Jessica (Jess) Alderson is an exinvestment banker who has discovered her passion as an entrepreneur.
After leaving Truro School in 2008, she graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Bath in 2012. Having worked in a lab for a year as a chemist, Jess realised it wasn’t the career for her and joined Morgan Stanley where she worked as an equity research analyst.
After 5 years in investment banking, she decided to take a break to travel and learn more about personality compatibility, something that had always intrigued her. It was this path that led Jessica to create So Syncd, a dating app that matches compatible personality types. “So Syncd is based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, which has largely been used in the business world up until now by 89% of Fortune 100 companies. We are the first app and website to use Myers-Briggs to help people find love faster.”
In February 2021, Yahoo Finance announced Jess amongst The Top 10 female entrepreneurs to keep an eye on and Lou was featured by Yahoo as a top female entrepreneur in the under 30’s category.
“We learnt of the feature in Yahoo Finance’s top ten female entrepreneurs list just before Christmas. We were incredibly honoured, especially because we haven’t been running our own business for long. There aren’t enough female entrepreneurs, especially in tech, and we hope to encourage other women to go down a similar path if they wish. I have recently taken on a new role as the UK lead for Women in Tech for similar reasons. One potential initiative involves running a programme about coding for girls in secondary schools. If this does go ahead, it would be great if Truro School were interested in taking part.”
Jess co-founded So Syncd with her sister, Louella (Lou), who studied Economics at Cardiff University, after leaving Truro School in 2011. “To be honest, I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do but I really enjoyed economics whilst at Truro, probably because of our great teacher, Mr Cornish. It was a good stepping-stone degree while I figured out the next step.”
After graduating Lou moved to London to join a real estate start-up and completed a Real Estate Masters and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor.
Just before the first Covid lockdown, Jess and Lou were both living in London with full-time jobs. As their jobs allowed them to work remotely, they both decided to move back in with Mum and Dad, on the Roseland Peninsula. This meant they could continue to work on So Syncd together, in the evenings and at weekends. In January 2021 Lou left her property career to work alongside Jess full-time for So Syncd. She handles Marketing. “I also look after our community, run our social media accounts, HR and accounting. We wear a lot of hats – you have to be very flexible when it is your own business.”
Jessica’s role at So Syncd is all encompassing but currently her focus is the finance side of things, spending a lot of time talking to prospective investors. “Over the past few months, we’ve been seeking to raise money from investors to take So Syncd to the next level and we are very close to announcing a very exciting deal.”
Is there anything that you are especially proud of relating to your career so far?
Lou: “It’s been really fulfilling to be able to connect people from all around the world, particularly during the pandemic. Despite only launching early last year, we’ve had over 300 couples find love through our app, including a couple who got married last December! That’s definitely been a highlight for me, just knowing that we’ve changed people’s lives in a positive way.”
Jess: “I’m most proud of our So Syncd community. The people on our app and involved in our Instagram community are just incredible. I’m constantly humbled by how smart, kind and insightful everyone is.”
We asked these successful business women about their time at Truro School:
Jess: “I feel very lucky to have gone to a school where everyone was so supportive; students and staff at Truro School were incredible. I have fond memories of kind, down-to-earth and fun teachers, varied extra-curricular activities as well as amazing academic opportunities. I will always treasure my time there as it certainly shaped me as a person and helped me in so many ways, including giving me the confidence to do what I’m doing now. I made some amazing friends, and we will always keep in touch. My close friend John Poole CO08 and I have travelled a lot together since leaving Truro School and another two of my good friends, Emma Jackson and Emily Barlow (both CO08), now live abroad in New Zealand and Australia.
Lou: “I definitely think Truro School shaped me into the person I am today, there was just so much life inside and outside the classroom. It taught me a lot about myself and how to treat others.
I made the most amazing friends for life, and the staff, the facilities and the students were all incredible. It was great that the year groups mixed – my great friend Franny (Francis) Barnes CO09 was older than me and we’ve been friends since he joined Truro School in Sixth Form. I regularly keep in touch with Jessie Hutter and Maia Mitchell (both CO11). Jessie and I were inseparable from the first day when we joined the senior school and I’m going to be Maia’s maid of honour at her wedding this summer.”
Is there any advice you could offer anyone considering a similar life or career path?
Jess: “I’d advocate setting up a business with someone rather than alone. The highs are amazing, but the lows can be testing. I think that Lou and I having each other for support, has made all the difference. We also just have a lot of fun.”
Lou: “You should be absolutely certain you want to set up a business before you do it. There will be a lot of challenges along the way and you need that passion to help you get through the hard times.”
For now, Jess and Lou plan to continue growing their So Syncd business which is going from strength to strength: Jess: “It’s so rewarding to see something that we’ve created grow and evolve so quickly. Our goal eventually is to help millions of people find love.”
Apr 12th 2021
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