NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Women Incorporated will present a two-day conference April 11-12 to look at high technologies available to business owners through JPL's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program.

The conference, "Exploring the High-Tech Frontier," will present speakers, panels and workshops investigating state-of- the-art technologies, entrepreneurial success strategies, business site selection strategies, financing, marketing trends, management and related topics of interest to business owners.

The collaboration is a result of JPL's interest in creating a relationship between the Laboratory and private U.S. firms to make government-funded, JPL-developed technology available to the private sector, according to Merle McKenzie, manager of JPL's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program. Women Incorporated, a non-profit membership organization for women entrepreneurs, "balances the technical element of the conference by providing information necessary for women-owned businesses to grow and thrive," she added.

"We look at this as an opportunity to provide a full range of information and support for women on what has traditionally been a fairly isolated career path," said Lindsey Johnson, co- chief executive officer of Women Incorporated. "Analysis of our membership data shows us that in addition to hard facts and business techniques, women entrepreneurs benefit greatly from sharing successful strategies and networking with peers nationwide."

Speakers for the conference include Donna Shirley, manager of JPL's Mars Exploration Program; Ella Williams, who in a dozen years went from recycling aluminum cans for her children's milk money to president and CEO of Aegir, a multimillion-dollar engineering and computing firm; Kathleen Brown, senior vice president and managing director of sales and marketing for Bank of America's Investment Management Group; Dr. Ruth David, deputy director for science and technology for the Central Intelligence Agency, and other experts in finance, marketing trends and management.

The conference will be held in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena CA. Participants will also take specially designed tours of JPL focused on specific areas of interest in various technologies.

Fee for the conference is $90; pre-registration is required. Registration information is available by calling (818) 354-7431, or by visiting the conference's World Wide Web site,

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