AOWIE 2017: A Conference for Black Women Inventors

AOWIE 2017: A Conference for Black Women Inventors

Lisa Ascolese

This past March,  The Association of Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs (AOWIE) hosted its annual Women’s Conference, and I am elated to share that it was a wonderfully successful the event. The AOWIE Women’s Conference features mentors that help guide and direct both inventors and entrepreneurs, who are striving to reach their goals and achieve success. Not only that, but the conference also presents attendees with an inspiring and uplifting musical experience.


(Image: AOWIE)


As the founder of AOWIE, I can say that the organization has two missions; to “bridge the gap between ambition and success,” and “lift each other up–two hands at a time.”


Speakers at the AOWIE Women’s Conference


The keynote speaker at this recent conference was Carla Hall, the famed restaurant owner, chef, a two-time finalist on Bravo TV’s competitive cooking show Top Chef, and current co-host on ABC’s hit daytime television show The Chew. Hall’s riveting speech traced her incredible career journey from modeling, to accounting, to eventually discovering her passion for the culinary arts and becoming a chef when she was 30-years-old. Twenty-two years after first tapping into her culinary savvy, Hall opened up her own restaurant, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, in Brooklyn, New York. Hall is proof that when you believe in yourself, are clear about what you want, and remain dedicated to that passion, all things are possible! (And, of course, having the right mentors and supporters is paramount, too.)

Dolores Catania, a cast member from the hit Bravo TV show The Real Housewives of New Jersey, also shared words of wisdom as a speaker for the conference. In addition to being a television personality, Catania is an entrepreneur and inventor.

Other speakers included Tracey Washington Bagley, executive producer from the ABC show Here and Now; Delores Spruell Jackson, producer of Live! with Kelly; R&B singer and songwriter Alyson Williams; Lora Gaston, founder of GastonWhite; Shontavia Johnson, a renowned patent attorney; as well as many other notables.


Other Conference Highlights


In addition to incredible speakers, the event also included a fashion show, musical entertainment, and special award ceremonies to honor many of the young and innovative inventors of today. The AOWIE Conference also hosted a Two-Minute Elevator Pitch Competition, where a panel of judges vetted five inventors, as they pitched their products. This year’s winner was Elise Graves, the inventor of WALL-BEES.

Filled with women inventors, patent attorneys, manufacturers, producers, strategists, and directors, this united effort managed to help so many people. Some attendees walked away with manufacturing contracts and patent searches in-hand, while others walked away with television and radio interviews in their pockets.

Overall, the conference was an incredible, unbelievable, and magical experience. I hope to see you at the next one!



This article was written by Lisa Ascolese, also known as “The Inventress.” For more information on Lisa, visit her website at, or email her with any questions by sending a message to  

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Twitter: @LisaAscolese