Jess’s passion for entrepreneurship began shortly after university when she founded a web development firm which continues to thrive today. Jess grew the business, scaling it to an integrated online marketing firm, eventually adding partners. In 2011, with a structure in place, devoting her time to Insiteful Solutions pivoted to investing in the future of start-ups. Leveraging her extensive business experience, as well as Board and volunteer management expertise her goal was to ignite entrepreneurial potential.
Jess became the Executive Director of YAI in 2014, following many years as an active angel investor with the group. Over the next 5 years, leveraging her entrepreneurial, business, and marketing acumen, Jess worked with the YAI team to grow membership by over 450%, as well as increase deal flow, the number of deals completed and the amount invested. This renewed energy and motivation earned YAI the honour of being ranked Top 5 in Canada in 2015 and 2016, tied for 1st place in 2017, and solely in first place in 2018. YAI now has the largest membership in Ontario and the second largest in Canada.
In her current role, Jess is CEO of an alliance of three angel groups; Angel One, GTAN, and SWO. This new joint venture officially launches Oct. 10th. This group will provide streamlined screening, presenting and due diligence for founders who are raising equity funding. And for the almost 200 angels it will provide an opportunity to see the best companies, negotiate the best deals, and nimbly invest. Jess is eager to learn about the local innovation ecosystems in Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington-Hamilton, and London. This is an exciting and challenging role, and Jess looks forward to working closely with the local partners.