Have You Met Jessi Mazzoni?

Have you met…Jessi Mazzoni

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh suburbs to be more specific.

Q: How did you hear about Innovation Works?

A: I joined Carnegie Mellon’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Club while completing my Master’s degree, and Innovation Works had a representative at the Club’s very first meeting of the year. Innovation Works is very intentional about encouraging students and entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas.

Q: What drew you to work here?

A: I love community development and the startup ecosystem, and Innovation Works is a very unique organization that sits at the intersection of both fields.

Q: Reflecting on your experience, what is the number one piece of advice you would give a startup?

A: Get your product out there, even if it is far from being in its “ideal” state, so that you can start to get customer feedback.

Q: What technology/industry are you most excited about and why?

A: I’m most excited about technologies that are truly built for social and environmental good, beyond just a mission statement.

Q: Step back to the start of your career, what line of work had you envisioned for yourself? How closely aligned is your current work to that vision?

A: At the start of my career, I was in the Peace Corps, and I thought I would be working in international development/foreign aid for a long time. The common thread between my previous concept of international development and my current work at Innovation Works is about creating opportunities for people. I finally feel like I am in the right place to do that.

Q: Tell us about your volunteer work.

A: 412 Food Rescue!

Q: What does an average Saturday look like for you?

A: I do a 412 Food Rescue pick-up and drop-off, walk my dog to a local breakfast spot, and then hopefully either make it to the gym or bike outside.

Q: When asked for a ‘fun fact’ about yourself, what’s your go-to?

A: I started a Quidditch team in high school.

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Innovation Works

Innovation Works

Innovation Works is one of the nation’s most active seed funds. AlphaLab (AL), ALGear, and ALHealth are nationally ranked startup accelerator programs of IW.