Penn State Harrisburg LaunchBox to host Women and Innovation event

The event is part of the Truist Empowered Entrepreneurs series
silhouette of woman in glasses with blue overlay and Harrisburg LaunchBox logo
Credit: Sharon Siegfried

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — The Harrisburg LaunchBox powered by Penn State will host a Women and Innovation seminar at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28, in Room 210 of the Capitol Union Building at Penn State Harrisburg. The event is part of the Truist Empowered Entrepreneurs series. 

Nida Ansari, founder and CEO of Karmic Partners, a venture consulting firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as keynote speaker. Ansari has extensive experience with corporate innovation and startup creation. With a background in venture capital, she has been instrumental in helping early-stage founders connect with resources they need through services like pitch coaching, helping with fundraising, pilot designs, strategy development, board membership and making ecosystem connections.

She has worked in corporate innovation and strategy, managed product supply chains globally, and led teams of engineers and commercialization managers to take products from concept to commercialization. Most recently, she also has served as an investor in hardtech and cleantech and launched a corporate hardtech accelerator. Ansari ran the accelerator program for one of Indiana's largest venture firms, HG Ventures. Her consulting firm works with innovation districts and ecosystem building.

Julie Bratton, portfolio and operations coordinator with Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Pennsylvania's early-stage venture fund and accelerator, will discuss the upcoming TechCelerator program and pitch competition. Bratton also will share resources and best practices for startups raising their first rounds of funding.

Lily (Yi) Meng will serve as the entrepreneur featured speaker. Meng is a Chinese immigrant and founder of Social Carting, an ecommerce tech platform in central Pennsylvania. She will share her experience in building her team, raising pre-seed funding and scaling her startup.

This event is part of a series sponsored by the Truist Foundation and aims to help strengthen small businesses in the Harrisburg region by inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship and helping connect startups with local resources. The series convenes diverse leaders in the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem around many topics surrounding entrepreneurship.

The event is free and open to the public. Register here.

About Harrisburg LaunchBox

Harrisburg LaunchBox, powered by Penn State provides early-stage startups with support and resources they need to build a sustainable and scalable business and a viable plan for growth. No-cost programs and services can include coworking space, accelerator programs, legal and intellectual property resources, and expert mentorships from Penn State’s extensive network. The LaunchBox is open to everyone — community members and those affiliated with Penn State. Harrisburg LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative and one of 21 innovation spaces located in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania.

This project was financed in part by a grant from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development.