Jessica Taggart

Marblehead, MA

Family, wellness and travel

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Born and raised in New England in a former fishing village 40 minutes north of Boston, I have been blessed/cursed with a constant need to be near an ocean. The irony of that statement is I’ve been in the high-altitude, land-locked mountains of Bogota for the past 6 years..distance certainly makes the heart grow fonder. Lucky for me, my husband, toddler and 7 month old keep me entertained, sane and extremely happy to be exactly where I am.

After attending Phillips Academy Andover for high school, I had the newfound courage to study far from home at the University of Southern California in LA, graduating cum laude and as a USC Global Scholar. I quickly realized I had been blessed with the travel bug (thanks mom and dad for all of those wonderful family vacations!) and proceeded to spend a semester at La Sorbonne in Paris and a semester studying Swahili and Coastal Cultures in Mombasa, Kenya. Continuing in my path of tackling new cities, I moved to New York and decided to take on Silicon Alley, where I worked as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of NextJump, a $2B company running employee benefits programs for Fortune 500 companies with a colossal mission to re-shape corporate culture. I helped lead projects in investment, recruitment and strategic ops for company-wide initiatives. After 3 years in New York, the travel bug hit again, and landed me in Colombia, where I worked as a tech consultant for several high-growth startups, eventually landing at YCombinator-backed VOIQ.

I have 10+ years helping startups build better products and processes, and hire the best talent for the job. My passion is to find the magical stack to help new companies move into hyper-drive once they achieve product-market fit.

What is something that most people learn only after it’s too late?
How to listen and learn from others.

If you could ask advice from any historical figure, who would it be? What would you ask them?
Gandhi, I’ve always been fascinated by leaders who are able to drive mass change through a peaceful process. With so much present-day intolerance and aggression, I’d love to ask him how he’d go about changing the conversation and process to one that is peaceful, respectful and thoughtful. In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Having endless time to kill!

You’re a mad scientist, what scientific experiment would you run if money and ethics weren’t an issue?
Constructing a social experiment to better understand the motivations of the human psyche, under what conditions do different attributes flourish and fail, what is the ideal ecosystem in which humans can fully achieve their potential, etc.

What skill or craft would you like to master?

Storytelling, coding, oil painting.