About Stage2Startups

Be An Entrepreneur At Any Age!

Because it’s time to follow your dream of running your own business.

Launched in 2017, Stage2Startups supports individuals who want to transform their work and life experiences into founding and growing a successful business or nonprofit.

While we support all types of founders, we particularly focus on supporting founders from under-represented populations such as women, people of color and immigrants to the US.

Stage2Startups provides workshops, training and networking opportunities for every stage of your entrepreneurial journey, both in-person throughout the metro New York area and online nationally.

Our Team

We all came to Stage2Startups by different paths. Betty didn't agree with the media and society's expectations about aging and retirement and wanted to make a change. Emelie was ready to leave the corporate world and strike out on her own. Felipe immigrated from Brazil and was eager to start his own business in the US.


We started Stage2Startups because we believe anyone can leverage their work and life experiences to successfully create and run their own business. They just may need some help along the way.

Betty Wong

Betty Melinda Ark Fung Wong is serial entrepreneur, new products marketer, educator, consultant, mentor and coach. Her clients, employers and board assignments have included startups (including her own), Fortune 500 level companies (Colgate-Palmolive, Mars, Johnson&Johnson, Honeywell, NYTimes), governments (New York State) and NGOS (GrahamWindham,World Education Services, CUNYBaruch, World Cares).

Betty founded Stage2Startups in 2017 when she realized there were no organizations helping founders over 40.

Betty attended Hunter High and Pratt Institute. She holds a BS from NYU Stern and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Felipe Marinho

Felipe Marinho is a Brazilian entrepreneur, consultant, and author. He worked for Shell Oil for over 15 years, performing leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, Real Estate, Business Development, and Retail Network Planning.

In 2015, he moved with his family to the US, where he co-founded Soulphia, an English learning platform, which went from 1,000 to 15,000 students worldwide.

Felipe holds a degree in Business Administration from Mackenzie University (Brazil), an MBA in Marketing from ESPM (Brazil), and a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School.

Emelie Smith Calbick

Emelie Smith Calbick built her career in financial services, holding a variety of senior level marketing and strategy positions at American Express and JP Morgan Chase.

After a successful career in the corporate world, she made the leap to entrepreneurship and joined Placecodes, Inc., a technology startup, which she and her partner successfully sold to Destini Global.

Emelie is now a cofounder of Stage2Startups and has written several popular business books.

Emelie holds a joint MBA/MIA from Columbia Business School and Columbia University School for International and Public Affairs.

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