5 Q's with Nathalie Cadet James, Founder of Luxe Fete Social

5 Q's with Nathalie Cadet James, Founder of Luxe Fete Social

Have you always wanted to throw the perfect dinner party? We sat down with Nathalie Cadet James, founder of Luxe Fete Social, which provides a dinner party in a box rental that's sure to make your host/hostess dreams come true.

Q. What prompted you to start Luxe Fete Social?

As an international event planner and designer, I get to travel the world to produce beautiful parties in exciting locations and I realized - not many people can remember the last time they went to a spectacular dinner party. The art of the intimate dinner party is dead because it’s simply too much work and time to create an experience, much less create one that is “Instagram worthy.” So I created Luxe Fête Social, a dinner party in a box rental service.  I know the X Factor. We have placed that magic in our dinner parties for rent. We enable anyone to experience their aspirational dream of throwing a fabulous dinner party in their own home, hassle free. We offer curated themed dinners that include anything and everything one would need to be the ultimate host or hostess. Think of it as the Rent the Runway for Dinner Parties.

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5 Pieces of Advice from Women Leaders on Moving Forward in Business

5 Pieces of Advice from Women Leaders on Moving Forward in Business

For the second year in a row, the WIN Lab brought together inspiring women leaders who have built companies, led teams, and made hard decisions, to speak to audiences about their #HonestStories. Whether rising through the ranks, building their startups from scratch, getting creative around investment, or just figuring it out as they go, here are five pieces of advice they left with us:

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5 Q's With Ana Maria Carrano, Founder of VOYZ.ES

Q. What prompted you to start your venture, VOYZ.ES?

I’m a journalist from Venezuela, a country where access to information is practically non-existent. I learned how important it is for a society to have access to multiple voices in order to avoid abuse, as well as to strengthen collective memory and freedom. I was interested in finding a way to help Venezuelan people find the voices that matter to them.

I partnered with Juergen Fesslmeier, who developed a service that automatically transcribes audio into text, with the idea of creating a place where we can share voices from around the world.

This is how we started Voyzes, Record Your Life. Now we are starting to offer a customized storytelling service where we can produce your story with your own voice. It will be curated by us. We’ll guide you through the process of collecting voices and memories. We’ll also help you to do any research needed to complete the work.

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5 Q's with Cathy Copeland Titus of FriendlyU

5 Q's with Cathy Copeland Titus of FriendlyU

Q. What prompted you to start FriendlyU?

FriendlyU is a web and mobile app and SaaS software platform. We started in a very personal way when my daughter began the college search. There wasn’t a clear path for her to connect with students at the colleges she was considering. She wanted to ask questions that mattered to her and weren’t being answered, such as political climate, rape culture, LGBT acceptance, party life, etc. Even after a visit, she wasn’t sure if she’d find her tribe, feel accepted and fit in.

Through research, we realized the colleges have an enormous financial problem due to freshman-to-sophomore attrition. The national average is 32% of students either drop out or transfer, representing a significant financial loss. With only 15% of the 32% attributable to academics, social-emotional fit surfaced as the number one culprit, even more than financial concerns. This makes the “right fit” crucial to students and the colleges. 

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Experiencing Haitian Culture Through the Senses. Meet CEO Blonde Beauchamp.

Experiencing Haitian Culture Through the Senses. Meet CEO Blonde Beauchamp.

Blonde Beauchamp has spent the last few years building thisHaiti, a food company that aims to give you an opportunity to experience the Haitian culture through the senses. With three initial products, her jars open up a world of sour, salty, and spice, that you might not otherwise get without a plane ticket. Learn more about Blonde's entrepreneurial journey below and hear some of her advice for aspiring food companies.

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Marketplace Tech is a Theme in WIN's Second Cohort

Miami WINners entering the Marketplace Tech industry are streamlining the connection between buyer and seller. If it's time to take a trip on your travel points, check out Pex+. Or if you'd rather stay couch bound this weekend and support minority owned businesses, pop over to Major Marketplace for the purchase of your next product. Even college kids are being taken care of through Etc.’s textbook and dorm supply platform. Miami’s 2017 Marketplace Tech entrepreneurs are:

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Jessica Coane of Pex+

A travel search engine for using your miles and points.

