Being a high-achieving woman in the world of technology or business requires intelligence, determination, grit and the unwavering belief that success is attainable.

“The seed of entrepreneurship begins with a dream, and one dream can transform a million realities,” said Julie Hanna, Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

She was the keynote speaker at the Women Tech Awards Thursday at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, presented by the Women Tech Council — a Utah-based nonprofit trade association that provides mentoring, visibility and networking for women in technology fields.

Born in Egypt, Hanna said her family fled civil wars in two countries — Jordan and Lebanon — before settling in the United States in the early 1970s. She said her experience as a refugee helped shape her world view and motivated her to pursue her dreams, which have led her to where she is today.

Hanna is a respected entrepreneur, investor and adviser to numerous Silicon Valley companies, as well as executive chairwoman of the board at Kiva — the world’s first and largest crowdlending marketplace for global entrepreneurs.

She was founder and founding executive of several technology companies, including the world’s largest healthcare portal, Healtheon — now WebMD, the first mass scale internet voice and data service, — now OpenWave, Portola Communications and Scalix — the first open source email and collaboration software for businesses.

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By Jasen Lee, KSL