Advisor Highlight: Jen Haller
December 23, 2022
“So much about succeeding the startup/VC world is about time, money, and who you know. Underrepresented founders are systemically disadvantaged under the current model. I’ve had a ton of privilege in my life and want to use that to help lift up founders, getting them connected to the resources it takes to succeed.” our Advisor, Jen Haller (she/her) shares.
Jen Haller is a battle-tested operations professional, focused on building and supporting tech teams from start-up through rapid growth stages. She has a special passion for helping companies establish their unique culture and fostering workplace environments where employees feel comfortable and valued. Jen’s work has led directly to multiple awards, including “Seattle’s Best Places to Work” – Seattle Met (Urbanspoon), “Best Companies to Work For” – Seattle Magazine (Axon), and “Geekiest Office Space” – Geekwire (Axon). Currently, Jen works at Ascend.vc as Chief of Staff, supporting fund operations and 50+ portfolio companies.
Learn more about Jen and the advice that she gives to Founders.
What excited you most about tech startups?
Everything, honestly. The ingenuity and passion of founders developing a team to solve a problem they care about – it’s the jam! I especially love that we’re creating unique job experiences for people to express their creativity, learn how to be scrappy, move fast, and get shit done.
In your experience with startups & entrepreneurs, what’s one of the Founders’ biggest hurdles? What advice would you give Founders facing similar struggles?
Building a healthy work environment. Be transparent, stay humble, hire people smarter than you, care for the whole employee (not just what they’re bringing 9-5), and model a healthy work-life balance.
Name one tech startup & its Founder(s) that you really believe in and want to help amplify.
What one piece of advice would you give to a Founder that is thinking about launching their own tech startup?
Hire an Ops/Support person sooner than you think. Founders are reluctant to hire this role early because it’s “overhead” and doesn’t have a direct line to product development or revenue generation. While it’s immeasurable, the value this role can bring is critical. They can take so much of the day-to-day operating tasks off your plate, freeing up you and your leadership team to focus on the big-picture strategic decisions for the company. Big bonus, the right person can own building a healthy company culture where everyone feels supported and valued
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