Leyanis Diaz of Major Marketplace

We are an online marketplace for minority businesses and those who want to support them. In wanting to support more minority businesses, we built this platform so that we could bring more buyers to them.

Karley Chynces of Etc.

Etc. is a mobile app that allows for students to buy and sell books and dorm supplies hyper locally

WIN Lab Miami Entrepreneurs Make Waves in Consumer Products from Drug Detecting Straws to Biodegradable Cutlery

Five Miami WINners in 2017 are changing the way you engage with the world and everyday items. Drug detecting straws, straps for your shoes, sustainable silverware, and self-steeping loose leaf tea are just the start. Our 2017 Consumer Products WINners are:

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Susan Cappello, Victoria Roca, and Carolina Baigorri of Smart Straws

A straw that detects the most common date rape drugs, GHB and Ketamine, found in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Ashley Sebok of Sayblee

Sayblee is a 100% natural, organic, handmade hair care system formulated to repair damaged hair and maintain healthy hair.

Leana Loh of Ginger Straps

Ginger Straps is an add-on ankles strap product for high heels and flats. No more slipping in and out of your shoes while walking.

Nicole Tirado of TeaRado Tech 

We are the anomaly at the nexus of tea and tech, striving to enable busy people that care about their health with a tech infused tea cup. Our patent-pending design allows the second most consumed beverage in the world to be consumed hands free, exactly how the drinker likes it throughout the day.

Anastasia Mikhalochkina of Lean Orb

Lean Orb designs plant-based, biodegradable catering supplies. We use agricultural by-products from sugarcane, wheat straw, and palm production to create value through a zero waste model. In addition to sustainability ethics, we aim at fair trade practices and partnering with organizations that train women in micro-enterprise.

Three Arts & Entertainment Startups Join WIN 2017!

Our 2017 Arts and Entertainment WINners are bringing their creative juices to the table to enrich the lives of artists and party planners alike. Two entrepreneurs in this category empower creatives by both expanding their opportunities to showcase and exhibit while also helping them find the resources to produce it. Rounding out this creative trio, the founder of Luxe Fete Social is revolutionizing the party-planning business by giving you the ability to quickly add flare to any occasion. These entrepreneurs are determined to keep art alive in our modern world. Our 2017 WINners are:

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Mikhaile Solomon of Prizm Art Fair

Prizm is a cutting-edge art fair that is multidisciplinary in scope. Our goal is to expand the spectrum of exhibiting international artists from Africa, the global African Diaspora and Emerging Markets who reflect global trends in contemporary art.

Jennifer Hardcastle of MADSTUDIOS, Inc.

MADSTUDIOS is a platform that provides resources and access to all creatives with the tools needed to be successful. Users can search and book spaces such as recording studios, dance studios, art & production studios, and other venues all for the purposes of creating and collaborating.

Nathalie Anne Cadet-James of Luxe Fete Social

Luxe Fête Social is a dinner-party-in-a-box service. Led by Nathalie Cadet-James, acclaimed event planner and designer, we have bottled the X-Factor of magical parties allowing our clients to create stunning dinners, from box to table in 8 minutes.

WIN Welcomes Six Startups Looking to Change the Landscape of Women in Miami Tech

Our Technology WINners in Miami this year make up the largest startup segment, with six tech entrepreneurs joining this year’s cohort. These forward-thinking women are out to improve various aspects of life with their products, which range from an innovative breast pump to faster audio transcription software. These entrepreneurs are breaking into the health, education, communications, and hospitality tech industries. Our Miami WINners have a vision for the technology of tomorrow and we’re excited to help them on their journeys. This year’s Miami Technology WINners are:

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Noreen Sablotsky and Rachael Kish of Imalac

Imalac is a healthcare technology company focused on increasing the efficiency and practicality of breast pumping for lactating women primarily by coupling our hands free breast massage system with the use of an electric pump.

Susan Perry of SpeechMED Inc.

SpeechMED Inc. is an innovative tech company that has built a patient engagement platform for healthcare. We make healthcare information accessible to all patients regardless of their age, language, or literacy levels by reading their information in the language they understand.

Sonia Hinestrosa of Impetus Social

Impetus Social is an education technology company providing critical skills in areas like Digital Literacy, STEM, Leadership and Financial Literacy. Our scalable learning solution empowers organizations in the Latin American region to impart knowledge around critical topics in classrooms, offices and in the community.

