Meet Leslie Campisi. Leslie has had a full career taking many paths. She is a 20 year tech veteran who has spent a lot of time in house on the tech PR side of things and also in house on the VC side for the last 4 years. Currently, Leslie has taken her passion for technology and people to focus on wellness and what startup founders can do to set them, and their companies, up for success now and in the future. With the dual mindset that Leslie brings, I was eager to speak to her about how COVID is impacting the tech industry, particularly from the lens of an investor or a founder. Listen in to our conversation below.
#TechTuesday Highlight #63: Leslie Campisi, Marketing consultant & coach
How/why did you get into your space?
I moved to NYC in 1999 to be a part of the dot com revolution and just kept sticking around. Back then, I felt passionate about the role technology could play in making the world a better place. I’ve since come to realize that technology is a reflection of the people who make it, and we need good, healthy people in the tech sector building the teams, companies and products of the future. I work toward this vision as a marketing consultant and, more recently, as a wellness coach.
What role do you play in the tech ecosystem and why is that role important?
I love working closely with entrepreneurs to help them tell their stories and the stories of their companies. I’ve done this working at startups, on the tech PR agency side, as well as inside a VC and as a Techstars mentor.
As someone who loves to write and tell stories, there’s no greater privilege than connecting with a team who is brilliant in so many ways but is missing my skill set. Building a brand, and stepping out as a spokesperson, can feel very vulnerable for founders. I like to think I make them comfortable in putting the company’s, and their, best attributes forward.
I fell into coaching to explore the intersection of wellness and entrepreneurship and be a louder voice against hustle culture. I’m interested in helping people build amazing companies without sacrificing their own wellbeing. In my experience, taking care of yourself is a huge factor in startup success, though the prevailing narrative would have you believe otherwise.
How has technology impacted your industry and why is this important?
Technology is my industry 😉 Before spending a few years deeply enmeshed in fintech, I was a tech generalist. I have experience working in B2B and B2C sectors and pretty much every vertical under the sun.
In terms of how tech has transformed the marketing and communications industry, I’d say that the negative impact of the internet on journalism has been a sad byproduct of the digitization of media and news. But marketing at its heart is a human enterprise. While technology changes the way people interact with brands, it ultimately doesn’t change what people ask and expect of them: trust, mutual respect, integrity, relevance.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2020 (as it relates to your industry)?
The obvious answer is the acceptance (finally!) of virtual working and companies investing time in understanding how to make telecommuting and distributed teams work, how challenging it is to have “half and half” in-person and virtual interactions, and thinking about employees’ wellbeing at home.
We already know many big tech companies aren’t asking people to come back to the office until 2021 (or never), and I think many startups will continue operating virtually to reduce overheads and compete for talent. This was already happening before Covid but will be accelerated because of it.
Security and community are also two other big meta-narratives that are shifting during this period. I’m interested in how people negotiate their sense of data privacy in a pandemic world, as well as how people re-organize their patterns of living and interacting with family and friends, and how those decisions impact business and culture. I’m already thinking about who I want in my “pod” for the second wave.
Who is a person that inspires you in the space and why?
I really admire people who have had zigging and zagging careers — like me — who follow their interests to make an impact on the world. Carlota Perez comes to mind. She’s a British-Venezuelan economist and academic who studied architecture and worked in the public sector before finding the area of study she’s devoted the past couple of decades thinking, writing and teaching on. I had the good fortune to get to know Carlota personally through my work at Anthemis and feature her in the first issue of Hacking Finance magazine.
Carlota is a macro-thinker. Tech has too many micro-thinkers — we need people who are looking big-picture at the “why” of what we are creating before it’s too late.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into your space?
Start anywhere. There are no wrong choices. You’ll learn something from every job you take, it’s all data for the algorithm. Learn as much as you can everywhere you land. Have diverse experiences. Be unafraid to move on. Stay curious. Build relationships — it’s not just about the work but also about the people you meet along the way. This holds true in tech, marketing, or any other field you’re looking to break into.
Anything else we should know about you or you want to include?
You can learn more about the coaching services I offer on my Alma profile. I probably have room for another marketing consulting client this summer, too. Right now I’m helping a startup about to embark on their Series B fundraise tighten up their brand and create and operationalize a new editorial strategy — exactly the kind of work I love to do.
#businessunusual #marketing #VC #remotework #wellness #fintech #Innovation #Technology #Startups #VentureCapital
Have thoughts on this week’s trends or questions for me or Leslie? Post your thoughts in the comment section or share them on Twitter. Please include the hashtag #techtuesday and mention me @ScarlettSieber! Until next week. 🙂