YIKES Co-Owners Honored with 2016 LGBT Business Leader Awards

By Mia Levesque

November 10, 2016

Co-Owners, Mia Levesque and Tracy Levesque were 2016 LGBT Business Leader Award winners, presented on November 10, 2016 by the Philadelphia Business Journal. YIKES was once again on the Top 25 LGBT-Owned Businesses in Greater Philadelphia.

2016 LGBT Business Leader Award Honorees - Tracy Levesque and Mia Levesque
Tracy and Mia Levesque, Co-Owners, YIKES, Inc.

Philadelphia Business LGBT Awards 2016 | Philadelphia Business Journal LGBT Award Honorees for 2016

Philly Tech Week 2016

By Melanie Chongolola-Nestor

April 25, 2016

Hello, Melanie here. Are you as excited for Philly Tech Week 2016 as I am? Last year was my first, and it was a great introduction to the Philadelphia Tech community. I’ve learned so much since then; enough to no longer be a noob, but still a ways before I can confidently say I understand all of things tech (is that even humanly possible?). Fortunately Philly Tech Week is here to help all of us learn a bit more about this constantly evolving industry.

The following are a few for events that I would love to attend. I won’t be able to attend all of the events because a lot of are at the same time. So until the technology to be two places at once is invented, I hope this list inspires you to check them out. And when the technology to be two places at once is invented, I really hope there is a preview at Philly Tech Week 😉


As technology makes the world smaller, respectfully recognizing all of its cultures is an important way to keep yourself informed and involved in the tech world.

Through a Prism: Why Diversity Matters in Design & Tech – 4/28/2016
Tracy Levesque, 1 of 2 super bosses at YIKES, will be a member of the panel; and will be discussing things like attracting and retaining diverse talent, and the positive impacts of having a diverse staff.

TechniCulture – 4/29/2016
A presentation from the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance about how cultural organizations can use more technology and innovation in reaching their goals.

Success Hacks: Paving Your Own Way in Tech – 5/5/2016
The PTW event YIKES is happy to sponsor and co-organize for the 3rd year in a row! This year, we will hear from presenters on what it means to be successful in the tech world and their personal story of how they got where they are today.


Because, ART.

OUT OF FRAME – week long
A curated online exhibition showcasing work defined as Disruptive Tech.www.out-of-frame.net

For the Kids

With technology being a part of everyday life, give the kids in your life some early experience in working with technology, not just playing with it.

Intro to Video Production – 4/30/2016
A chance for kids in the 6th-8th grades to learn everything about TV production and being in front or behind the camera in.

Coded by Kids Community Tech Week Events – opening weekend event
An all access weekend event in rec. centers throughout the city that will provide an introduction in Coding 101. This event is all ages.


Give yourself a leg up and learn some new things and skills.

Innovation in the Cannabis Industry: Technology, Medical, & Investment – 4/30/2016
Regardless of your stance on the use of marijuana, there are great business and technology opportunities that the marijuana market creates. Being in the know about it doesn’t make someone a stoner, missing out on opportunities does.

Transforming Tomorrow Today: How Emerging Technologies and Trends are Reshaping Greater Philadelphia – 5/3/2016
A discussion about how technology can change trends with sustainability, climate change, transportation and even the free market.

Getting More Done with Less – 5/3/2016
Because efficiency and resourcefulness are qualities everyone wants in an employee, friend or partner.

Dev Intro Workshops – 5/4/2016
The title is pretty self-explanatory.

#techInColor presents Success Hacks: Paving Your Own Way in Tech – 5/5/2016
Success is not a defined path with numerical steps. Learn how you can create you own successful path in the tech world. This is the third year that YIKES has co-organized and sponsored this #techincolor event!

PACT Startup Fundraising workshop – 5/6/2016
There is a lot of money out there for people who are looking to start their own business, launch their app or share their invention with the world. This session will help you find the various sources.

Career Growth

Connecting the Dots: Matching your skills to a career in tech – 5/3/2016
For people who are trying to begin a career in tech, or take their tech jobs to the next level; this session is for you

Tell Your Story: Crafting an Authentic Elevator Pitch That Works – 5/3/2016
This session will teach you how to turn your achievements and life experience into opportunities for advancement.

