Jennifer is our Head of Network, working from our Berlin office. She ensures that every founder gets the best out of our network to help them grow their business and develop as a leader.
I grew up on a horse ranch in Colorado where infrastructure and technology were so limited we shared one phone line with 10 other neighbors. One winter, a blizzard piled snow drifts so high, we couldn’t leave the house. We ran out of gas to heat our home, and my dad rode one of our horses to the main road to call for help.
Being raised on a ranch, I knew hard work from an early age. You have to show up, rain or shine when you have animals to feed and care for. My parents had Forbes Magazine delivered to our house, and I was so excited when it arrived. I flipped straight to the pages of the featured business stories and dove into the profiles of entrepreneurs. Reading these stories made me want to become a journalist myself – and for a couple of years during high school, nothing was more interesting than writing.
After high school, I got a journalism scholarship and moved to Los Angeles. As a young television journalist, I learned to ship my work to hit deadlines - no matter if I felt ready or not. It taught me how to prioritize and think on my feet. As I moved from reporting to the anchor desk, I sensed the journalism industry was about to undergo a significant disruption. As social media took off, I built a media startup with a partner, and organized conferences to bring people in new media together. We did several events until Techstars knocked on my door to hire me for their early team. I was intrigued by their belief that great entrepreneurs are everywhere in the world and if you bring talented people and resources together magic can happen. One of their values was giving without expecting something in return which turned out to be one of the most successful ways of shaping a network and people’s growth.
I experienced the power of mentorship and saw how one conversation could change the trajectory of a company; whether it was a business deal, a thoughtful conversation that shaped someone as a leader, or repeated conversations that helped someone to develop in a really significant way.
For me, building a network means building a system that not only works for one’s business but also for one’s personal well-being. Working together with Creandum’s portfolio companies gives me a platform where I can build and scale a support system of amazing founders, operators, and investors to help people reach their full potential.