Jennifer Renda
IMPACT INVESTING

Jennifer Renda

#100

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President & CEO at Diverso Solutions Inc. & Angel Investor

Growing your team – Jennifer Renda

“When your team takes the vision of the organization upon themselves and they take what they do as a direct representation of their responsibility and their ownership where they have free reins, in a sense that they’re able to take their tasks and make them their own, that’s one thing that I think is really important.”

ABOUT

Jennifer is a serial entrepreneur with extensive knowledge of the Technology and Consumer Electronics industries, where she has more than 15 years of experience. Following a successful exit, she founded her most recent company, which collaborates with OEMs to execute market emergence, growth and support functions within North America.

Jennifer has grown her investment portfolio to include primarily MedTech and early-stage Life Sciences opportunities, where she aims to maintain an active investor role. She is a member of the York Angel Investors network which provides a supportive linkage between investors and entrepreneurs seeking early- and mid-stage capital and was recognized as Angel of the Year in 2019.

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business with a focus on Entrepreneurial Studies, Finance and Strategy.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Jennifer Renda

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the Supporters Fund Ask an Angel. I’m your host Jeffery Potvin and let’s welcome our investor today, Jennifer Renda. How are you today?
Renda: I’m doing really well Jeffery. How are you doing?
Jeffery: awesome to hear. I’m great too. Thank you. we’re very excited to have you today because not only are you amazing when it’s out there in this entire ecosystem of startups and early stage company investing, but you were also one of our first guests. and today we thought this would be the great way to kick off our next hundred interviews. It was to have you come back and speak again, and interview and give us all the new things that have happened over the last few months. So, we’re excited to have you here today.
Renda: well thanks for the kind words and thanks for having me back. It’s so good to be here. I love it. Well, I think we’ve got a really exciting show ahead. and kind of how we want to dive into all these great things that are going on in the ecosystem around the world, but I think maybe just for the audience, just in case they didn’t catch our first chat, maybe you can give us a little bit about your background, kind of where you came from, obviously jumping into your current venture and maybe a little bit more about where you’re going in the environment. But at the same time one thing about you that nobody would know.
Renda: okay.
Jeffery: And then the juicy detail.
Renda: So, I am an entrepreneur by heart. I would say I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family, and have a soft spot in my heart for entrepreneurs and founders and the startup ecosystem and the scale of ecosystems overall. I currently have a technology company that is focused in the consumer electronics industry. we’re our approaching our seventh year, so really exciting times not only from an entrepreneurial perspective but also from a founder perspective. I became very engaged in the startup ecosystem here and spent a lot of time with different incubators and accelerators morphing into the angel investment world. So, I’ve come to know some great angel groups, as well as amazing colleagues in space. More recently, I have joined US partners at Canada ventures, and we look at deal flow internationally and collaborate with companies to help them enter the North American market. So, we collaborate with corporate partners and have a fund element as well there. So, I guess overall, I am really excited about the ecosystem and like to partake in different capacities from a mentorship capacity to an advisory standpoint. I love to hear all the pitches, so love to be part of many events and meet great people fulfilling a lot of the curiosity elements and sort of a balance between that entrepreneurial perspective and also the investor perspective as well. So, yeah, an amazing journey so far. more to come.
Renda: awesome. Well, that’s exciting and it’s more amazing is that you take the time to actually give back to the community and focus on helping other founders in their journey which is pretty cool and exciting. probably a fine balance between what you get to do every day and then obviously jumping into pitch events and quarterbacking the efforts of growing early stage companies.
Jeffery: So, kudos to you for that. sounds pretty exciting.
Renda: thanks. and I think at least from my journey there have been a lot of amazing people along the way that have helped and I think that’s part and parcel of the community. So, a lot of founders really should exploit the communities around their industry or around the startup space generally to collaborate with other people. There are so many angels and participants and stakeholders that are really willing to help. So, it’s a great space to leverage.
Jeffery: brilliant. I love it. and one thing about you that nobody would know.
Renda: oh, yes, the interesting point I have. If I could be the next Danica Patrick, I would love to be. So, I enjoy motorsports, and taking things to the track and auto slam and stuff like that. So, I’ve done a formula race as well in a formula car and it was a lot of fun. I think that’s where I like to release all the adrenaline on the track.
Jeffery: amazing. and where did you do that? I can’t remember the spot, but there’s a couple of different tracks that you can do that aren’t too far from the GTHA.
Renda: Yeah, there’s NO sport which is now Canadian Tire MotorWay, and a really exciting place. They have some cool events there as well. One, over the summer where they showcased a lot of vintage and new vehicles. So, it’s a lot of fun.
Jeffery: amazing. Well now I’m going to share a story that I actually went to that track about three years ago, and I also participated in a nice race around the track. and I ended up wiping out. Well, it was a really small wipeout to be honest, but they do tell you that if you wipe out and you go off the track, that you need to disembark or make your way off track. But that’s if you go off the track. So, as I was racing, and I spun around and kept driving, they declared that as going off the track, but I never actually left the track. I spun out on the road while I kept driving. So, they ended up trying to say that they needed to flag me off. But because I was driving quite quickly and catching all around, I kept going and they didn’t really try to stop me. But then they did try to stop me and they were waving but they weren’t following their own protocols which was flag and everything else. So, I ended up doing two or three laps whipping around the track and then eventually they jumped out and they were furious that I was supposed to leave the track. But to my point they said, only if the vehicle left the track which it never left the track. So, I ended up winning the award for the least viable to race or something like that. a