UNG prepares to StartItUp this fall

Speaker presenting at the 2016 StartItUp Conference

On September 19th, hundreds of students and business executives will congregate at the Forsyth Conference Center for the 3rd annual StartItUp Conference sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Mike Cottrell College of Business.

The StartItUp Conference features nationally- recognized entrepreneurs discussing their business journeys along with networking opportunities between faculty, staff, students, and business executives.

Below is a list of our conference speakers along with a short bio of their business background:

Steven Carse

Founder, King of Pops

After being laid off from insurance giant AIG in 2009, Steven moved onto his brother Nick’s couch and committed all of his energy to one idea – creating the best popsicles ever made. Inspired by the Latin American paleta, Steven and Nick were soon putting their own spin on the ice pop, churning out delicious (and sometimes rather weird) pops during all-night pop making sessions. What started as a single pushcart in Atlanta’s Poncey Highlands neighborhood, King of Pops is now a local favorite in 7 cities throughout the Southeast. King of Pops can be found at events like Bonnaroo, your closest Whole Foods Market and your neighbor’s backyard barbecue.


Titania Jordan

CPO, Bark.us

Titania Jordan is the CPO of Bark.us, an internet safety solution that helps keep children safer on social media, text messaging, and email. As the former host of NBC’s weekly television show, Atlanta Tech Edge, Titania had the honor of covering the latest in tech news and talent across both the city and the globe. In her early career, Titania started her own full-service marketing consulting firm after gaining experience as an account executive with Lincoln Financial Media, working with clients like Whole Foods, Nikon, Samsung, and Zerorez to create copy, radio ad campaigns, and digital promotions targeting women in the Atlanta market. Past roles also include serving as the CMO of KidsLink, co-founder and CMO of PRIVET, Executive Director of Band of Coders Girls Academy, and Director of Programming for SuperNova South. Titania enjoys helping startups (like RedRover and Hirewire) launch in the Atlanta market and frequently appears as a tech contributor across the nation. She travels the country appearing on programs such as The Doctors, The Steve Harvey Show, CBS This Morning, and Today Show, speaking at esteemed conferences such as DigSouth and VentureBeat MobileBeat, and emceeing events like the Atlanta Hawks Agency Shootout. Titania was named a tech innovator and a mother of invention by The Atlantan in 2015 and one of the “Women Who Lead & Light Up Atlanta’s Tech Ecosystem” by Hypepotamus in 2016. Titania enjoys painting and building some pretty sweet LEGO cities with her family in her downtime.


Patrick D. Pickens

Owner/ CEO, HiQ Cosmetics

Patrick Pickens graduated from the University of North Georgia (UNG) in 2013. After graduation, Pickens worked as a research scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)’s Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch. In 2013, Pickens partnered with tenured UNG professor of biochemistry and medicinal chemistry, Dr. Holly Carpenter, to launch the luxury skincare company, HiQ Cosmetics. Since their launch in 2013, HiQ Cosmetics has grown to be the leader in natural, luxury skincare. Now, HiQ Cosmetics has developed a cult following and sends products across the US to all 50 states. HiQ Cosmetics works with retail partners across the entire US and plans to continue to expand internationally.

The StartItUp Conference will be on September 19th, 2017 at the Forsyth Conference Center from 9:30am- 1:00pm. This event is open to the public with general admission tickets listed at $25 and UNG student/ faculty and staff tickets available for $10. You must register for this event by purchasing a ticket here.