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Jo Robyn

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Jo
Robyn
New South Wales
Black Nova Venture Capital
Social Media
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Jo is Chief of Staff at Black Nova Venture Capital where she wears many hats spanning business strategy, operations, portfolio management, investor relations and community engagement. Jo has over 10 years experience supporting and leading delivery and Executive leadership teams at the likes of Atlassian, Afterpay and Brighte. Jo’s had various roles within scaling tech organisations across PMO, Strategy & Operations and Change Management in global, cross- functional capacities. She also serves as a startup coach and founder mentor for Blackbird Giants, Startmate, Techstars and Global Sisters Australia. She loves building things from the ground up, and is passionate about empowering the next generation of business leaders with the tools to overcome adversity, hit lofty goals, and be the best versions of themselves.

Outside of work you can find me at?

Teaching or doing pilates somewhere in the Eastern suburbs (I’m an addict!), enjoying the lush Australian landscape of beach and bush, anything outdoors and in the sun (wearing sunscreen of course!), curating playlists, reading about the latest productivity hacks, or finding a new hobby to master.

Best thing about startups?

Startups offer the right mix of timing, innovation and agility; 2 of those 3 you can influence. With the technological advancements and capabilities that exist today, there’s never been a better time to solve a problem and build a business. The amount of creativity and curiosity that I see every day continues to impress and humble me, and I get to learn from startup founders and teams just as much as they learn from me.

Top piece of advice for founders?

“A dream without a goal is just a wish. A goal without a plan is just a dream.” 

Building a software business isn’t novel – there are many that have done it before you, and even more will do it again. It’s a set of rinse and repeat activities to turn a vision into a viable, commercial, sustainable operating engine. What will set you apart is your ability to execute. Many people have great ideas, few will turn those ideas into a reality. The last few years’ shifts in market dynamics means it’s no longer a ‘growth at all costs’ game. Get back to basics and focus on your fundamentals – build a business plan, know your key metrics every single day and deeply understand the levers you have to influence them, stay close to your customers. Every time you run into a challenge (of which there will be many), go back to your plan and adapt. 

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