Jana Messerschmidt, nicknamed Jana Lightspeed by her business partners, is a 2001 University of Urbana graduate in computer engineering a former businesswoman associated with Twitter, Netflix, and since 2018, with Lightspeed Venture Partners.
She’s nicknamed Jana Lightspeed because of the passion she dedicates to Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Messerschmidt, who previously co-founded Angels, and investment collective centered on getting women involved and invested in start-up’s seeking capital, has been instrumental in encouraging women to take a greater share of the lead in the investment field. Messerschmidt believes both women, and unrepresented minorities must be put to the forefront of all fields, but especially those associated with high-tech, if they want to be seen as modern and forward thinking
Jana Messerschmidt, manages a portfolio of 80 plus clients for Lightspeed Venture Partners that includes cleantech and enterprise technologies, and she specializes in seed stage, and later expansion of incubating businesses.
Lightspeed, founded in 2000, has helped over 300 firms get the essential start-up and expansion capital they need and has taken a number of firms through the initial public offering stage in the stock market.
Messerschmidt is a partner in the firm and Lightspeed gives her a great deal of credit
for their continued emphasis on recruiting women and minorities.
Married, with a busy, three-year-old daughter, Messerschmidt tries to juggle her challenging duties while living in the Bay area.
During a recent business interview, she had the following tips for potential entrepreneurs:
- Jump in fully to understand an industry.
- Take copious notes during business meetings.
- Be as kind as possible while doing business.
- Build and forge relationships with people you work with.
- Work in environments that challenge you, not necessarily those that are easy.
- Readily share ideas. That’s the way to save reinventing the wheel.
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