Marie Roker-Jones

entrepereneurship, startups, leadership, strategy, partnerships, investors, community building, creativity, innovation, introverts

New York, NY, USA


startups, founders, customer discovery, social impact, investing, pitching, MVP, crowdfunding, creators economy

Expert Bio

I'm an entrepreneur, advisor, and community builder with a focus on using technology for social change, emphasizing diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility (DEIBA). My background as a military spouse, diversity and equity advocate, editor, and founder drives my commitment to social impact. I aim to connect people, capital, and ideas to positively shape the future of technology. As co-founder of impact startups OweYaa and Essteem/Equalithons, I've developed skills in strategic growth, fundraising, and scaling operations. At OweYaa, I led funding rounds that raised over $2 million from angel investors, increasing our valuation to $3.2 million in two years. At Essteem, I established partnerships with major organizations like Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, Girls Who Code, and Code for America, positioning our venture as leaders in socially conscious tech. I'm also dedicated to building communities. I founded a network of start-up tech professionals, growing at a steady 10% monthly rate through targeted outreach and inclusive programs. This network has led to collaborations with companies like Clorox, Wells Fargo, and Venmo and acceptance into accelerators like NYU Veterans Future Lab and LVMH's La Maison des Startups. Outside the startup world, I've led initiatives for societal change. As the founding director of Compassionate NYC, I organize workshops and facilitate discussions on addressing implicit biases and breaking down systemic barriers. Currently, as CEO of Curious Culture, I advise founders on inclusive innovation, market positioning, fundraising, and impact measurement. I also started Curious Introverts to develop tools and training for introverted professionals to showcase their skills. Working with me, you'll get a partner who understands the entrepreneurial landscape and has the skills to help navigate and overcome its challenges. My goal is to help you grow your startup effectively, using diversity and innovation to achieve both market success and meaningful social impact. I am a super connector and enjoy making introductions that create impact. I also enjoy helping startup founders to ideate and innovate better.

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