WorkParty Expert: Jesse Draper


This week’s WorkParty expert is all about paying it forward. Jaclyn spoke to founding partner of Halogen Ventures, Jesse Draper, who literally pays it forward as an investor. Her company helps fund women-founded businesses in order to get them running from the ground up. But of course, she hit us with some real-talk money advice and inspiration. Ahead, some takeaways from Jesse.

When to Seek Funding

The right answer is that you really should try to not need funding. But, since we’re not living in a dream world, sometimes that’s just how it goes—actually a lot of the time. As Jesse puts it, whenever you sell part of your company, you’re essentially selling a part of yourself and it can be tough to deal with. On the other hand, if money is needed in order for your business to thrive and grow, you better get that pitch ready.

What Investors Look For

Jesse looks for businesses that can be worth billions one day. That’s right, billions. Moreover, that means she’s looking for women who don’t sell themselves short, and are confident enough in their business to believe that it’ll reach that value one day. She also looks for killer teams and people that are complementary to one another. Last, but definitely not least, she looks for passion. If that’s not there, then what’s the point?

Women Supporting Women

Growing up, Jesse quickly learned that not all the women she admired were particularly nice to her. In fact, she went out of her way to set up meetings with a few of them and the reality wasn’t too pretty. But that was a different generation of women—those who had to crawl their way to the top. Today, Jesse makes it a point to support other women as much as possible, through her business and mentorship. It’s just how women are working today, and she didn’t have the same support system when she was younger.