Maxeme Tuchman of Caribu

Caribu is a communication & collaboration platform (like FaceTime meets Kindle) that helps parents, extended family, and mentors read & draw with children when they’re not in the same location.

Ana Maria Carrano of Voyz.es

VOYZ.ES is an agile and collaborative transcription platform for voices that tell stories. It allows users to transcribe audio and video content fast, with high accuracy and affordable rates, using machine learning and crowdsourcing.

Madeline Daryadel of Wedding QuickQuote

Wedding QuickQuote is an extranet software program featured on a social venue site. The WQQ expedites the search & sales process providing an Internet user researching wedding sites with an instant reply to an online inquiry. Solving the most common complaint “poor response time” while the venue receives a pre-qualified lead.

Seven WIN Teams Compete at HUBweek's Demo Day

Seven WIN Teams Compete at HUBweek's Demo Day

In October, three current WINners and four WIN Lab alumnae will be participating in HUBweek’s Demo Day, a day of panels and a showcase of some of Boston’s best startups and entrepreneurs during a week of exciting entrepreneurial events. HUBweek was founded in 2014 by the Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital with the goal of bringing together “the most creative and inventive minds making an impact in art, science, and technology” in Boston and connecting them with people around the world. HUBweek 2017’s wide range of events include a Robot Block Party, The Female Entrepreneur’s Experience in Boston panel, a collaborative art exercise on Containing Addiction: Painting, Writing, and Rapping Toward Recovery, and many other interesting happenings.

Demo Day is the second to last day of this series of events. Among the panels and the showcase, 32 of Boston’s best startups will be pitching head-to-head, and the final eight will pitch in front of an expert panel to compete for the 2017 title and around $50,000 worth of prizes and cash in the Demo Day Finale. Seven current and past WINners will be among the 32 startups competing. They’ll also be participating in the showcase where registered guests can connect with the startups, innovation labs, and leading companies featured in Demo Day, so if you’re interested, stop by and meet the entrepreneurs on October 14th!

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Excelling in Education and Training, Meet These Three Startups

Whether they’re encouraging workplace diversity or helping you find a career path that suits you, this year’s three Education/Training WINners are dedicated to promoting learning in Boston and beyond. These entrepreneurs recognize that the only way to change society is to educate people and help them think differently about what’s possible. They believe in the power of learning, both by developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and by bettering our workplaces with happier employees. Education is often said to be the key to a brighter future, and these entrepreneurs are certainly looking to ensure that future is blazing. Our Education/Training WINners for 2017 are:

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Blake Sims of Epiic Solutions LLC
Epiic Solutions creates unique learning experiences for students, educators and schools to help them explore entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking.

Yulkendy Valdez of Project 99
Project 99 enables diverse millennial talent to be at the forefront of cultural change within leading organizations. We help companies run internal, cohort-based leadership programs that equip their high-potential millennials to harness their collective energy and talent to tackle racial equity in the workplace. Through this work, we will achieve our vision of 30% racial and ethnic diverse leadership across the corporate sector by 2030.

Shannon O’Brien of Whole U.
Whole U. is a career & life coaching platform that supports job seekers to pursue their life's work. Ranked #1 Career Coach in Boston on Yelp, Whole U.™ advising programs and educational media have helped clients from over 22 countries, to find the clarity, confidence & connections to live a balanced, purposeful life.

AUTHOR: Mira Kennedy


A Healthy Dose of Health and Wellness Startups Join WIN

This year, Health and Wellness is well represented in Boston’s WIN Lab as four of the twenty three incoming WINners are concentrated in this category. Of the Health and Wellness WINners, there are several entrepreneurs developing online networks to connect you with a team who wants to help you get, and stay, healthy, while other WINners are looking to improve the quality of elders’ independence. Either way, these WINners are striving toward a better, healthier, future for you and your loved ones. Boston’s 2017 Health and Wellness WINners are:

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Scarlet Batchelor of COEO Fitness
COEO is an app networking together the triad of boutique fitness studios, instructors, and clients with a focus on instructors as the powerful backbone to the ecosystem.

