As a sixth grader, Jessica Alter (class of 1993), has a clear memory of selling bedikat chametz kits to Hillel families, and she remembers brisk sales. “Maybe that was my first taste of entrepreneurialism,” she laughs.
While that early exposure may not have directly led her to Silicon Valley, a hunch that she wanted to be involved in start-up company culture did lead her to San Francisco, where she has helmed business development for several companies, including her own, and where she has earned the moniker of one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.
As cofounder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, the digital arm of Democratic electoral campaigns, Jessica ensures that lesser-known candidates have a voice, and that the playing field is “level,” she says. “People tend to focus on the 2020 presidential election, but there are 6,000 campaigns this year, and the real power of technology is in democratizing access to it.”
Previously, Jessica was Entrepreneur in Residence at Social Capital, and was also CEO of FounderDating, a platform that connects entrepreneurs with advisors to help grow their careers and businesses, which she sold in 2016. She also led business development at social networking site Bebo, which was acquired by AOL.
She headed West after graduating from Andover High School, and the University of Michigan, and receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jessica Alter is Vice President of Business Development for Figma, a leader in collaborative design software. She previously cofounded and is still Chairman of Tech for Campaigns, the tech and digital arm for Democratic campaigns. Previously she was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Social Capital, Cofounder & CEO of FounderDating (acquired by OneVest), the Linkedin for entrepreneurs and led Business Development and was GM of Platforms at Bebo (acquired by AOL).
She is an advisor to and angel investor in several companies and was recently named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jessica credits Hillel with instilling in her the importance of community. “Everything I’ve done involves building a community, and Hillel was my first one,” she said. The choices and friendships she made at Hillel continue to inform and shape her life, she said. “I’m close with classmates and teachers to this day, especially Adina Levin and Cindy Leff,” she recalls.
“And to think, it may have all started with selling chametz!"