Our Team

Jenny Kassan

Jenny Kassan

Founder

Jenny has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises.  She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors and raised over $1 million for her own businesses.  Jenny is certified as a coach by the International Association of Women in Coaching.

She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017).

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

She served on the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. She submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act and was present at the White House signing ceremony.

Jenny is also a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund.

Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents.

Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies.

Jenny served as a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.  She is a member of the Content Advisory Panel of Conscious Company Magazine and serves on the advisory boards of Lioness Magazine and Investibule.

Amrita Sankar

Stephanie Cannon

Director of Operations

Stephanie Cannon brings over twelve years of corporate communication, event marketing, sales development, meeting planning, and employee engagement experience to Jenny Kassan Consulting.  As Director of Operations, she manages Jenny’s meetings and events and provides support in marketing, customer engagement, and compliance.  Prior to joining Jenny Kassan Consulting, Stephanie worked for the Alliance of Chief Executives in sales development and for PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. in event and meeting management.

 

Lynn Johnson

Lynn Johnson

Consultant

Lynn Johnson is a visionary entrepreneur, speaker, girl advocate, and Co-Founder/CEO of Spotlight: Girls – a certified B Corp that inspires, educates, and activates girls & women to take center stage. A multi-media platform and summer camp, Spotlight: Girls gives girls the skills to step into their light and become the leaders we’ve all been waiting for.

A sought-after speaker and facilitator, her work has been recognized by Ashoka Changemakers, SheEO, and ICA Fund Good Jobs. Lynn is the very first recipient of the Force for Good Fund, an accelerator focused on women/people-of-color entrepreneurs growing best-for-the world businesses. Most recently, she became the winner of #BlogHer17’s #ThePitch – a platform and video series launched to elevate, connect and coach female entrepreneurs.

Michelle Thimesch

Michelle Thimesch

Legal Director

Michelle has over two decades of closely-held business consulting experience as an estate and succession planning attorney. She has helped her clients create legacy and philanthropic planning goals that ensure the continuation of business and community involvement for the next generation. Michelle is the founder of East Bay Revitalization, Inc., a nonprofit that addresses the scarcity of affordable housing and economic opportunities for working families.

 

Amrita Sankar

Jamie Frank

Attorney

Jamie Frank has experience in public and private offerings, securities law compliance, and corporate formation, and she has roots in the movement for a new economy that is just and sustainable. Jamie previously worked as Development Director at New Economy Coalition and as a corporate associate at Sullivan & Worcester LLP. Jamie holds a JD, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law.

 

Michelle Richardson

Michelle Richardson

Accountant

Michelle Richardson is the founder and owner of Leverage, a boutique cloud-based accounting firm for freelancers, startups and small to mid-size businesses. A senior accountant with over 15 years of experience, she is recognized as an early adopter of cloud technology for accounting and other businesses. Her areas of expertise include software integration, systems creation, complex reconciliations and financial reporting. Before launching Leverage, she worked in a wide variety of industries including publishing, wine import/distribution, online education, technology, digital media and non-profits.

In addition to her training in accounting, she received a BA in International Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As a French-American, she is a board member of an association for developing the local French community, Los Angeles Accueil. A proponent for women’s education, she sponsors schools in Guatemala and is an avid supporter of women entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

Recent Blog Posts

7 Steps for Making the Big Ask

So, you have your investment offering ready, and you’re preparing to go out and start talking to investors.  One of the biggest questions I get from my clients is how do I know how much to ask for when I talk to a potential investor?  Here is a system you can use to...

Here is an exercise we recommend in order to make sure you get your fundraising done within a reasonable amount of time.

1. Imagine you have reached your fundraising goal. You are looking at the list of all your investors and how much each one invested.  What is the lowest amount that someone invested and what is the highest amount?  Try to create a clear picture in your mind of your investor list and the amounts invested.

2. In your imagination, scan the list and estimate what the average investment size per investor is. For example, you may picture that you’ll have some people come in at $5,000, some at $10,000, a few at $25,000, maybe one or two at $50,000, and one at $100,000.  In that case, you may estimate the average per investor to be $20,000.  You can use this tool to decide how much you’ll ask for from each potential investor: http://www.jennykassan.com/blog/7-steps-for-making-the-big-ask/

3. Now, take the total amount you want to raise and divide it by the average per investor. That will tell you the approximate number of investors you’ll have when you reach your goal.  So, if you want to raise $400,000, you’ll end up with around 20 investors.

4. Multiply that number by 10. That is the approximate number of potential investors you’ll need to talk to about your offering.  (This assumes that an average of one out of ten people you talk to will say yes—you may do much better than that, but it’s best to be conservative).  In our example, this would be 200.

5. Divide that number by the number of weeks you would like to devote to reaching your funding goal. This is the number of people you will contact per week about investing.  So, if you’d like to reach your goal within six months, divide 200 by 26 weeks—you need to contact 7-8 people per week.

6. Assume that for each contact you’ll need to spend 30-60 minutes on average. Multiply the number of people you’ll talk to per week by the average number of minutes you think each contact will take.  That is the total number of hours you should schedule into your calendar for contacting potential investors.  Add at least half that many hours to give yourself time to follow up with people who haven’t yet given you a definitive answer.  In the example above, I would assume eight hours per week plus another four for follow up—so a total of 12 hours per week should be spent contacting potential investors.

7. Now block out that time in your calendar for the number of weeks you gave yourself to reach your goal.

If you use this method, you’ll keep your momentum going and get that fundraising done before you know it!

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