USC Marshall School Of Business / Lloyd Greif Center For Entrepreneurial Studies

How the USC Business School and the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies took their Athena Conference virtual with Saint Rock Media.

Every year, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, in association with the USC Marshall Master of Science in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, bring together “Athena” – the women’s entrepreneurial summit.

This conference is held each year to commemorate women in entrepreneurship. At this conference they host a pitching competition where candidates are able to pitch their business to those who attend. Every year, this event has been hosted live, however in the fall of last year (2020), they approached Saint Rock Media to help make it virtual.


The Athena Conference offered a unique opportunity for Saint Rock Media, in that they were able to work with a higher education institution in helping them bring the experience and importance of the Athena Conference into a virtual environment. The element of bringing the pitch competition to life in a virtual space posed a challenge for the event planner/production company as it required multiple people needing to present separately, at the same time. The event included high profile speakers that needed to be coordinated, namely; Saweetie, Willow Bay and Mellody Hobson.

High profile speakers, a live performance, a graphics package, as well as the event needing to be conducted and recorded remotely meant that Saint Rock Media’s planning and coordination was incredibly important in ensuring the event ran smoothly.


Saint Rock Media made use of the existing graphics to create a graphics package for the broadcast of this one-day virtual event. The incorporation of the live performance into the virtual event was coordinated with the performer. Bringing the pitch competition to life in a virtual space was made possible through the use of Hopin’s virtual platform allowing for each speaker to receive their own booth. In addition, to help with viewer and participant engagement, it was requested that the winners were only to be announced during the virtual event, and so, Saint Rock Media made sure to capture the candid reactions of the winners within the virtual space as well as give the winners a digital large check that was created specifically for the Athena conference.


As a result of constructing the individual booths for the speakers, it was seen that each booth received a lot of traffic, which meant great exposure for the businesses being pitched. Saint Rock Media enjoyed working with the USC Business School and the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in making sure this empowering event continued, despite the setbacks of the pandemic.