Cristal Glangchai, PhD, is a scientist, entrepreneur and mentor with a passion for developing the next generation of creative leaders and entrepreneurs. She founded VentureLab, a nonprofit organization that is helping create the next generation of innovators and changemakers through free and open source curriculum, entrepreneurship education programs, and teacher training. VentureLab believes in making world class entrepreneurship education accessible to kids ages 5 to 18 all around the world and empowering anyone to be a champion for entrepreneurial learning. Dr. Glangchai’s first book, VentureGirls: Raising Girls to Be Tomorrow’s Leaders, will be forthcoming in May 2018. It explores the state of the technology field, of women in science, and of entrepreneurial education, with detailed suggestions for encouraging girls to innovate and develop the grit that will enable them to become leaders in life.
As a speaker, Dr. Glangchai talks about the importance of getting children—especially girls—involved in STEM and entrepreneurship at a young age. She discusses how an entrepreneurial mindset can bring STEM to life in kids, and allow girls to follow their passion, whether in art, science or music. She shares anecdotes of kids that VentureLab successfully mentored into young entrepreneurs, and stories of others who overcame their fear of failure in order to pursue their passions and create products and services that help society.
Dr. Glangchai offers insight into how to challenge the current set of beliefs around education, especially girls’ education, to promote a system that helps kids think like innovators and changemakers. Dr. Cristal Glangchai can tailor her talks to specific venues and is able to speak on a wide range of subjects, from family to education, creativity to failure, entrepreneurship to STEM, and solving the gender gap to increasing diversity in the workplace. Her speaking topics include:
Women make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. Girls need confidence and risk-taking skills that are not always taught to them. It’s one of the reasons why 74% of girls are passionate about STEM in elementary school, but the number plummets to 14% by the end of high school. Science teaches kids about failure, and learning to embrace failure is key to entrepreneurial success. Dr. Glangchai tells the story of how her parents encouraged her to pursue her interest in STEM and entrepreneurship, and explains the ways that her story sheds light on what parents must do to help their daughters develop entrepreneurial savvy. She explains how a mindset of curiosity and the entrepreneurial spirit translate into girls who are resilient future innovators in whatever field they pursue and shares valuable lessons for empowering your daughter to overcome her fear of failure and build confidence at an early age.
65% of kids in elementary school will have jobs that we cannot even imagine today. With careers and technology changing at such a rapid rate, the hard skills taught in schools today will no longer be relevant for our kids to be successful in careers of the future. With funny and inspiring anecdotes from her work at VentureLab, Dr. Glangchai shows how kids as young as 5 yearsold can create innovative solutions to problems in the world. Dr. Glangchai shares how kids as young as 5 years old can learn to create their own careers and how parents and teachers can encourage their entrepreneurial savvy at an early age. Dr. Glangchai explains how a mindset of curiosity and the entrepreneurial spirit translate into kids who are resilient future innovators in whatever field they pursue.
Previously, Dr. Glangchai was the Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at The University of Texas at Austin. She was also an Assistant Professor at Trinity University and served as the founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to Trinity, she founded a nanotechnology drug delivery company.
Dr. Glangchai’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on the TODAY Show, NPR’s The TakeAway, Mashable, Medium, Silicon Hills News, Rivard Report, San Antonio Express-News, and in the San Antonio Business Journal. In 2014, she starred in the AOL Jeep commercial-documentary, “Side Streets,” which highlighted VentureLab as well as San Antonio’s entrepreneurial spirit. In 2014, Dr. Glangchai was a selected speaker at TEDx San Antonio, where she inspired others with her personal story, “From Stand-up to Start-up: Growing Girl Techies and Entrepreneurs.” Dr. Glangchai was a featured speaker in 2016 at SXSWInteractive and SXSWEdu.
The San Antonio Business Journal has named Dr. Glangchai “Woman of the Year,” and has also awarded her efforts as one of its notable “40 Under 40,” marking entrepreneurial achievements.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation, Empowerment, Girls and Early Childhood Education, Child Development, STEM, Education, Science, Technology, Mathematics