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The Future Is Female


“Growing up, I didn’t see any women in technology or female CEOs around me. In order to change that, I created Halogen Ventures,” says founder Jesse Draper, UCLA.

As the daughter of a venture capitalist, Jesse grew up answering questions around the dinner table like: “How are you going to turn this into a business?” or “How can you affect an industry?” Business-minded, she because a fourth-generation entrepreneur and the first female in her family to start a company.

Halogen Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in female-founded consumer technology companies. In an interview with The Key, she advises women entrepreneurs or women in traditionally male industries: “Speak up. It’s not a bad thing to be the only girl in the board room.”

Get more of Jesse’s advice below.

What’s the greatest career lesson you’ve learned?

Meet as many people as you can. You never know where one introduction may lead.

What advice do you have regarding being adaptable and able to pivot?

You have to be open to new ideas. I don't have all the answers and neither do you. Hear different perspectives and then make the informed decision which way to go. My founders would have all failed if they hadn't been open to pivoting their business during COVID-19. The best founders quickly identify what is working and what is not and pivot accordingly.

What advice do you have regarding taking professional risks?

Do it. What is the worst that could happen? Send the cold email. Ask for the raise. Big risk equals big reward.

How has Kappa supported or impacted you in your entrepreneurial journey?

I got connected with my first job through one of my Kappa advisers. I worked at Clear Channel for a booker for Ryan Seacrest and “The Val Show.” I got my second job through another one of my Kappa advisers who set me up in client services at a post-production house. I started my career in entertainment and knew no one in entertainment. These women set me up with jobs and I am so grateful for that.

What advice do you have for other Kappas who are thinking about or just started their own business?

Get out there. Build an incredible team. You cannot do anything alone. Empower your employees and they will help you be more successful.

Looking for more?

Want more career advice plus tips and tricks? Dive into these additional Career Academy resources.

Taking Professional Risks

When it comes to our professional lives, many of us gravitate toward job security over bold moves that may feel risky. But is that holding you back? Learn more about taking professional risks.

How to Be Adaptable and Pivot

Being adaptable may be the skill of the century. Learn how to embrace change, be adaptable and feel prepared for wherever your career may take you.

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