Plug In South LA is excited to share that Inc. 30 Under 30 entrepreneur Isa Watson will be speaking at Urban Tech Connect // Forward 2020 this spring. The Squad founder and CEO helps Millennials and Gen-Z build connections in real life.
Isa (pronounced EYE-suh) Watson has a background in science, with a BS in chemistry from Hampton University and an MS in pharmacology from Cornell University. She worked at Pfizer as a research chemist and a data scientist before deciding to attend business school.
Once she earned an MBA from MIT Sloan, Watson became vice president of digital strategy at JPMorgan Chase in New York and Hong Kong. She collaborated with senior management at the firm to build and execute initiatives across digital, product development, analytics, marketing, and client services.
While navigating her professional and personal life — Watson is also a classically trained pianist — she recognized that successful people had a consistent commonality: community. She also observed that Millennials and Gen Z tend to crave in-person interactions.
Watson left Wall Street and created the software company now known as Squad. This invitation-only app helps users build their offline and IRL communities. Unlike many digital platforms, Squad creates a community rooted in values like respect and integrity. It’s a place where people feel like they can be their true selves.
“Connectivity is such a driver of productivity,” Watson told Inc. Magazine. “I saw a business opportunity that could be scaled to a huge degree with tech behind it — and at the same time could make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Squad received financial backing from investors that include Precursor Ventures, Harrison Metal, Newark Venture Partners, and the New Voices Fund. Steven Aldrich, chief product officer at GoDaddy at the time, was an early investor, TechCrunch reported. In 2019, Squad closed a $3.5 million seed round.
Now Watson is joining the impressive speaker lineup for the Urban Tech Connect 2020 conference May 20 – 21. Register to attend so you can be there when she shares her unique path from Silicon Valley outsider to fundraising phenom.