Local Philadelphian Interest

Startups & Spaces: Tech’s Impact on Philly’s Real Estate Market – 5/3/2016
As a homeowner in Philadelphia, it’s important to me to know where the real estate market is going and why. This event will provide more perspective into how the tech industry affects Philly real estate.

Just Plain Fun

Opportunities to socialize and network with other Techies.

PTW16 Kickoff festival – 4/29/2016
Live performances, games and being outdoors on a spring night in Philly.

Electric Philly – 4/30/2016
Electronic dance music made from video games. I love Daft Punk and Donkey Kong. Bring it!

The Rad Awards – 5/3/2016
A night to celebrate Philadelphia’s innovative and inspiring women.

Hive76’s Retro Gaming Night – 5/3/2016
Like I said I love Donkey Kong. I also love Crash Bandicoot, Sonic the Hedgehog and Wario. I hope I have a chance to play all of my favorite old school games.

#PTW16 Cinco De Mayo Block Party – 5/5/2016
This party will be about more than just tequila. Think tequila and tech and networking.

Philly Tech Week Signature Event – 5/6/2016
Last year’s event at Comcast was a great time. This year’s event will be at the Naval Yard, which is a beautiful venue.

Techies Who Brunch – 5/7/2016
Even if you feel all networked out by the end of the week, the food at Cuba Libre is delicious. Grab your business cards, put on a nice smile and enjoy some tapas.

2015 NGLCC Conference

By Jodie Riccelli

August 10, 2015

About a year ago, YIKES attended an IBA event, where through networking, we learned more about becoming a NGLCC certified LGBTBE business. Since we had just completed our renewal of our WBENC certification, the process seemed similar yet more straight forward. A few weeks later we received our certificate officially declaring us a certified Gay and Lesbian owned business enterprise. It was a good day at YIKES.

NGLCC-Cert-YIKESNext week Mia, Tracy, and I are heading to the annual NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference. This year it is being held in Fort Lauderdale. I’m not thrilled about the heat in Florida but I couldn’t be more excited about meeting with so many other like minded business who support diversity. This year’s annual conference boasts numerous sessions to engage and empower businesses.

The highlight however may be the key note speaker. When they revealed that Suze Orman was going to grace us with her presence at the conference, Tracy literally screamed from the back of our office. To be honest, I was super happy, too. There are two people that can tell me to do just about anything, Suze Orman and Coach Taylor. They just have that way about them. I expect to come back feeling inspired with great financial investments on deck.

Tracy is going to be on one of the panels at this years conference. The panel will take place on Wednesday, August 12 at 3:30pm and is called “Optimize Your Opportunities: Doing Business with Fellow LGBTBEs“.

Some of the other sessions we plan on attending:

  • Breakfast
  • B2B Boot Camp for Certified and Registered LGBT-Owned Businesses
  • Big Time Marketing on a Lean Budget
  • Global Focus: Equality Across Borders and Economic Development
  • and of course the Walk and Talks!

We want to thank the Independence Business Alliance, Greg DeShields from PHL Diversity, and all the folks at the NGLCC for championing diversity. We can’t wait to network in Florida!

#techInColor wrap up

By Mia Levesque

April 29, 2015

Our Event Partner – Girl Develop It

This year during Philly Tech Week, YIKES was proud to sponsor and help organize #techInColor for the second year in a row. This year’s event was held at First Round Capital on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Over 100 people attended, and the outcome was more than expected. Each mentor had 6 – 10 minute sessions with attendees throughout the course of the evening. Our mentor list included folks in web development, science, startups, and more. Additionally, we had small group sessions with group leaders who shared their expertise in various fields. Thank you to all the group leaders and mentors. Stay tuned for more #techInColor events happening this year, and be sure to join our MeetUp!


