A caring Woman Founder and Internship Mentor at the Harvard Innovation Lab

Meet Lisa who was just featured in Harvard’s “Women-Led Wednesdays: Leadership Lessons and Venture Turning Points

Lisa Z. became a mentor for our student Avi, whose college major is computer science. Lisa, from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is Founder and CEO of Helthy, an app that makes real-time recommendations for people with diabetes as they shop for groceries online.

Read about her approach to leadership and learn how her venture has grown in the Women-Led Wednesdays interview:

Lisa, whose mother has Type 2 diabetes, was inspired to start her venture by a desire to make it easy for family members to choose the right foods to eat. It all started during Lisa’s IDEP (Independent Design Engineering Project) as part of Harvard’s Master’s in Design Engineering program (MDE) where she got to explore root problems in the diabetes space.

After participating in the Harvard Innovation Labs Venture Program this past year, Helthy is focused on product development and building new partnerships. Their product is now compatible with Whole Foods, Walmart, Instacart, Krogers, and H-E-B, Zhu says. This means they are able to provide simple visual cues that overlay on grocery store product pages for users to know which products fit within their healthy eating guidelines.

How has your venture grown in unexpected ways?

“It’s been interesting the way we’ve grown our team. We had some trials and errors and big learnings with regard to figuring out who would be the right fit for this venture. Right now we’re a team of five. We’re very lean, and everyone is exceptional in their domain. We have a great group who believes in this venture and who all want to make a social impact. I feel lucky to work with genuine and kind people, and I’m so proud of our team.”

How would you describe your leadership path as a (woman) entrepreneur?

“As a trained architect and designer, I learn through doing and building. This is also how I lead as a woman entrepreneur. Focus is key. I stay focused on hyper-empathy and care towards my customers and users, for example, and on a genuine belief in the product and the company. I stay focused on my drive to make Helthy a success… I also ask for help because there is a lot that I still don’t know yet. I rely on my team, they rely on me, and we have amazing advisors. My advisors from the Harvard Innovation Labs give me tremendous guidance and support. Staying thankful is part of my leadership path!”

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