Speakers Profile - Jess Wilson

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Jess Wilson is a award winning global leader in women in leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship pinned by Forbes as one of 1,000 entrepreneurs under 30 to change the world in the next 50 years.

Jess grew up in a small farm town (Karangi), starting her first business at 16 years old - running formal after-parties for students on the farmland she grew up on, utilising different paddocks as venues. From there she grew and scaled this business and made enough money to put herself through her first year of university.

She then dropped out of University after a careers advisor told her she 'didn't have it in her' to have a career in the fashion industry due to her lack of contacts and small-town roots.

Knocking on doors Jess secured an internship which lead to a full-time job working throughout fashion weeks, she then worked throughout Australia, New York and Paris fashion weeks with some of the biggest fashion brands in the world. This unique perspective allowed Jess to see an emerging trend within the global fashion industry, resulting in the launch of online shopping app Stashd.

With an eye on tech and the change in buying cycles, Jess booked a one-way ticket to Sillicon Valley which inspired her to start Stashd at age 22.

Jess grew her business into 130 countries, featured as Apples 'Best New App' in 12 countries and 'Top Lifestyle App' in five countries cementing herself as a global leader in women in tech often featuring in publications such as Forbes and discussing leadership with the likes of Malcolm Turnbull for girls in ICT Day and Richard Branson at his home on Necker Island. Jess also represented Australia at Google's global tech accelerator program in Silicon Valley, discussed entrepreneurship with global leaders spanning trips to Antartica to EY's Accelerating entrepreneurs program in Rome, touring as the opening keynote for Tony Robbins and Tom Bilyue and winning various awards such as Commonwealth Bank's Australian of the Day, Smart Company's 30 under 30 three times and being pinned by Forbes as one of 1,000 entrepreneurs to change the world in the next 50 years.

Jess then took off to China, launching via a TV series 'The Next Unicorn' (China's version of Shark Tank x The Apprentice), a televised global search for the next billion-dollar business in China with a viewership of over 15M per episode and judges such as seed investors in Paypal and Baidu, the ex-CEO of Alibaba and partners of leading China funds Sequoia, GGV and Zen Fund. Jess made it into the grand finals winning the bronze trophy: the last western team and last female founder.

Jess went on to co-found Women Making Waves to fund and scale the work of those who specialise in women's rights law reform which became a viral campaign: #ITookThePledge across LinkedIn and included leaders in the Venture Capital space such as Blackbird, Airtree, Square Peg, Giant Leap and Rampersand to name a few.

Women Making Waves now works with impact partners who have changed an accumulative 45+ laws and counting.

Women Making Waves continues to partner with global giants such as Google in support of women's rights law reform - WMW co-hosted an event at Google HQ to discuss this topic and co-created Google's first POAP with joint Google and Women Making Waves utility.