This Women’s History Month, as in years past, we reached out to our network to showcase women who are working in technology, education and civic spaces, paving the way for women’s leadership in our community and beyond. Follow along with us in Chicago, New England and New York as we celebrate Women Rising.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Boston, you definitely know Melissa Yee.
Melissa is the woman behind the weekly StartHub newsletter. StartHub serves as Greater Boston’s homepage for the startup ecosystem. It’s a comprehensive, centralized online platform design to connect, support and grow the region’s world-class technology and early-stage community.
As program manager and editor of StartHub, Melissa also holds office hours for nascent entrepreneurs. She’s the face of StartHub, a “one-stop-shop where one can find everything they need to know about the Greater Boston’s innovation community.” She connects members of Boston’s startup ecosystem to resources, including business planning and support, investment and capital, and educational and institutional resources. The site also aggregates all coworking spaces, accelerators and incubators.
“StartHub.org is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs, visionaries and urbanists who want to make a difference in the community,” says Jackie Lender, startup manager for the City of Boston. Jackie nominated Melissa for this recognition.
As liaison to the startup scene, Melissa ensures that the StartHub brand both reflects and amplifies the energy of the entrepreneurial community.
“I’m the startup community’s cheerleader,” Melissa says.
StartHub regularly features “Startups to Watch,” which helps budding entrepreneurs publicize their ventures. Their story is further amplified with a congratulatory tweet from Mayor Walsh and through opportunities to participate in community events as guest speakers or to have their startup showcased. StartHub serves founders from all industries, including those in the food and beverage industry, clean energy and digital health sectors, and there’s a section on the site to support women in tech as well as designated community pages focused on the social impact and civic innovation sectors.
“Melissa is passionate about her job, incredible to collaborate with and is genuinely interested in helping other women in the field succeed,” Jackie says.
“I want to make myself available to all, but whenever I see events based around supporting women entrepreneurs, I try to showcase those events because women entrepreneurs are a minority,” Melissa says. She often showcases Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS), a City of Boston program that advances women entrepreneurs by providing the resources and network they need to launch and grow their business.
“Having a great program like that, focused on women entrepreneurs, is an amazing resource to have in any city,” she says. “Supporting women and other minority communities is so important.”
StartHub is one arm of the Venture Café Foundation and was developed in a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Venture Café, Gust and a wide number of partners. Before joining Venture Café in 2016, Melissa worked for a co-working space in downtown Boston and served as a freelance videographer for startups and nonprofits, where she got to know many of Boston’s entrepreneurs and startups.
To other women, Melissa offers this advice: “Find your community. Find other women entrepreneurs you can connect with, put yourself out there and be consistent about it as a regular and active participant.”
Get involved! StartHub has curated a list of events taking place in Greater Boston during Women’s History Month. Join them in honoring and supporting women in the community.