Joia Spinelli of Global Joy
"Create your own health team". Get the support you deserve to stay and be healthy. A platform that matches and allocates practitioners, coaches, and specialists to your health needs and supports you on your health journey. Monthly membership.

Liz O’Donnell of Rent-A-Sister
Rent A Sister provides support services for family caregivers. Via a team of experienced, compassionate family ambassadors Rent A Sister offers the strategic, tactical and emotional support families need to manage eldercare.

Jayanthi Narasimhan of Watch Rx
WatchRx offers a smartwatch with phone & GPS to help seniors take their meds on time, live independent with dignity, reminders showing the name, dosage and image, emergency calls & live GPS tracking and alerts caregivers for missed medication, GPS, emergency via caregiver app.


AUTHOR: Mira Kennedy


Home and Beauty Entrepreneurs Join WIN 2017!

The Boston WIN Lab has four Beauty and Home entrepreneurs entering the program in 2017, all with the goal of incorporating organic and all-natural ingredients into our makeup, fashion, and cleaning products. This should come as no surprise, as the all-natural and billion dollar beauty market is still on the rise. People have been buying organic foods for long enough, concerned about what goes into their bodies, it seems only natural to start worrying about what goes on our bodies and is used in our homes as well. One WINner founded her company after discovering for herself how chemicals in beauty products can have serious physical impact, while other WINners are looking at natural solutions ranging from cinnamon-inspired footwear fashion to fresh-smelling laundry and home cleaning. This year’s Beauty and Home WINners are:

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Krysta Lewis of Aisling Organic Cosmetics
Aisling Organic Cosmetics is a revolutionary line of high-performance and all natural/organic makeup. The line was established after the founder had been sick for years and discovered one of the culprits was her makeup. Finding no options that were all natural and high performance led her to create Aisling Organic Cosmetics.

Van Adraneda of Junipo LLC
At Junipo, we make and sell casual shoes with cinnamon insoles. Our shoes are very comfy and keep the feet smelling great.

Ivy Camelia Lawson of Logwood Company, LLC
Specialty raw honey and honey derived natural set products.

Devin Donaldson of The Optimist, Co.
A line of truly natural cleaning and laundry products with ingredients our customers can easily read and recognize as safe


AUTHOR: Mira Kennedy


Welcome WIN's Five New Food & Beverage Startups

Food and Beverage companies have come out strong in the Boston WIN Lab this year, making up five of the overall twenty three companies joining from all over New England. With products ranging from simple sauces to healthy pizza crusts, these entrepreneurs will be sure to leave your stomach satisfied. It may come as no surprise that foodie entrepreneurs are making up almost a fourth of the WIN Lab cohort this year with food innovation spaces continuing to pop up all over the city. In fact, four of those five WINners will be coming straight from Commonwealth Kitchen in Dorchester. Our food and beverage entrepreneurs are:

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Ruby Chan of Fresh Zen
FreshZen is artisan sauce company that makes handcrafted, all-natural sauces from old Chinese farmhouse recipes. The name melds Fresh ingredients togeth-er with a Zen state of mind. FreshZen began production of its initial product, a ginger & scallion sauce, in Nov 2016 and customers include retail grocery stores, schools, and pop-up stores. FreshZen also runs cooking classes at the Boston Public Market.

Teresa Thompson Maynard of  Sweet Teez Bakery
Sweet Teez Bakery specializes in custom cakes, cupcakes, pies, brownies and pastries with unique flavors and creative designs. Our products are made from scratch using high quality nut free ingredients. Sweet Teez worth every bite...

Blonde Beauchamp of thisHaiti
Specialty food manufacturer focused on marketing the Haitian cuisine through authentic condiments, snacks, spices, and other specialty food products made with only natural and organic ingredients.

Dale Roseman of Veggie Table Foods
Providing healthy twists on your favorite foods, Veggie Table Foods provides plant based Cauliflower pizza crusts, bagels and snacks for the busy, health conscious and gluten intolerant consumer.

Linh Tran of X.O.I. Beverage
X.O.I is a healthy hydration for both the skin and the body, powered by a Vietnamese traditional skin healing herb called Gac fruit. Through our sustainable and ethical supply chain, we are able to support and empower marginalized Vietnamese farmers who grow and harvest Gac fruit with us.


