Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
Founder update: Daily Hive acquires Toronto news startup Pressed. Read more here.
FcF: Tell us about yourself.
Jacqueline: Growing up, I always had big aspirations. It started with wanting to be Britney Spears. And if I couldn't be Britney, I wanted to be an event planner. After getting a media degree from Western University and spending a few months traveling the world, I went for it - I took dance and voice lessons and attended hundreds of auditions. But, in the end, it was a mean casting director that made me realize I had much more I wanted to say and do.
So, I put my media degree to use and got my first job at an advertising agency. My last job before leaving the corporate world was Brand Manager at Rogers for Sportsnet and VICE. I loved working at Rogers but I wanted to do more; I had a lot of ideas that a corporate giant like Rogers just wasn't ready to help/let me execute. So, I left to start my own company.
FcF: What is Pressed?
Jacqueline: Pressed is a digital media company that makes the news easy to understand. Through daily email newsletter, online explainers, and a social media community, we make world news more accessible and fun to read.
FcF: How did you come up with Pressed?
Jacqueline: I started Pressed out of a personal need for concise, conversational news from a Canadian perspective. It was the 2015 Canadian election year that I decided to start keeping up with the news. I was committed to learning about party platforms and making an informed decision. But, the only concise news sources I found were American ones, which, of course, didn't provide the Canadian coverage I needed. When one of the American news companies I was following told me "the hot guy won up north", and nothing else, I knew I had to start Pressed.
FcF: How did you meet your Co-Founder?
Jacqueline: I don't have a CoFounder but wish that I did. I've actually been actively CoFounder dating, so if you or anyone you know is interested in working with an innovative Canadian media company, please reach out!
I'm specifically looking for someone who meshes with me and my team - your energy and commitment will be the key to us working well together. Beyond that, I'm looking for skills in business development, sales, design, and growth. Oh, you also have to have killer grammar!
FcF: What were the first few steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue this idea?
Jacqueline: I started by writing versions of Pressed in word documents and sending them to friends. After almost all of my friends came out and told me my version of the news was so much more enjoyable to read (than traditional outlets), I started to research the things I needed to start an email list. Once I got a name, logo, and website up and running, I pitched myself to local news outlets and blogs. I got picked up by a few and started getting subscribers that weren't family and friends!
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Jacqueline: The first step is the hardest. If you have an idea but you're scared of starting, or, most likely, scared of quitting your job, just know that the worst case is that you have to go back to your job. Which, honestly, is not that bad. Most people I talk to are worried about finances. Plan out your first year. What's the minimum amount of money you need to survive (and for your business to survive) for one year? Once you write out that plan, you'll feel less anxious about the future.
FcF: Is there anything you would like the Female CoFounder community to help you with?
Jacqueline: I put out a call-out for a CoFounder about a month ago to the Female CoFounder Slack group. A designer named Alex responded with an interest to help us with design. Now, we have a fresh Instagram look and a designer we regularly reach out to for sponsored projects!
FcF: How can people connect with you?
Jacqueline: If you're like most young professionals, and especially if you're growing your career and want to keep up with conversations at the office, you'll really love the Pressed newsletter. You can sign up here! Or, follow us on Instagram for quick hits of news as you scroll.