2021 Carole Moore McLeod Entrepreneur Summit

Inspiration. Education. Networking.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members joined the Center for Entrepreneurship on Friday, November 5, 2021, on Appalachian State's campus for the 18th annual Carole Moore McLeod Entrepreneur Summit.

At the Center for Entrepreneurship, we know the future belongs to those who can think like an entrepreneur and can apply their unique talents to solving problems worth solving. At the 2021 Entrepreneur Summit, we learned more about how to adapt and thrive in our ever-changing world. With the right mindset, you have all the tools you need to achieve your own compelling goals. 

Overview of the 2021 Entrepreneur Summit


LOCATION: Grandfather Mountain Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union

TIME: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

GUEST SPEAKER: Clifton Taulbert, Pulitzer nominated author of "Who Owns the Ice House." *Note –The first 100 people to arrive will receive a free copy of Clifton's book!  READ CLIFTON'S BIO

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Gary Schoeniger, founder of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, a program based on the mindsets of the main character, Uncle Clive, from Clifton's book "Who Owns the Ice House." READ GARY'S BIO


LOCATION: Parkway Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union

TIME: 12 to 1:30 p.m.

GUEST SPEAKER: Tracy Alston, founder of two companies, New Mentality and Mental Edge Fitness Solutions, companies focusing on promoting mental health to optimize human performance. READ TRACY'S BIO


LOCATION: Greenbriar Theater, Plemmons Student Union

TIME: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

FILM: Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored

The movie is based on Clifton Taulbert's nonfiction book, "Once Upon a Time When Were Colored"  and demonstrates the power and importance of resilience and applying an entrepreneurial mindset to create generational change. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "It is almost impossible to express the cumulative power of "Once Upon a Time . . . When We Were Colored." It isn't a slick, tightly packaged docudrama, but a film from the heart, a film that is not a protest against the years of segregation so much as a celebration of the human qualities that endured and overcame. Although the movie is about African Americans, its message is about the universal human spirit."


LOCATION: Parkway Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union

TIME: 3:30 to 6 p.m.

EXPERIENCE  & EXPERTISE – Network with local entrepreneurs who will share their experiences and insights. From brewery owners to nonprofit founders to social media influencers, the knowledge that can be gleaned will surely impress.  And if that isn't enough, network with service providers that support entrepreneurs. From legal to accounting to digital marketing, these professionals have what you need. Come ask your questions. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EXPO EXPERTS.

EXPLORATION – Listen to 10 student pitches and cheer on young entrepreneurs who are willing to take ideas out of their heads and explore the possibilities entrepreneurship can create. (And stick around to vote. Help decide who is worthy of the Audience Choice Award and an additional $500 cash prize!) LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BIG IDEA PITCH

Meet the Speakers


Clifton Taulbert is a noted author, consultant, entrepreneur, and speaker. He was a founding member of a de novo bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which later sold, and today he serves as a director of the Central bank of Oklahoma. Clifton is also the president and CEO of the Freemount Consultancy where he works as a human capital development consultant. This role has garnered him opportunities to address business and academic audiences nationally and internationally. Read More



Gary Schoeniger


Author and Entrepreneur Gary Schoeniger is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of entrepreneurial mindset education. His message has influenced a broad audience from academic institutions and economic development organizations to government and non-profit clients worldwide including the Ewing Marion  Kauffman Foundation, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, the Colombian Ministry of Education, the U.S. State  Department, and the European Commission. Read More



Tracy Alston


Tracy Alston is a mental fitness consultant, a licensed clinical mental health counselor, board-certified in Biofeedback and neurofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA), a radio host for the Mental Fitness Matters show on WSIC radio station that airs weekly on Thursdays from 8:30 am to 9:00 a.m. on 105.9, 100.7FM, 1400AM. Read More