Bridget Jones: A Pre-Accelerator Platform Prepares Startups for Funding
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hi folks! I’m Spiffy, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth, back with a new guest who is committed to making a difference in the world through UN SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. I’m in Washington to talk to Bridget Jones, CEO of Chisel Technologies, Inc. Let’s see how she’s doing it!
Spiffy: Welcome, Bridget! I’m excited to hear how you’re working at UN SDG 9! Can you start by telling us about the challenge you’re addressing?
Bridget: Thanks so much for having me, Spiffy! There’s power in following your passions and building something from the ground up. We’re an online project manager that exists to help make running a business easier. People that leave traditional jobs to start businesses are up against tons of challenges—from staying on top of goals to building a team to funding their companies. FinRoth, our web-based application, is for dreamers. It helps to prepare startups for funding by giving them the tools to run their projects more efficiently.
Spiffy: I see! And what factors motivated you to hone in on this type of preparation for startups?
Bridget: Well, Spiffy, I believe that all people should have the power to choose the life they want to live. I grew up in a place where a third of the city lives below the poverty line. While watching trillions of dollars move into my hometown in the form of tourism, aviation, and enterprise, so little of those resources ever make it to neighborhoods that look like mine. For the past five years, I've devoted my life's work to democratizing ownership in tech by shifting ambitious founders out of debt and into equity and improving the quality of people's lives.
Spiffy: Can you tell me more about how your company is contributing to a more equitable world?
Bridget: At FinRoth, we pride ourselves on standing on the belief that knowledge is power, so we help business owners by offering a training program called a pre-accelerator. We cater to founders that come from marginalized backgrounds and build in solutions that make things, like accounting, easier to do. We provide a repository for business owners to get help in the areas they need, and we make ourselves readily available in case anyone needs additional support.
Spiffy: Do you have any recent milestones you’ve achieved?
Bridget: A few months ago, the technical director of accounting at PayPal joined our advisory board. This was instrumental for us. PayPal made a way for us to offer greater support to our workers and by extension our clients. For our staff, PayPal was able to offer objective advice to improve our processes that in turn improved our relationship with our clients. The strength of their brand allowed them to be trustworthy and our staff to be open. Not being afraid to partner or work with people further along or smarter than us allowed us to grow.
Spiffy: I’m wondering if you can tell me about a time when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from failure?
Bridget: In April, I entered a pitch competition. I’d prepared for this competition for weeks, spending many moments polishing my words and strengthening my presentation. I received tough feedback from the judges and I lost the competition. The next day, I got an email from a major bank, offering to work with our company. If I’d thrown in the towel and defined myself based on the feedback I received from the judges, I would have closed myself and my company off to a relationship that catapulted one of our enterprise contracts. I learned the importance of consistently showing up as myself in order to attract exactly what I really needed. You may not always be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s okay. Some people prefer coffee.
Spiffy: And some like both! Well, I think we’ve learned that democratizing ownership in tech is a very important step in making people’s lives more equitable. Thank you for enlightening us, Bridget, it’s been an honor!
Bridget Jones, CEO of Chisel Technologies, Inc. is a serial social impact entrepreneur—a unique mix of analytical and creative, living at the cross-section of tech and advocacy. Five years of experience in business strategy and operations in the medical, finance, consumer products, technology, e-commerce, and public sector industries. (Nominated by StartOut. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 23, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.