operations Officer of the largest Latin dance festival in the World, DCBx.She inherited an entrepreneurial spirit from a very early age by helping her mother run copies to her father as soon as she could walk. Her immigrant parents at that time owned a humble storefront selling artesanias and craft items from Central and South American countries. Her parents having met in Washington DC while studying at local universities were determined to live the “American Dream.” It wasn’t long before the humble family began other business endeavors to build a long-lasting legacy.Kat showed to be an ambitious young lady at a very early stage. At the age of 14, she had begun planning her future by applying to small part-time office jobs close to her high school. She began working for a prominent law firm at the young age of 14 and a half, the legal age limit to work at that time in Suburban Northern Virginia. She excelled at her part-time gig and by the time she graduated from Bishop Ireton College Prep School she was one of the highest grossing students working and attending school.Working at the law firm for several years, Kat learned the valuable tool of automated systems and processes and grew close to her detail-oriented employer. At the age of 20, Kat decided to pursue her true passion in Latin dance. While working now full-time for the law firm, she started to learn and eventually teach Latin dance. Juggling a passion for business and a passion for dance, Kat worked a total of 80 hours a week- 40 hours at her full-time position Monday through Friday and another 40 hours a week teaching dance during the week and full 12 hour days on the weekend. She was persistently focused and driven.Soon after, Kat obtained a position at one of the Nation’s Largest artist management and representation firms while attending George Mason University. She worked closely with the legal and human resources departments and personalities such as Michael Phelps, Mia Hamm, Chris Paul and Susan G. Komen and many others while getting her first glimpse at the entertainment business world.In 2008, the real estate bubble hit the family hard as property values and sales skyrocketed down. She returned to help her father and sister with the real estate brokerage and began implementing procedures and sales tactics into the family business.
This further increased her interest in business and shortly after she was recruited by a prominent family development company as the second-hand to the EVP of the company. The development company owned over 56 acres of multi-use development including retail, apartments, and office space.Today, Kat sits on the executive board of the DCBx as Chief Operation Officer. She is married to her entrepreneurial husband, Lee “El” Gringuito Smith Jr. Her adventurous spirit as an entrepreneur is fueled by her dual passion for dance and business. Together they have performed & taught Latin Dance in over 500 cities around the World, teaching more people to dance Bachata than anyone in North America. They have produced Latin & Diversity events for major companies like Microsoft, IBM, ALPHA, GWHCC, Telemundo & Morgan Stanley.Current projects include DanceEgg.com, revolutionizing the online industry; and DCBC Event Productions, a consulting company on event management. Kat is passionate in helping Latinas realize they can do and accomplish whatever they want and her online learning series is set to launch in 2016.
Lee “El Gringuito” Smith Jr
Chief Executive Officer Co-Founder DCBX
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/gringuito/
Born in Brooklyn New York, in 1981, Lee Edward Smith Jr was always an entertainer at heart. Family members recall that he would perform dancing and singing shows to entertain them. At the age of eight, he saw his first Broadway musical, Cats. For weeks, his family had to sit through his eight-year-old rendition of the show. Actually he was probably part of the reason they closed the show. But he took his creative talents and at age ten began singing with the Famed Singing Boys of Pennsylvania Choir.After two years of touring throughout the East Coast, he became interested in magic after his Aunt Emily took him to Tannen’s Magic Shop in New York City. After performing his first magic show at the age of twelve, his tunes turned to the art of magic. He finished High School with honors and continued to share his talents. He put on a production raising over $3,200 for a student who had leukemia. Lee, also worked with such organizations as Big Brothers, Growing Hope and Joey’s Eagles, always willing to donated his time. This gained him the George Mason Univ. Service of the Year Award as a Freshman.In addition to this, Lee pursued his quest to be on the top College Speech Team at George Mason University. After two years on the team he became an award winning author and winner of over a hundred awards and is a two-time district champion and quarter finalist at the National Collegiate Level of Competition. That day that changed his life was when he walked into his first formal dance class, “World Dance 120.” There he learned Salsa from his first dance instructor Jim Lepore. After completing formal training through George Mason Universities intensive Salsa training program, originating in Santiago, Cuba.Lee ha studied dance from leading dancers in LA, NYC and DC. He has traveled and worked with dances in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. He graduated from George Mason in 2003 with a degree in International Politics and a minor in Legal Studies.From 2005 to 2007 he shot episodes for Ambush Makeover, Fox Television, NBC, ABC Univision, America’s Got Talent and Univision. Millions of people saw him teaching Latin dancing on Fox Television’s Ambush Makeover. He was nominated as Salsa Instructor of the year and has taught more people to dance Bachata in the United States then anyone in the history of the dance. He has won Instructor & Promoter of the year in the DC Metro area countless times.From 2008 to present Lee El Gringuito and his amazing wife Kat La Gata Smith have started the World’s Largest Bachata Festival aka DCBx with over 5000 attendees from 48 States & 29 countries who attend annually. The event combines Latin dancing, music, film & entreprenaurial workshops a first in the industry. They were recently ranked as the 3rd Most Influential people in the Bachata scene in the World by DancePlanetDaily. They have also created the world’s 1st Dance New Year’s Eve aka DC Ultimate NYE with over 1800 plus attendees. Over the past twelve years they have started over 30+ Latin nights in the DC Metro area.As true Entertainment Entrepreneur he has expanded his horizons & started many successful start ups within the Dance & Entertainment World including DCBC Event Productions, Appszing Mobile Marketing & others. He has produced events for major companies like Microsoft, IBM, ALPHA, GWHCC, Telemundo & Morgan Stanley. He has over 6 Instructional DVDs on the market, has started over 10 Bachata Meet Up groups in cities like Atlanta, Miami, DC, Baltimore, NYC, Richmond, LA & other cities spreading the love of Bachata & Latin Dance & culture! Currently he is working on new projects like DanceEgg.com, revolutionizing the online learning industry & is currently working on a book & online learning series set to launch in 2016.