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Jessica Willis Named Top Female Founder

Updated: May 6, 2022 names Willis, CEO and founder of Pocketnest, a top female founder to watch in 2021

Jessica Willis, CEO and Founder of Pocketnest, headshot

The below article was originally posted on titled, "The Midwest’s Top Female Founders to Watch in 2021."

“We always say unapologetically: we're here to win, we're here to win big, and our opportunity is big."

That was Lori Coulter, CEO and co-founder of Summersalt, speaking at the State of the Midwest Startup Community 2020.

There’s no denying that women have made many strides in closing the gender gap in tech. But those trends haven’t necessarily been true for female founders. Since 2012, there’s been little increase in venture capital going to women-founded businesses. And in 2020, what we’ve seen is actually a backward trend for female founders that’s preventing some really great breakthroughs.

In the third quarter of 2020, venture capital funding for female founders dropped to a three-year low. And still, only about 3% of venture capital goes to female founders—that number is even lower for BIPOC female entrepreneurs with an average funding rate of less than 1%.

Lori’s advice to women entrepreneurs seeking funding? Don’t let venture capitalists deter you from opportunity.

"Our jobs as women founders is, if you are asked a prevention question, to pivot to growth every time. You need to paint the biggest picture of your opportunity, and you need to be unapologetic about that,” Lori said.

And one thing is for sure: there are plenty of smart, talented, and successful women entrepreneurs who are shaping communities and the future. They’re starting businesses, innovating new technology, leading teams, and helping their communities. 2020 was a big year for these leaders—even if the VC funding numbers don’t show it. And we’re excited to see what these entrepreneurs do in 2021.

Jessica Willis, Founder and CEO

Pocketnest (Detroit)

Budgeting is always hard, especially during economic downturn. Pocketnest, founded by Jessica Willis, is trying to make it easier. The Detroit fintech startup uses behavioral science and psychology to coach users, primarily Millennials and Gen Xers, to achieve financial wellness. Jessica noticed that the next generation does business differently, and most financial institutions leave them out. But not Pocketnest. Jessica is building a team and the technology that’s helping more and more people achieve financial wellness. This summer, she participated in BMO Harris Bank and 1871’s first ever Women’s Fintech Mentoring Program, and we’re excited to see the moves she makes in 2021.

If you want to check out some of Jessica’s excellent budgeting tips, click here.

This post was originally featured on Purpose.Jobs.

Interested in bringing Pocketnest to your community? Request a demo!


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