The Inspiration

The seed of Mad, Bad, and Dangerous was planted by Girls Preparatory School Head of School Dr. Autumn Adkins Graves in 2014. She challenged the all-girls school to be a place where Chattanooga-area women could discover the resources necessary for an entrepreneurial journey and find support from local and national experts. After all, she reasoned, GPS was founded by three women, social entrepreneurs, who wanted girls to have equal access to a college preparatory education. MBD, designed to establish the female voice in technology, startups, and business, was built upon that legacy.

What Does It Mean to Get Your MBD?

The idea behind the “Get Your MBD” expression is that women and girls can achieve a level of entrepreneurial experience and influence that will be equal to obtaining an MBA. A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous woman or girl is bold, a driver of her own ideas, and willing to take calculated risks. Most importantly, she is active in sharing her knowledge with others and celebrating their success. A woman with an MBD has obtained a level of expertise that will contribute to the local economy and improve the wellbeing of others while fulfilling her own dreams.

We want women and girls in our community to feel inspired and supported as they consider turning their ideas into real business and social ventures. We know women are highly qualified to be successful entrepreneurs, yet they’re underrepresented in this arena. Mad, Bad and Dangerous is designed to help women and girls see themselves as capable, confident, and bold entrepreneurs-in-the-making.
“The best part about my experience of MBD was having the opportunity to learn more skills based on marketing and entrepreneurship, while being encouraged to fulfill my dreams as a young woman.”
—MBD Attendee


MBD began in 2015. That first year, 500 women, girls, and the men who support them were on campus at GPS to celebrate the inaugural event and the only one of its kind in the Chattanooga region.

In 2016, MBD expanded to include community luncheon featuring ABC’s “Shark Tank” star Lori Greiner. The Women’s Marketplace and 24Hour Generator for girls continued.

In 2017, MBD: Girl Edition was created, focusing solely on girls and their entrepreneurial dreams. The public was again invited to watch final pitch presentations and to shop at the Girls’ Marketplace. A three-week summer placemaking course, Chattanooga as Text, for girls started to encourage girls to study the city as a text and uncover problems and solutions.

In 2018, MBD: Girl Edition expanded to include conferences and workshops for girls and their parents. The Chattanooga Public Library partnered with MBD: Girl Edition to host pre-event workshops to help girls prepare their businesses for the Girls’ Marketplace.

2016 MBD Commercial

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P.O. Box 4736 | 205 Island Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405