The vision of Empact is to alleviate mental & financial poverty by empowering individuals to live with passion, purpose and prosperity, thus fulfilling their true potential in life.

Empact's programs and services focus on facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship in communities around the world through exposure and celebration.

Theory of Change

Empact is a world renowned firm specializing in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial mindset, innovation and leadership events and programs. Over the past 6 years, Empact has facilitated over 1,000 speeches and 500 events at colleges and universities, workforce development organizations, associations, corporations, Small Business Development Centers and governmental organizations.

Empact celebrates the many faces of young entrepreneurs through its Empact Showcase & Empact100 List and spreads the stories of those entrepreneurs as part of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour and as independent keynote speakers across the world through Empact Connect.

In an effort to eliminate silos within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, each year Empact brings together the top thought leaders from the entrepreneurship ecosystem to share and act on the biggest ideas during the Empact Summit: The Future of Entrepreneurship Education.

Read an overview of each of Empact's programs and services.

Executive Team

Sheena Lindahl, CEO & Co-Founder

Sheena Lindahl Using creative financial strategies, Sheena became financially independent from her parents at the age of 17 - paying for her own $30,000+ yearly tuition at New York University, excelling in school, working full time at jobs that she loved, and co-founding a business.

Before joining the Tour, Sheena managed the due diligence process at GreenHills Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests $1.5 to $5 million in promising early stage high-growth companies. She was a lead teacher at Project R.E.A.D., a nonprofit organization that improves the reading levels of inner-city elementary school children.

In 2005, Sheena graduated from New York University with a major in Communication Studies. In 2006, Sheena was named by Business Week as one of the country's top 25 entrepreneurs under the age of 25 and profiled in USA Today, on the AOL homepage, and on CBS, NBC and ABC.

Michael Simmons, Chief Connection Officer and Co-Founder

Michael SimmonsAs a 2005 graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and author, teacher, speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur, Michael is able to deliver a unique perspective that connects with audiences. In 2006, Michael was named by Business Week as one of the country's top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 and profiled in USA Today, the AOL homepage, CBS, NBC, and ABC.

Michael co-founded his first business, Princeton WebSolutions (PWS), when he was sixteen years old. PWS was later rated the #1 youth-run web development company in the nation by Youngbiz Magazine. In addition, Michael has won three entrepreneur of the year awards from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Fleet, and the National Coalition for Empowering Youth Entrepreneurship. He is the bestselling author of The Student Success Manifesto.

Laura Mac Minn, Director of Events

Laura Mac Minn Laura graduated with honors from Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business in 2011. Through college, Laura was recognized as a leader as she sat on the Walker College of Business Dean's Council of Student Advisers, was recognized with an Outstanding Student Award and held many leadership positions on campus. Laura was heavily involved with AIESEC, the world's largest student run non-profit organization, and became President just one year after it was founded at Appalachin. She was a key member of AIESEC Appalachian while a student and is still connected as an alumnus.

In 2010, Laura traved to South India where she spent over three months traveling and working for two local Non-governmental Organizations. She was there to complete research on
International Human Resource Management and spent most of
her time working with women's Self Help Groups.

Laura thrives on connecting with people from around the country and the world. She joined Empact in October of 2011, working as the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour's National Tour Manager for over a year. Laura currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Chiara de Caro, Director, Empact Showcase Europe

Chiara Originally from Southern Italy, Chiara has been living in the heart of Europe, Brussels, for almost 7 years.

Back at University, she was the leader of a student association and the representative of students in the academic board of her faculty. She holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Perugia (Italy).

With a strong experience in youth entrepreneurship, Chiara brings varied experience to Empact. Most recently she worked as General Manager of EBAN, an European Association of Business Angels and Early Stage Investors. Prior to this, she was the Director of YES, a Brussels-based organization representing 40,000 entrepreneurs all over Europe. She is also an active member of several international networks such as Professional Women International and Toastmasters.

Chiara is passionate about youth entrepreneurship and would like to make entrepreneurship a cool thing in Europe too. She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking for her friends and visiting Southern Italy whenever she can. When she goes there, she loves sitting in front of the sea, watching it for hours, taking deep breaths and smelling it under a bright sun.