EP12. From a Soccer Ball to a Sustainable Energy Empire: Jessica O. Matthews | Her Venture Talk

Join us in this episode of Her Venture Talk, Season 2 as we explore the entrepreneurial journey of Jessica O. Matthews, the mastermind behind Uncharted Power. Discover how a soccer ball sparked an idea that turned into a multi-million dollar renewable energy empire. Learn about Jessica’s toolkit for success, the challenges she faced, and how she established her company.

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Hello everyone! Welcome back to Her Venture Talk. You’re tuned into our very first episode of Season 2. I’m your host, Helen, here to bring you tales of resilience, innovation, and success from the world’s leading women entrepreneurs. Today, we’re going on a journey. A journey that starts with a soccer ball and transforms into a renewable energy empire. Yes, we’re talking about the inspiring journey of Jessica O. Matthews, a Nigerian-American inventor, entrepreneur, and CEO.

So, grab your favorite cup of drink, get comfortable, and let’s dive right in!

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Jessica was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. She pursued her education at the prestigious Harvard College and later Harvard Business School, which played a vital role in shaping her entrepreneurial journey. But before we delve into that, let’s take a step back and start where it all began.

It all started with a ball. Not just any ball – a soccer ball. But this was no ordinary soccer ball. This ball, known as the Soccket, could harness kinetic energy during play and store it for later use.

The seed for this idea was planted when Jessica was a teenager. On a trip to Nigeria for a family wedding, she experienced a power outage. It was then she saw people resorting to unsafe and unhealthy kerosene lamps for light. That’s when Jessica decided to create a solution to this problem.

This solution turned into a product, and that product became the start of a company called Uncharted Power. But as with any entrepreneurial journey, the road was not always smooth.

Jessica faced numerous challenges, from perfecting the technology to securing the initial funding for her startup. She turned to platforms like Kickstarter and also utilized convertible debt to raise funds. The road was challenging, but Jessica’s resilience and belief in her vision saw her through.

At this point, we’re going to take a short break, but don’t go anywhere because we’re just getting started. When we return, we’ll continue our exploration of Jessica O. Matthews’s journey, from the business model of Uncharted Power to the mindset that drove her success.

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Welcome back, welcome back. Before the break, we started our deep dive into the inspiring journey of Jessica O. Matthews, inventor and CEO of Uncharted Power.

Now let’s talk about Uncharted Power’s business model. Uncharted Power’s main goal is to provide clean, reliable energy to all, and their business model is structured to support this. They’ve designed innovative infrastructure technology to harness renewable energy, making it accessible and affordable.

Jessica’s journey is not just about the birth of a successful company. It’s also about the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. Resilience, innovation, and a commitment to sustainable energy solutions are the hallmarks of Jessica’s entrepreneurial spirit.

From creating a soccer ball that could harness energy to establishing a company that provides clean energy solutions, Jessica’s journey is proof that no dream is too big, and no idea is too small.

As Uncharted Power took shape, Jessica didn’t stop at the successful prototype stage. She had her eyes set on growth and impact. And with a clear vision, she led the company to secure a hefty $7 million in Series A funding.

You may think, “Well, that’s quite a feat!” But let me tell you, that was just the beginning. The company’s value skyrocketed, and it became a beacon of innovation and sustainability in the renewable energy sector. All because of a woman who dared to dream and hustle.

But, as we all know, entrepreneurial success isn’t only about dollars. It’s about the difference you make and the recognition you receive from the world. And Jessica O. Matthews? Oh, she’s been recognized, alright!

Jessica has been honored with accolades for her innovative approach to addressing real-world problems. She was invited to the White House by President Barack Obama to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act in 2012. She’s been listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 list and has been recognized by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. These recognitions are a testament to her innovative spirit and impact.

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Now, let’s move on to a topic I know y’all have been waiting for – lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs from Jessica’s journey. There’s so much to learn from her story, but let’s start with resilience.

If there’s one thing we can take away from Jessica’s journey, it’s that resilience is the backbone of any successful entrepreneurial journey. From the early stages of development to navigating the competitive world of funding, Jessica’s determination was unwavering.

Another lesson is the power of innovation. Jessica’s idea was unique – she looked at a common object, a soccer ball, and saw an opportunity to generate energy. That’s innovation at its best – finding extraordinary solutions in the most ordinary things.

But most importantly, Jessica’s journey teaches us the importance of creating a positive impact. Her commitment to providing sustainable energy solutions has not only led to a successful company but also contributed significantly to communities and the environment.

[Music Break]

So far, we’ve followed Jessica from the birth of her innovative idea – a soccer ball that generates energy – through to the inception and growth of Uncharted Power. We’ve discussed the importance of resilience, innovation, and creating positive impact, all core aspects of Jessica’s journey.

But what does it all mean for you, our listeners? I think the key takeaway here is that the entrepreneurial journey isn’t a straight line from point A to B. It’s a winding path filled with obstacles, triumphs, and lessons to be learned. Just like the one Jessica has tread.

And you know what? Each one of you out there can embark on such a journey. You don’t need to have it all figured out from the start. What you need is a problem you’re passionate about solving, the resilience to keep going despite challenges, and the openness to learn and adapt along the way.

As we wind up, remember, your venture doesn’t have to change the entire world all at once. If it changes someone’s world for the better, that’s a great place to start.

With that, we wrap up our deep dive into Jessica O. Matthews’ incredible journey. But the stories don’t end here, folks! In our next episode, we will introduce you to another phenomenal woman entrepreneur, dissect her toolkit for success, and bring you more inspiration to fuel your entrepreneurial dreams.

I hope Jessica’s journey has left you feeling inspired, and full of ideas. Remember, her story could be your story. So, till next time, keep dreaming big, aspiring for more, and know that every venture has its challenges, but it’s your drive and determination that will see you through.

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This has been Her Venture Talk, your guide to entrepreneurial success. I’m your host, Helen, reminding you that every venture starts with a dream. So, keep dreaming, keep venturing, and until next time, stay empowered!

[End of Episode 12]

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