Welcome to the Team: Meet Joey, Matt, Olivia & Erin

TechNexus Venture Collaborative’s New Team Members

Welcome to the TechNexus Team

What’s your job title?

Joey Alfieri: Venture Operations Analyst

Matt Meyers: Strategy Manager

Olivia Land: Marketing Coordinator

Erin Martell: Venture Manager

Tell me a bit about your background and how you got here?

JA: My career background is a little more unorthodox than the typical person in VC. I graduated college in 2019 and was playing football for the last few years. In college I had a few internships, some sales roles, some commercial real estate roles focused on small venture startups where we would kind of hold their hands through their growth process as they scaled up through IPOs. So there’s a little bit of background that was relevant to VC that I got exposure to in college. And then for these last two and a half-three years, I was playing football. I got the opportunity to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles out of college, then I spent some time with New York giants, and then spent the bulk of my playing career with the San Francisco 49ers and got to be a part of their Superbowl run in 2020, which was a great experience. And that brings me to now…there were a few months of me moving on from my football career as I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and then one thing led to another and I was really lucky to get the opportunity to join the TechNexus team.

MM: So I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and after undergrad schooling, I moved to Chicago. There was a lot more opportunity up here, and I wanted to move to a big city. I was able to get a job at KPMG within their consulting practice. During my time, I was able to explore a few different different service lines and eventually found the right fit working at KPMG within their strategy group. KPMG is a large multinational firm with a lot of opportunities. I saw companies large and small and a lot of different management styles. I really was able to get experience working in two main areas – M&A consulting and corporate strategy. Both of which I think are very applicable to the work I’m doing today, but involve a) either companies undergoing transactions, which could be any type of diligence, integration strategy, investment theme creation and any type of market diligence, or b) working with corporate strategy clients on go to market strategy, investment criteria, etc. So all in all, I think it was a good transition moving over to TechNexus.

OL: I specialize in short-form video production, content development, and social media marketing. My background is in communications for public policy and economic development where I worked on the digital team for the City of Chicago. I am where I am today because of my love for visual content and experimenting with creative messaging on social platforms.

EM: I’m a previous startup founder who fell in love with the startup ecosystem. I spent two years building companies while in business school and prior to that was working in consulting as a data scientist

Why were you interested in joining TechNexus Venture Collaborative?

JA: I definitely had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to as my playing career kind of dwindled down, so I got to reach out to a lot of my network and talk to people in different areas like investment banking, private equity and consulting tech companies, startups, etc., and I just got a great picture of the different possibilities out there. And then when one of my old teammates Lewis Burik who worked at TechNexus at the time reached out to me and described the role TechNexus was playing, I just had never heard of anything like it in the past. And it sounded like a really unique place to work with a great group of people working on solving complex problems, which is really what I was filtering for in my job search. So it really just checked all the boxes, and then coming out and meeting the team really kind of finalized my feelings about the place.

MM: I think working at KPMG gave me a lot of experience at large corporations and I was able to see the large scale transactions occurring, but I really wanted to get to the forefront and work with smaller companies that are really in that growth stage. It’s a great experience working with mature companies, but I really wanted to get down to the nuts and bolts and see how companies were growing and how they’re starting from the ground floor. So once I heard about TechNexus and their unique model working with corporations (which I believe lends to my experience at KPMG) and then also working with early stage ventures, it seemed to be a pretty good fit for me to come together and work at TechNexus.

OL: TechNexus Venture Collaborative’s unique model interested me. TechNexus Venture Collaborative has given me the opportunity to use my expertise in content for innovative measures and also offer me the greatest opportunity to learn in a challenging industry.

EM: I wanted to work for a VC firm that provides more than just capital to its portfolio companies. I love that TechNexus provides real customers and corporate resources to founders through its unique business model.

Who inspires you?

MM: I would probably say my mom for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I have two brothers – one that’s a year older and one that’s a year younger – and so I have the utmost respect for my mom not only dealing with me, but also two more of me (So the three of us at the same time all under the age of four). So, I love my family and I love my brothers and my parents did a great job raising us, but I can not imagine at this stage having three little boys ages three, two, and one running around. So I have a lot of respect my mom for that one.