Meet WIN's Eight Technology Founders

As the largest category of WINners this year, eight out of twenty three entrepreneurs are utilizing technology to bring their vision of the future to consumers and businesses alike. This year’s Technology WINners have a variety of focuses, from fitness networking to girlhood STEM engagement. Tech is a fast-growing industry; it’s already quickly advanced and improved many areas of daily life, but these entrepreneurs saw openings in their respective markets for their passions to benefit from tech. One incoming Tech WINner, Joulez, is a recent alumna of MassChallenge that brought home $50,000 as one of eleven Gold Winners in the accelerator’s overall competition. The Technology WINners for 2017 are:

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Veselina Stanislavova Arangelova of Ataxa Tech Solutions
ATAXA is a case management software. Our goal is to provide a tool that will help practitioners handle case related documents in a shared database, organize and make them easily accessible from anywhere to authorized users. The implementation of this case management system will eliminate the need of carrying of hardcopy files and deal with the physical reality of possession.

Scarlet Batchelor of COEO Fitness
COEO is an app networking together the triad of boutique fitness studios, instructors, and clients with a focus on instructors as the powerful backbone to the ecosystem.

Kari Heistad of Diversity Dashboard
The Diversity Dashboard is an online project management software for corporate diversity professionals to help them track their activity, measure their results, and analyze their ROI.

Holly Fox of EDU-CRED
EDU-CRED is an ED Tech company supporting licensed professionals with the ability to effortlessly track, retain and deliver to the licensing body requisite documentation to meet Continuing Education obligations and maintain professional certification. The platform supports compliance with multiple professional licensing requirements and offers customized audit support for timely license renewal.

Cathy Copeland Titus & Lynda Russo of Friendly U
FriendlyU is an online network for college admissions, student ambassadors, and on-campus clubs to connect with interested high school students during their college search. We have a rate, rank and compare feature in the app that gives high schoolers a way to keep their search organized. Our data helps colleges meet enrollment goals and improve retention rates while helping students find the right fit and transition successfully.

Stephanie Rowe of Joulez
Joulez is a for-profit consumer product startup focused on empowering girls aged 8-12 with the skills, vocabulary and courage needed to create the technical innovations of tomorrow. Joulez fuses arts and crafts with electronics to create fun and educational room décor building kits that inspire girls to get excited about STEM.

Carolyn Langer of Valiance Health and Disability
Valiance Health and Disability assists parents/guardians of children with special needs in navigating the maze of highly complex and fragmented services supporting individuals with disabilities. Offered as an employee benefit, Valiance is valued by employers as a means to recruit and retain top talent, improve worker productivity through reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, differentiate businesses in the marketplace, and promote a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Jayanthi Narasimhan of Watch Rx
WatchRx offers a smartwatch with phone & GPS to help seniors take their medications on time, live independent with dignity, reminders showing the name, dosage and image, emergency calls & live GPS tracking and alerts caregivers for missed medication, GPS, emergency via caregiver app.

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Wanderful & Womentum Join Forces for International Women's Day

Wanderful & Womentum Join Forces for International Women's Day

Wanderful, part of the WIN Lab Boston cohort, is an organization that connects women all over the globe. With a global membership base, their online community allows you to build relationships no matter if you’re in a hammock in Nicaragua or an ashram in India. In addition, membership at Wanderful involves creating real, face-to-face connections with other women through international local chapters and events.

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Apollonix Wins at SUP-X, Takes Home $15k

Apollonix Wins at SUP-X, Takes Home $15k

SUP-X, a two day international conference and expo in Fort Lauderdale, which attracts a large number of investors from all over the country, finished their series of panels and workshops with a pitch competition. Giving away fifty thousand dollars in cash, SUP-X judges choose five startups showcasing during the exhibition to compete for the crown (and a really large check).

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Zulubots and AlphaTechBlocks compete for $50k

Zulubots and AlphaTechBlocks compete for $50k

Two WIN Lab Miami startups, AlphaTechBlocks and Zulubots, have been selected as semi-finalists for the national alphatech gear Hardware Cup! Competing for a shot at $50,000, these two startups will take the stage at the Fort Lauderdale SUP-X startup expo on March 7, alongside four other companies selected in the southeast regional semi-finals.

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