keynote speaker kevin harrington

Kevin Harrington is the inventor of the infomercial, original Shark on Shark Tank, and Pioneer of the "As Seen On TV" Industry. He has launched over 500 products resulting in more than $5 Billion in sales worldwide.

Kevin Harrington has been a successful entrepreneur over the last 40 years. He is an Original Shark on the ABC hit, Emmy winning TV show, “Shark Tank.” He is also the Inventor of the Infomercial, As Seen On TV Pioneer, Co- Founder of the Electronic Retailers Association (ERA) and Co- Founder of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

Kevin has launched over 20 businesses that have grown to over $100 million in sales each, has been involved in more than a dozen public companies, and has launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide with iconic brands and celebrities such as Jack Lalanne, Tony Little, George Foreman, and the new I-Grow hair restoration product on QVC. Kevin has extensive experience in business all over the world, opening distribution outlets in over 100 countries worldwide. His success led Mark Burnett to hand pick Kevin to become an Original Shark on Shark Tank where he filmed over 175 segments.

Kevin currently operates a private consulting firm where he works with companies to increase distribution; analyze electronic retailing opportunities; effectively market on digital, social media, TV, radio, or print; source manufacturing; celebrity relationships; open up his rolodex; and has been able to 10 X the stock price of several public companies. In today’s competitive world, companies cannot operate the way they have in the past because of the advancements in technology and the digital marketplace. Kevin provides the advice and expertise on how to navigate the constant changing distribution and marketing outlets. Kevin also brings his rolodex and relationships to all companies he works with, including help in financing, like he did with Russell Simmons and Celsius:

Kevin got his start as a young entrepreneur in the early 80’s when he invested $25,000 and launched Quantum International. This turned in to a $500 million per year business on the New York Stock Exchange and drove the stock price from $1 to $20 per share. After selling his interest in Quantum International, he formed a joint Venture with the Home Shopping Network, called HSN Direct, which grew to hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. Entrepreneur Magazine has called him one of the top Entrepreneurs of our time.

Aside from speaking to audiences across five continents, Kevin’s influence has reached over 100 million people through his multi-media presence and industry dominance. A prominent business thought leader, he is often featured and quoted as a business leaders in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, CNBC, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fortune, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, The View, Squawk Box, Fox Business, and more. He is a regular contributor to, and has published acclaimed books like Act Now! How I Turn Ideas Into Million Dollar Products as well as the best seller, Key Person of Influence.

He is a co founder of the EO (Entrepreneurs Organization), which has grown to 45 countries and thousands of members, generating over $500 Billion of member sales. In 1990 he co founded the global direct to consumer organization and trade show, the Electronic Retailers Association (ERA). Today ERA is the exclusive trade association to represent a global $350-billion direct-to-consumer market place, encompassing 450 different companies in 45 countries.

The true value of Kevin is not only the 40 years of his knowledge of building businesses but also what he can do for other companies in many industries with his global Rolodex and his ability to solve problems.

Learn more about Kevin by visiting:



Cari Coats is Executive Director and a member of the adjunct faculty of the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship in the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.  Additionally, Coats is President of C2 Advisors, a management consulting firm, and a Managing Partner of Sea Change Venture Philanthropy.

The Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship (CFAE) is a Center of Excellence within Crummer focused on advanced entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, and family enterprise and private wealth.  Coats serves on the entrepreneurship adjunct faculty and is the primary business officer overseeing all entrepreneurship-related programming and leadership with key community and civic organizations.  The Crummer Graduate School is consistently ranked the #1 MBA program in Florida by Forbes and Business week Magazines.

C2 Advisors, Inc. provides advisory and consultative services for entrepreneurial and family-held enterprises, and corporations specializing in strategy, operations, governance and succession, marketing and business development.  Clients represent a wide range of industries including financial services, real estate, development and construction, sports and entertainment, distribution, biomedical, architectural and legal professional service sectors.

