Venture Capital

Afterwork’s Jessy Wu on the importance of bravery and building a personal brand

- January 16, 2024 2 MIN READ
Jessy Wu
AfterWork Ventures partner Jessy Wu
Jessy Wu helps lead Afterwork Ventures, a community-powered VC deploying $20 million across Australia and New Zealand.

Previously, Wu was a Senior Investment Analyst at NAB Ventures.

Outside of work, Wu volunteers as a Telephone Crisis Supporter for Lifeline and as an ethics teacher for Primary Ethics. A person dedicated to giving back, Wu has also developed an open resource to support newcomers breaking into the VC industry.

Wu is known for sharing her bold and thought-provoking insights which spark deep discussion  with her +16,000 LinkedIn followers.

She recently sat down with Cheryl Mack from Aussie Angels and Maxine Minter to talk about her experiences on their podcast, First Cheque.

The First Cheque podcast aims to uncover the inner workings of early-stage investing and share practical knowledge from seasoned, successful investors. 

Mack and Minter have chosen guests with deep experience managing, investing and earning millions through supporting impactful startups from pre-seed to IPO for these conversations. 

After reviewing thousands of startups and pitch decks, investors develop a thesis for when they choose to invest in early-stage ideas and when to ignore passing trends. 

First Cheque delves into these investor decision-making frameworks and this episode with Wu particularly focuses on the journey of ideas from fringe to mainstream.

In their second episode, Jessy Wu explores how confidence can impact decision making, how branding can impact a fund, and how new ideas are accepted over time. 

“The theory of change that I see both as being the most salient in our society is something that some people call like the Overton Window or like, what’s acceptable discourse,” she says.

Wu breaks down the concept of the “Overton Window” a model that shows the evolution of ideas from being initially unthinkable to gradually acceptable and then eventually becoming popular. This theory offers a lens to understand societal shifts and can be useful when looking for outlier early-stage startups. 

She shares how understanding these ideas change can help you spot innovations that might just be at the tipping point of mainstream adoption.

Confidence in decision-making

​”Your voice matters, especially when you have a stake in the game. So why are we even asking if we have the right to be heard?” Wu says

After being questioned about how her deep confidence was created, Wu discusses the importance of having the confidence to speak up and share opinions – including sometimes, or perhaps especially, the contrarian ideas. 

“Anyone who wants to play in this space who has a vested interest should be able to voice their opinion, whether it’s agreed with or not,” she sys

Wu discusses how being a lightning rod for certain conversations can help attract attention and a community in alignment with a fund’s strategy. 

First Cheque brings you a front row seat to the world of early-stage investing with motivated and ambitious guests dedicated to sharing knowledge.

Listen to the First Cheque episode with Jessy Wu from Afterwork Ventures.

Subscribe to the First Cheque podcast to be notified of upcoming episodes. 

Others you can listen to now include Daniel Gavel from Black Sheep Capital, Judy Anderson-Firth from Euphemia, and Rayn Ong from Archangel Ventures.

First Cheque is presented by DayOne.FM, the podcast network for Australian founders, investors and operators. Day One are best known for their work producing The History of the Startup Ecosystem podcast and documentary featuring 100+ interviews with key startup leaders. 


NOW READ: First Cheque, a new podcast by early-stage investors Cheryl Mack and Maxine Minter, explores how founders tackle VC funding

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