Jess Erickson

Minneapolis ✈ Madison ✈ Seoul ✈ London ✈ NYC ✈ Berlin ✈ San Francisco ✈ Los Angeles ✈ San Francisco 

Photo cred: Darley Shen/Reuters

My name is Jess Erickson. I’m a Research Program Manager at Facebook focused on supporting UX & Data Science research as well as leading diversity efforts. I'm also busy building Geekettes, a global organization offering help to aspiring and current women innovators in technology.

I was born in Minnesota to parents of Norwegian and Korean heritage (I call myself Korwegian). I studied International Relations and wrote for an underground indie music magazine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later dived into state politics as a Legislative intern for Governor Jim Doyle. After completing my bachelor’s degree I moved to Seoul, South Korea to discover my mother’s old stomping grounds. While in Seoul, I studied the Korean language and global studies at Ewha Womans University and became a champion of North Korean Human Rights through my NGO work.

During that time I traveled throughout East Asia, which triggered a growing curiosity in global media and later led to a period of masters level studies in Media & Communications at the London School of Economics. Inspired by the late BBC DJ John Peel, I formatted and hosted two student radio shows and traveled throughout Europe on my free time.

As I bridged the gap between old and new worlds, I began building friendships with a new generation of young entrepreneurs, artists and students around the globe. After graduation, I moved back to the US and set up shop in Brooklyn, New York. I then worked for major and minor music labels until I decided to take on a new challenge. I moved on to pursue a position at Speaklike, a Manhattan-based tech startup. For me, the startup scene was love at first sight. 

I moved to Berlin for 4 years and founded Geekettes with the aim of changing the ratio in tech across Europe and selected cities in the United States. I also had the amazing opportunity of interacting with some of the smartest entrepreneurs, hackers and designers while building General Assembly. In my spare time, I mentored with three accelerator programs hub:raumStartupbootcamp and Microsoft Ventures.  When I wasn't busy 'teching', I was 'technoing' by hosting a monthly radio show with Berlin’s only electronic music station TwenFM

After my time in Europe, I relocated to San Francisco and Los Angeles to join the family at 500 Startups where I supported startup founders in their PR, growth marketing and diversity focused recruiting. 

I now permanently reside in San Francisco, you can follow me on Twitter at @jessjerickson and Instagram @jessjerickson