  • Josh Angotti – Ask me anything about: Product management.
  • Jeffrey Becker – Ask me anything about: .NET development, agile software development, and how to level up as a jr. developer.
  • Ann Burton – Ask me anything about: Interviewing, resumes, and career development.
  • Ingrid Geronimo – Ask me anything about: Requirements gathering, testing & quality assurance, and how to build your technical confidence.
  • Shanice Graham – Ask me anything about: Digital Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, and Analytics.
  • Ian Leibovici – Ask me anything about: Digital marketing strategy, UX/UI Design, Information architecture and Design Processes.
  • Tracy Levesque – Ask me anything about: WordPress, web design and development, B Corps, Green Building and running a triple bottom line business.
  • Amelia Longo – Ask me anything about: Being a non-technical person in tech, authentic networking, targeted outreach for diverse audiences, or gender and the workplace.
  • Brian Lyttle – Ask me anything about: Python and .NET, working remotely, consulting, or working with large companies.
  • Erin (Cricket) Reichenberger – Ask Me Anything About: Microbiome, metagenomics, bioinformatics​, and programming.
  • Michael Riley – Ask me anything about: Growing a successful business/startup.
  • Zoe Rooney – Ask me anything about: Building websites, WordPress, Shopify, or running a small web development business.
  • Tiffanie Stanard – Ask me anything about: Owning multiple companies, technology skills for various industries, product marketing campaigns, branding yourself and your company, developing corporate partnerships, becoming an expert in your field.
  • Colby Tecklin – Ask me anything about: Videophones, video communication, general networking, communication tools, and customer service.
  • Corinne Warnshuis – Ask me anything about: Getting involved in the community and/or Leveling up your skills
  • Carlos Zuniga – Ask me anything about: WordPress Development, PHP Development, Internet Security.

Group Discussion Leaders

  • Sarah Gray – My Expertise: Hunting for software development jobs, community resources, open source software development with Python and and web development with Rails.
  • TJ Nicolaides – My Expertise: Front end development / Javascript / teaching programming / CakePHP
  • Michelle Rogers – My Expertise: Healthcare informatics – the intersection of health, people and information.
  • Kevin Taylor – My Expertise: Project management, group collaboration, and workplace learning and performance improvement.
  • Ani Vemprala – My Expertise: Launching a startup in Philly, building a tech/engineering team, interviewing at startups, your data & analytics challenges.
  • Elise Wei – My Expertise: Changing careers into software dev, SaaS, hiring, managing a team, being a new parent, getting involved in the community.

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Zero-Waste Event made possible by:


Event catered by:


Drinks provided by:


Park(ing) Day Philadelphia 2014

By Mia Levesque

September 19, 2014

We’re celebrating Park(ing) Day Philadelphia 2014!

Parking Day Philadelphia 2014
We’re building a park (and it’s not virtual).

Stop by YIKES today and hang out in our popup park, have a hot pretzel from Center City Pretzels, have a glass of lemon water, and relax on lovely East Girard Ave.

Park(ing) Day Map

See more at Star News.

Girl Develop IT – 3-Year Anniversary Party

By Mia Levesque

September 3, 2014

YIKES is proud to be a sponsor for Girl Develop It Philly 3 year anniversary party on September 19th!


Philadelphia Geek Awards 2014

By Tracy Levesque

August 19, 2014

On Saturday, August 16, 2014, the Annual Philadelphia Geek Awards succeeded as one of the best geek/tech events of the year, and it’s only August! A big congratulations to Geekadelphia and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for hosting an absolutely incredible evening. The afterparty at North Bowl, with late night snacks and opportunities to socialize with presenters and winners,  capped off  a great night. As a proud sponsor this year, YIKES, Inc. Co-Owners, Mia Levesque and Tracy Levesque attended, both for the first time. What did they think?


The Philly Geek Awards offers the best of Philadelphia. Geekadelphia managed to not only bring together a diverse cross section of people from different social, cultural, and technology backgrounds, but also created an event that celebrated all things geeky. This provided attendees a unique opportunity to jump outside their bubble for an evening and plunge into a broader world of Philadelphia Geekdom.

The diversity of attendees, nominees, and winners was impressive and made me proud to be a part of the Philadelphia tech community. The wide range of award categories provided a glimpse at the incredible projects Philadelphians are working on.

Not only an inspirational event but pure fun, I am already looking forward to 2015.


I absolutely loved The Philly Geek Awards. I found myself grinning the entire time.

It was cool to see what folks are doing in areas of geekdom outside of web development. It made me so proud of Philadelphia. I wouldn’t want to own a tech company anywhere else.

I was also thrilled to meet Kid Hazo. I’m a big fan, and we have one of his pieces up in the office. It was great to meet him in person.

YIKES would like to congratulate all the winners, nominees, and organizers. View all the winners at NewsWorks.

Mia and Tracy with Joel Hodgson from MST3K
Mia and Tracy with Joel Hodgson from MST3K