Drumroll please! After a strenuous application process, rigorous interview timetable obstacle courses, and some diligent due diligence we’re happy to announce that the super amazing wonderful Jessica Venning-Bryan is joining the board of PledgeMe!
Can we all pause and give this amazing woman a round of applause.
Great. Thank you.
So who is the Jessica woman who managed to, out of a crowd of 107 applicants, wow us enough to take up the coveted seat at the PledgeMe Bubble shaped board table?
Jessica has spent 15 years advising organisations like Lion, the Electoral Commission, Seafood NZ, Saatchi & Saatchi Global, and the Sustainable Business Council on how to engage customers with projects and brands. From beer to electricity, voting systems to employment, she’s delivered projects in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the UK.
She is currently GM Brand at Flick Electric Co., and was part of Flick’s founding team. She is also the Founder and Trustee of Cultivate Mentoring Lab, a not-for-profit that partners early to mid-career women with experienced mentors to help them grow their confidence and progress equally at work. She lives in Wellington with her partner and three children, and has a special interest in gender equality, justice reform, alternative families and gifted education.
But enough from me blabbing on. Here’s what Jessica had to say about herself.
What excites you about working with PledgeMe?
The most important thing to me in my professional life is working with great people. I’ve known Anna for some time, and have always admired her relationship-centric approach to business. Getting to know Nick, Breccan and Anake through the appointment process has been really inspiring, and I’m looking forward to working with them to help grow PledgeMe.
I completely believe in democratising access to capital, so being part of a platform that supports all New Zealanders to realise their aspirations is a great privilege and responsibility.
And I love the thrill of building businesses and brands. There’s nothing quite like growing a young idea into a flourishing, sustainable, impactful business.
Why will your skills benefit PledgeMe?
I know a thing or two about brand building and customer acquisition. I deeply believe in the PledgeMe approach to helping New Zealanders fund the things they care about, and I want to see the business become the most successful in its category.
I’ve always worked in highly-regulated industries, where building a consumer brand or story needs particular care. I love the challenge of these environments. I’m really looking forward to supporting the PledgeMe team to build their story – especially around new products – while maintaining the high levels of integrity that financial regulation demands.
One of my favourite sayings is ‘freedom through discipline’ and I think it’s really relevant to growing an early stage business. You need to apply big business discipline with start up speed, so I think having a director who has experience in both corporate and venture environments is extremely valuable.
What’s your vision for PledgeMe?
I want to see PledgeMe be the category leader in projects, equity and debt. Not just on market share and profitability, but on impact too. I really believe businesses can do good and do well. The community-centric foundation of PledgeMe is unique in the market, and it’s a competitive strength, so I’d like to help leverage that.
That all sounds pretty darn marvellous!
We’re really excited by Jessica’s energy, deep experience in marketing and branding, and her values aligned approach to business (and life). We think that having her voice around the board table will make us a stronger brand, and better people.