SHE Connects

For Her, For Him, For Them, For Everyone




For Her, For Him, For Them, For Everyone

​Let’s be real: modern-day society is facing an unprecedented amount of challenges. As our communities face complex issues in healthcare, economic equality and racial equity, we believe entrepreneurship will be a crucial part of the solution, just as women will. At Venture Cafe’s annual founders night, SHE Connects, we convene innovators and status quo-challengers from Greater Boston’s entrepreneurial, academic, investment, and corporate communities to learn from and support one another. We welcome her, him, them, EVERYONE to attend this conference to build new skills and relationships for a stronger, more connected and cohesive community.


March 25, 2021




1:30 – 5:45 PM 



1:30 – 2:00 PM (ET) | Make Things Happen: Innovation and Opportunities Around Cambridge

2:00 – 3:00 PM (ET) | KEYNOTE: Making Connections Matter

3:00 – 3:45 PM (ET) | PANEL: Funding, Sponsoring, and Financial Support

4:00 – 4:45 PM (ET) | WORKSHOP: Can We Talk Our Way Into Gender Equality?

5:00 – 5:45 PM (ET) I ROUND ROBIN: Pivots of the Year


Energy Connect 2020 Venture Cafe

Make Things Happen: Innovation and Opportunities Around Cambridge

1:30 – 2:00 PM (ET)

Our flagship #ThursdayGathering is Boston’s weekly meeting point for entrepreneurs, researchers, mentors and investors, connecting to make things happen. Every week we’ll kickoff the event with a half-hour of informal conversations to highlight opportunities in the ecosystem, help connect you with the right people, or just say what’s up!

Hosted by Shaheen Hakimi, Director at Venture Café Cambridge

Energy Connect 2020 Venture Cafe

KEYNOTE: Making Connections Matter

2:00 – 2:45 PM (ET)

Do you ever wonder what connections will be the ones to accelerate your company’s success? Linda Rossetti, veteran VC-backed CEO and expert on transitions, will discuss connections and how to make the right ones matter. 

Speakers: Linda Rossetti, Managing Director ,The Transition Institute

PANEL: Funding, Sponsoring, and Financial Support

3:00 – 3:45 PM (ET)

There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Around 64% of new female-owned businesses were started by women of color last year. Still, only a quarter of female founders seek funding for their ventures, which leads to only 2% of venture funding that ends up backing female-founded businesses. We all know the statistics. It isn’t glamorous. So let’s break it down, shall we? How do we distinguish between funding and sponsorship, and which one will get you further? Where does a female founder seek funding if VC funds are reluctant to offer any? Join us for a conversation about gender, equality and inequality, and funding. It’s time for us all to be a part of the solution.

Speakers: Bobbie Carlton (Moderator), Aliana Pineiro, Pradeep Aradhya and Erik Bullen

WORKSHOP: Can We Talk Our Way Into Gender Equality?

4:00 – 4:45 PM

Language connects us as humans, and it shapes the perceptions that we hold about each other – as entrepreneurs, leaders, coworkers, friends, and more. With every word – from pronouns to titles to gendered adjectives – we send subtle cues. How can we use language to be a force for good and break down the barriers that hold us back from achieving our true potential? Join this session, led by Sherry Hakimi and Win Chesson, for an engaging discussion in which we’ll share best practices and interesting research, and also create space for meaningful debate and discussion.

Speakers: Sherry Hakimi and Win Chesson

ROUND ROBIN: Pivots of the Year

5:00 – 5:45 PM

According to’s Local Economic Impact Report, over 97,000 businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the economic crisis, many entrepreneurs demonstrated incredible creativity and ingenuity finding new paths and new niches for their renewed offerings. In this session, we will celebrate three local innovators who adapted, pivoted, and completely changed the way they do business during the pandemic. Join us for a conversation with Devon Grilly, a known pivot-expert, Denise Castille, a PCR Trainer and Founder, Stephanie Roulic, Boston Startup Week Founder, and Rachel Wilson, CIC Health COO to hear their stories of pivot and success.

Speakers: Devon Grilly (moderator), Denise Castille, Rachel Wilson, and Stephanie Roulic