OL: The inspiring and dedicated Ida B. Wells.

EM: Mary Barra the first female CEO of the big three automakers.

Tell me about the specific focus of your new role?

JA: My role at TechNexus primarily involves working to overhaul our processes for sourcing companies, conducting diligence, portfolio reporting, and trying to create a standardized way to go about that as we grow and scale, and try and create some sustainable processes for completing those tasks among other things. I also help a bit with the venturing team on actual due diligence (sourcing companies, taking calls, and trying to actually discover quality companies for us to take deeper looks at), help around where I can with the business development side of things, whether that’s doing market research or trying to help stand up new partnerships. But you definitely get to wear many hats here, which is one of the things that was so appealing to me.

MM: The role is pretty multifaceted – I’m going to be working across a couple of different areas But first and foremost, I’ll be working with corporate partners. As I mentioned, I have a lot of experience working with those companies in my previous role. So I’ll be working with corporate partners 1) on the business development side and 2) after sealing the deal with the business, working on the investment criteria and investment strategy. Different businesses will have different priorities and it’s our job to work with the corporate partners to identify the most important pressing areas and then target those with investments.

OL: My role as Marketing Coordinator is to support all efforts of the marketing team. My work involves social media development, longer-form content creation, and email marketing. It is an exciting on your feet role and I am excited to be a part of the team behind messaging.

EM: I have the opportunity to source new companies from around the world, diligence these companies, and invest in these companies alongside our corporate partners. I also have the opportunity to work on internal venture operations and assist founders in growing their companies post-investment.

What do you hope to accomplish at TechNexus over the next year?

JA: There are certain metrics I’d like to have us hit in terms of percentage of companies sourced that come from specific avenues, whether that’s personal relationships with co investors or accelerators or incubators.It’s hard to really quantify, but I want to be a contributing member on the investment team and help really bring quality companies deep down the the funnel, and help provide key information for those decisions, whether that’s with investment memos or market research or whatever it may be. I want to be providing value to the team as much as I can.

MM: I really hope to learn more about the venture ecosystem and early stage startups. As I mentioned, I worked primarily with legacy corporations, but I did not have as much exposure with early stage ventures. So I’m really excited to work with founders, learn what excites them, and really work with them hand in hand, day-to-day to find out what drives them.

OL: I am excited to continue to grow the TechNexus brand and the TeamWorking by TechNexus. As well as defining how both brands work together and stand apart. I am really looking forward to being a part of a very mighty marketing team and growing and learning from the team here.

EM: I’m hoping to make several successful investments alongside our corporate partners and help to grow TechNexus as a firm overall.

What’s your most-used productivity hack?

JA: What I actually have started doing is just playing not white noise, but brown noise. Brown noise not as loud as white noise, it’s a little lower frequency. It’s hard for me to describe it, but look it up. There’s an eight-hour YouTube video of brown noise that will get you locked in for some deep work.

MM: During COVID, everyone was forced to go inside and became a little little down on themselves. So, I picked up meditation and I started using the Peloton app as I think everyone did during COVID, but not just for biking, but for meditation. It was something I tried to do in the the middle part of my day when it got most busy to take a step back and to really clear my head. So for those of you that haven’t tried it, I think the Peloton app is great not only for exercise, but also for mental exercise too.

OL: My most-used productivity hack is breaking a project up to start with a short 2-minute task. For example, writing a content piece takes a few steps, but to find my workflow I start with making the first step into a two-minute task. You can get anything started in two minutes and oftentimes build momentum to keep going to find a productive mindset.

EM: I’m a big fan of scheduling emails to be sent ahead of time 🙂

If you could see one movie again for the first time, what would it be and why?

JA: It might be cliche, but I would say Inception. I saw it when I was in like eighth grade or something and it just blew my mind. I think I saw it like five times in theaters. It’s always just stuck with me. It’s a classic.

OL: Definitely James Bond: No Time to Die. It’s the end of an iconic movie series with unlimited action AND drama. There’s nothing more I could ask for.

EM: The Dark Knight because I had no expectations and it blew me away! I also went to the a midnight showing which was electric

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