Speaker Series



The ECenter's Start-Up Speaker Series connects you with proven entrepreneurs who share real stories about their challenges and victories on the path to success.


Top Reasons to Participate:

ECenter Start-Up Speaker Series

  •   Hear from diverse innovators who show what's possible
  •   Speakers are often UNH alums and know what you can achieve
  •   Rotating speakers means there's always a new story to inspire you
  •  Get fired up about what you can do with your own idea or start-up



October 15, 2020

6 - 8 PM | Virtual Event


register to attend


Often times, students think they are “too young” to be successful entrepreneurs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meet Hannah Patten and Christina Firestone, co-founders of Hülya Swimsuits, and Geno Miller ’17, founder of Shtudy! Hannah and Christina built Hülya Swimsuits out of their mission to save the ocean and reduce plastic waste, leading to the successful launch of a bathing suit line. Geno launched Shtudy during his years at UNH, driven by the knowledge that companies needed to hire employees with both technology expertise and diversity.

Sponsored by Lake Street Advisors

Meet Our Speakers

Hannah S. Patten & Christina Firestone, Co-Founders,  Hülya Swim 

Hannah S. Patten (far left) is a lifestyle blogger and equestrian turned entrepreneur. She resides in Boca Raton, FL and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, where she served on the executive board for her sorority, Chi Omega. She originally built her name on her equestrian rankings, but is now making a statement in the fashion industry. A rediscovered love for the ocean pushed Hannah to start Hülya Swim, an eco-friendly swimwear line with her best friend, Christina Firestone. 


Christina Firestone is the lead divemaster on a scuba diving boat in West Palm Beach, FL. Firestone, 24, resides in Palm Beach, FL where she leads people on underwater adventures and is in the ocean almost every day. She loves to share the beauty the oceans have to offer with everyone.  She grew up in South Florida, and spent a lot of time traveling to the Bahamas with family where her love for the ocean started. She also built her name in the equestrian world, where her friendship with Patten was first kindled. 


Standing apart in a crowded industry, Hülya Swim serves as a portal for a new, innovative, and eco-friendly swimwear brand, which uses a high tech recycled fabric made out of recycled ghost nets and other ocean debris. Hannah and Christina dream of a cleaner ocean, which is directly from the name Hülya, meaning daydream. They wanted Hülya Swim to be for people like them: the explorer, the lover, the sophisticated, the confident, and the bold. Patten and Firestone will always prefer salt water, sand, and adventures which guide them through their journey as young entrepreneurs.

Geno Miller '17, Founder, Shtudy

Geno Miller founded Shtudy with the sole mission of bridging the racial wealth gap in America.  Shtudy is a career matchmaking platform that screens, trains, and connects top Black, Latinx, and Native American software engineers with companies who are striving to increase diversity and innovation within their workforce. Our platform’s algorithm matches recruiters and candidates based on job role and preferences. Recruiters can also filter for candidates based on desired skills, track candidates’ job status, book intro calls and interviews, and send job offers to candidates all in one place. The average tech employee’s salary is more than the median household income of a Black family and a Latinx family combined. We feel the most efficient way to accomplish this mission is through technology. 

Geno was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, about 10 minutes from Washington D.C. He graduated as an Entrepreneurial Studies major from the University of New Hampshire, where he also played football. He has a profound love for scaling companies, having founded 4 startups since the age of 14. In his leisure time, Geno is listening to Lil Wayne or Jay-Z, reading about Ray Dalio, blogging about the latest news in tech entrepreneurship, or brainstorming with other tech founders. 



September 15, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 2 pm | September 16, 2020 @ 6 pm - 7:30 pm

Virtual Event - RSVP Required


register to attend




Do you wonder what it's REALLY like to run a business? In this webinar panel discussion, successful entrepreneurs of color will share their stories from the trenches of how they overcame challenges to launch their companies. The goal of this panel is to help aspiring students withanidea for a business (any kind, at any stage) know what the first and next steps should be to build a dream into a reality. Listen, be inspired, and get ready to ask your questions. Our panelists will give you the valuable feedback they wish they had received when they were starting out!


Sponsored by the UNH Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) in partnership with TRIO, the Beauregard Center, McNair Scholars Program, the Community, Equity, and Diversity Office, the National Society of Black Engineers, and MOSAICO

Meet Our Speakers


Lisa Carter
Founder & President,
Drinkwater Marketing



Geno Miller '17, Moderator

Co-founder & CEO,


Rayvoughn Millings '17

Co-founder & CTO, Shtudy


Joel Nkounkou '18

Co-founder & CEO, ecoText


Samara Walker '14

Founder & CEO, Auda.B


61 lbs of burritos

Total CHIPOTLE consumption by hungry Speaker Series particpants in Spring 2020


The Start-Up Speaker Series was inspiring and showed me how to look at dreams as a future reality. With some hard work and sacrifice, you can do a lot.

Participant, Fall 2019 Speaker Series


BIPOC Idea Workshop Session 2 - September 16, 2020
BIPOC Idea Workshop Session 1 - September 15, 2020
Squeezing, Recruiting, and Mystery Shopping with Tyler Goodwin '12 (Intel 360) and Alex Vandermark (The Juicery)

Partner Events

October 14, 2020: Winning Now, Winning Later: Insights from an Industry Giant

David Cote '76 | Former CEO of Honeywell
Susan Mercandetti '75 | Former Editor-at-Large at Penguin Random House and Former Vice President of ABC News

When David Cote ’76 became CEO of Honeywell in 2002, the company was on the verge of failure. Under his leadership over the next 16 years, Honeywell’s market cap grew from $20 to $120 billion, delivering returns of 800 percent and beating the S&P by nearly two and a half times. He did it all with a single approach that he shares in a new book urgently needed in today’s tough climate: Winning Now, Winning Later.

Hosted by UNH Alumni Relations | Sponsored by the UNH ECenter