InnovationWomenPopUp By maddie domenichella

Boston's Hub Week isn't just about showing off cool technical innovations, and the Innovation Women's Pop-Up aimed to prove just that. The networking event held on Thursday and Friday at the Ames Hotel was an intimate space where aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals were able to network and learn from each other.

About Innovation Women

Innovation Women is an organization that aims to put more women speakers on panels and conferences. They have an online database of female speakers which they market to event planners.

Bobbie Carlton, Founder of Innovation Women, said her goal in starting the company was to break the trend of "all male, all pale" panels and conferences.

Here are some of the highlights of speakers and panels from the Innovation Women Pop-Up event at this year's Hub Week.

How Entreprenuers Thrive

Attendees at the The How Entreprenuers Thrive Panel were able to learn from experts in the industry about the best ways to grow and improve their small businesses. Panelists included Virginia Berman of Invent Boston, Ande Lyons of Possibility Partners, and Parna Sarkar-Basu of Brand and Buzz Marketing.

(Left to Right) Carlton,, Sarkar-Basu, Lyons, and Berman made up a panel of experts who talked to attendees about what it's like to be a female entrepreneur.

"Comparison is the thief of joy. Keep your head down, it's so easy to look so far ahead at what others are doing and focus on the good work you're doing." -Ande Lyons, Possibility Partners

The audience also had an opportunity to ask the panelists about the best strategies to marketing and pricing in a constantly changing economy.

Wunder Founder Shares Her Story

Inspired by grandmother's resistance to wearing diapers, Lea LeBlanc developed a fashionable alternative underwear for women with incontinence.

LeBlanc, who graduated from Emerson College in May, won $5 thousand to start her business which she plans to launch into the market in Summer 2019.

"If I hadn't explored entreprenuership, I wouldn't have been able to where I am today," said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc, who is still in the development stages of her startup, said that it has been challenging to manage her life while also starting a business.

"I am working two jobs if you count this as one. But all the time and energy I am putting into this product which is perfect for this healthcare ecosystem." -Lea LeBlanc, founder of Wunder

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Experience

Evy Chen, founder of Evy tea, started her company as a student when she demoed her cold-brew tea and a Whole Foods buyer approached her at a trade show and made an offer. Her tea became available in Whole Foods markets starting in 2014.

Evy Chen, founder of Evy Tea

Since then, Evy tea has launched tea bars in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown and even a mobile tea bar. However, Chen said this would not have happened without first overcoming some challenges.

Chen (left) discusses the challenges she faced as a young, Immigrant entrepreneur.

Although she graduated with a degree in marketing and communications from Emerson College, Chen said that she still found challenges in adapting to the business culture in America after growing up in Southeast China with different values and expectations.

"The most frustrating thing is when I tell people that I make tea, they too often say 'Oh that makes sense."- Evy Chen, founder of Evy Tea

However, Chen said it was her hard work that made all the difference.

"I got quite lucky," said Chen. "But my determination showed in my face and that's how I actually got my foot in the door in this industry."

Click here to find out more about Innovation Women and the featured speakers and panelists.

Created By
Madeline Domenichella

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