Sea Change Venture Philanthropy delivers the capital resources required to create societal and environmental change.  SCVP connects foundations, for-profit entrepreneurial companies and not-for-profit beneficiaries, leveraging innovation to accelerate and scale sustainable solutions.

Prior to her current roles, Coats was chief operating officer for CNL Real Estate Advisors, a real estate securities firm and a corporate officer for CNL Financial Group.  Coats joined CNL as chief marketing officer in January 2004.  In January 2005, she was promoted to chief strategy officer, responsible for all corporate level strategy development and performance management.

Previously, Coats was executive vice president of the Orlando Magic and vice president of business development for its parent company RDV Sports.  Coats joined the NBA franchise as part of the start-up team in 1987.  Her 16-year NBA career included appointments as vice president of marketing for RDV Sports and president of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

Prior to joining RDV Sports, Coats was a senior account executive with the Orlando office of Young & Rubicam. From 1984 to 1986, she was director of communications and member programs for the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce. Coats began her career in broadcasting, most notably as co-host and producer for the nationally syndicated television show “PM Magazine” in Orlando from 1980 to 1984.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer appointed Coats as chairman of the Mayor’s Downtown Strategic Transition Team.  She also served on Mayor Dyer’s Consolidation of Service Study Commission and the Mayor’s Parramore Advisory Board.  She is a member of the board of trustees and executive committee of Orlando, Inc., the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, the University of Central Florida Foundation and the Nemours Council. Coats formerly served on the Enterprise Florida board of directors, the Orlando Museum of Art board of directors and the Ronald McDonald House advisory board.

Coats is active at her alma mater, the University of Central Florida.  In 1994 she was named UCF’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.  Previously, she served on the adjunct faculty in the Devos Sport Business Management Program at UCF.

Coats holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio and Television/Communications from UCF and a Masters in Business Administration – Global Executive from Duke University.  She and her husband, Russ, reside in Orlando. They have 15-year-old twin daughters, Kate and Maddie.



The NAWBO Orlando “Driving Your Business Plan” Competition is an exciting opportunity for women business owners to showcase their business venture to prominent Orlando sponsors and business partners while competing for thousands of dollars in cash prizes.  Do you have the winning business plan?  We invite individuals from all disciplines – technology, engineering, business, social and political sciences, to participate in the NAWBO Orlando Driving Your Business Plan Competition, one of NAWBO Orlando’s marquee events celebrating entrepreneurship. 

We provide an unparalleled experience for the participants with a seven-month program geared toward making your business successful. The program culminates with interviews of the finalists and an award luncheon. In addition to workshops, candidates will benefit with feedback and interaction from the judging panel.



  • Real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business or grow an established business
  • Chance to receive mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Scheduled opportunities to network with other businesses and potential customers.
  • High caliber of judges, all senior level and industry leaders.
  • Opportunities to receive individual feedback during workshop sessions.
  • Cash prize money for two categories of business:  emerging and established.
  • Many other in-kind awards.


  • Test your business idea (and your mettle) in a supportive, risk-free environment.
  • Develop critical skills such as evaluating opportunities, creating marketing plans, preparing financial statements, leading a team and pitching investors.
  • Receive one-on-one coaching, mentoring and feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and executives from the NAWBO Orlando community.
  • Network with successful business executives.


The goal of the NAWBO Orlando Driving your Business Plan Competition is to provide an educational and entrepreneurial experience for women-owned businesses, and to encourage and support women entrepreneurs.



The two winning businesses will each receive $5,000.  In addition, the following prizes will be provided over the course of the year.

  • An advisory team made up of experienced entrepreneurs and community leaders
  • Six months (2 hrs. per month) of CFO Consulting (courtesy of Nperspective)
  • Two Southwest roundtrip airline tickets
  • Recognition at NAWBO Orlando events

Ready to Enter? Follow these 3 steps (by clicking the blue button below) to take your business to the next level.

  1. Read "Competition Rules & Key Dates"
  2. Submit Your "Intent to Compete" by Due Date
  3. Submit Your Full "Application" by Due Date