Jess Joss is the CEO of Equation, a joint venture that brings together three angel investment networks, Co-founder of Insiteful Solutions, and Partner in Spyder Capital Corporation. Leveraging more than 20 years of business leadership, entrepreneurial expertise and investment experience, she played a pivotal role in the realization of Equation, and its impactful investment collaboration.
Jess’s passion for entrepreneurship was ignited during university when she founded a web development company that continues to thrive today. As the founder, she grew the business, evolving and scaling the business into an integrated online marketing firm. In 2001, with a proven business model, established revenue streams and new partners, Jess shifted her focus from leading Insiteful Solutions to investing in high-growth startups. With extensive business experience, Board and volunteer management expertise, Jess was appointed Executive Director of the York Angel Investors (YAI) in 2014. This built directly on her strong track record as an active angel investor with the group for many years.
Capitalizing on her entrepreneurial, business, and marketing acumen, Jess worked with the YAI team to grow membership by over 450 percent, and significantly increase deal flow, the number of deals completed, and amount invested per deal. This renewed energy and motivation earned YAI the honour of being ranked among the top five angel investor networks in Canada in 2015 and 2016; and first place in 2017 and 2018. During this period, YAI established the largest membership of angel investors in Ontario and second largest membership in Canada. Jess completed her work with YAI at the end of June 2019, preparing an opportunity that combined her investment and entrepreneurial passion.
In October 2019, Jess led the launch of Equation, after being announced as its founding CEO. This strategic alliance brings together three venerable angel groups: Angel One (Burlington), Golden Triangle Angel Network or GTAN (Kitchener-Waterloo) and the Southwestern Ontario Angel Network or SWO (London). This angel network is now the largest in Ontario, and second largest in Canada. Equation provides streamlined screening, pitching and due diligence for founders who are raising equity funding. And for the 200 member investors, it creates a unique opportunity to gain early and exclusive access to the most promising companies; negotiate the best deals; and make nimble investments. This is an stimulating and challenging role, and Jess enjoys working closely with amazing colleagues, angels and ecosystem partners. She is currently taking a short sabbatical and looks forward to returning to this exciting role in the coming months.
During this time, Jess continues to demonstrate leadership and make critical contributions to Canada’s entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem. She fosters early-stage innovation by coaching and mentorship; serving as a speaker at entrepreneurship and investment events; and judging pitch competitions. She was also elected to the NACO Board in October 2017, where she serves as the Marketing Chair, and member of the Team Enhancement (HR) and Finance Committees. She also served as Chair of the 2018 NACO World Angel Investment Summit (Conference).
A passionate connector of people, technology and opportunity, and fueled by a love of entrepreneurship, mentorship and angel investing, Jess works closely with ecosystem partners, dedicated angels and game-changing young companies looking to grow. She is committed to driving growth, customer, revenue and capital acquisition, exceptional exits, community and economic development. Building directly on these objectives, she maintains the transparency of the angel investment process, while cultivating collaboration, community engagement and deals.
In her spare time, Jess enjoys spending time with her family. She is also an active community volunteer, whose roles have included President of the Queen’s University Alumni Association and two terms as President of the local Rotary Club. Her hobbies include photography, Pilates, paddle boarding, cooking, and cottaging.