Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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How to Scale Tech Marketing with Purpose: Elevating Minority Founders' Platforms, and Reaching Underserved Communities through Thoughtful Communications


Kelsey Quickstad
Hotwire, Senior Director

Kelsey is an analytical creative who brings a balance of the both the art and science of communications. She has spent her career helping clients effectively communicate complex stories to reach their target audiences. She is well versed in running integrated marketing and communications across both consumer and B2B clients. At Hotwire, Kelsey works on some of the agency’s largest global accounts where she is responsible for leading strategy, campaign management and global coordination. In 2017, Kelsey led the opening of the Hotwire Minneapolis office. She has since grown the team to 9 full-time employees.

Joresa Blount
GoFlyy, Founder and CEO

Joresa Blount is the founder of GoFlyy, a same-day delivery and reverse logistics startup for fashion, beauty and wellness retailers. The self-made businesswoman credits her work ethic and persistence as the reason for her success.

Not only is she supporting retailers disrupting how consumers receive goods, Joresa is also known as an author and host.

Blount released her first book, #IChoseMe: Coming Back From Heartbreak and other Bad Relationships, in December 2016.  The book is her call to action for women to stop compromising their purpose with toxic relationships including those in the workplace. Joresa created a digital talk show, The Comeback Series, to help spread her message of taking your greatest setback to propel you forward to greatness.  

She’s been seen in Forbes discussing the most exciting technology companies and innovations.  Joresa has been heard on many podcasts discussing entrepreneurship, finding purpose and healing your heart. Named Woman to Watch by Ambition Magazine and becoming the cover girl for the inaugural issue for Faith Heart Magazine, Joresa is just getting started.

You can always find her uplifting and encouraging, getting the next generation of women to stand up and speak up.

Jay Hirschton
Full Circle Fund, CEO

Throughout his 20 career in the social impact sector, Jay has built innovate teams and organizations in service of underrepresented communities with a deep commitment to Diversity, Equity & Belonging. Throughout his career, Jay has challenged the norms of the this sector while bringing an innovative vision to designing programs and raising funds in partnership with communities he is working alongside. Jay and his wife Chelsea live in Berkeley with their two sons Cole and Case and dog Frankie.

Vanessa Villaverde
Menther, Cofounder

Vanessa Villaverde is an award-winning innovator, activist, mother, and strategic advisor for startup organizations. Known throughout healthcare policy circles, she leveraged her expertise outside of government to structure private public partnerships that created better access, more affordable, and more informed healthcare solutions for vulnerable populations. She is now cofounder of Menther alongside her longtime healthtech colleague Lesli Ott. Together they are leveraging tech to disrupt how mentorship is done and ensuring opportunities across every zip code.


Many startups lack access to the brand, marketing and communications skills that help ensure their product reaches the right people who need them. This is especially true for founders of underserved communities. The Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program (HIPP), launched in 2020, has committed to providing $1M in pro bono brand, marketing, and public relations services to qualifying tech and tech-enabled organizations that are minority-led or providing a product or service benefitting minority communities. In this panel you’ll hear from some of the founders in the first cohort of HIPP on how they are tackling their business challenges and meeting their goals through brand, marketing and public relations in order to bring technology innovation at scale and succeed in today’s competitive tech sector.