Jana Messerschmidt is a leading female voice in the fast-paced world of venture capitalism. She had her start working at DivX and AT&T after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Computer Engineering. Afterward, she worked for Netflix as the director of business development. Here, she developed proficiency in working with mobile and consumer electronic services. Specifically, the partnering of the two. She is most well-known for her time at Twitter, which she joined in 2010. There, Jana was in charge of business development, developer relations, platform operations, platform marketing, and enterprise sales. Her official position was Vice President of Global Business Development. She left this position in 2016. Jana most recently joined Lightspeed Venture Partners as one of their featured hires.
Lightspeed was able to raise more than $1.8 billion during a round of fundraising. Jana was hired alongside Merci Grace, Ashley Braiser, Jay Madheswaran, and Neetzan Zimmerman. Messerschmidt’s hiring at Lightspeed signals an emerging trend in venture capitalism. More and more women are being hired to headline key positions. Jana Messerschmidt was outspoken in her admiration of Lightspeed’s teamwork and collective approach. This is a part of Lightspeed’s culture change as they have embraced diversity in work culture and its staff.
Messerschmidt is a public figure of Silicon Valley’s movement towards addressing gender inequality. Jana also founded #Angels, which is an investment group headed by five women that all were former Twitter employees. They aim to improve the role of women within the startup workplace through advocacy and leadership workshops. #Angels also works to improve investment in companies led by women.
Jana Messerschmidt should prove to be an important asset at Lightspeed. Her experience speaks for itself. Who knows, the company may even be known as Jana Lightspeed one day. Jana Lightspeed certainly sounds like a heroine’s name. If Lightspeed continues to hire more people like Jana, then they are sure to succeed.