Stories from The Fellowship - Kylene Jones, Spring20 Fellow

Sophia Witherington
September 18, 2020
Kylene Jones, Spring20 Fellow

As we conclude our fourth Fellowship cohort with 100 incredible women, we are catching up with the Fellows to share their experience of the program.

Kylene started her career in corporate as a Management Consultant for five years at PwC in New Zealand and BCG in Australia. She then transitioned into the high-growth tech start-up world as the Business Strategy / 2IC to the GM for Deliveroo Australia, a food delivery platform. This led to a move to HQ in London to take on a more executional heavy role as Senior Growth Manager for South Central UK. Due to COVID, Kylene returned to ANZ where she is now Director of Customer for Auror.


What is The Fellowship to you?

As Batko (CEO of Startmate) has stated numerous times - “increase your surface areas for luck to strike”. The Fellowship does this in many ways.

Firstly, you are exposed to so many start-ups, operators, VCs and founders. Being exposed to the art of the possible really ensures that all Fellows go broad first. Secondly, the coaching brings a whole new element to the programme. Having one person who invests their time and advice throughout the Fellowship is excellent. So many gold nuggets. Thirdly, the tribes and connecting with other inspirational women in the start-up scene builds a network for life. I was part of the global tribe with fellows from Auckland, Adelaide, Brisbane, London and San Francisco. We still meet up every few weeks virtually, and continue to celebrate wins across the board. Our tribe has had members start new jobs, resign from corporate roles after 15 years and others who are scoping out current moves. It’s great to know I have a tribe for life and that we are all on similar journeys.

Would you recommend the Fellowship?

If you are looking to transition into the start-up / VC scene in ANZ, or are already in this scene and want to navigate it more deeply, I’d highly recommend the program. Not only will you get coverage to almost every start-up / VC opportunity as well as connections in ANZ, but you’ll learn the lingo and get up to speed in a matter of months, instead of years.

What lessons did you learn from The Fellowship?

  1. Always take the conversation. Even if you don’t think that you’re interested in the start-up / company / mission, you never know what might come out of the conversation.
  2. Start-ups do not always know what they want when it comes to hiring. During the Fellowship I was able to speak to a number of start-ups who were not advertising for roles, pitch myself and my skill set and we were able to discuss a potential “new role”. Definitely do not wait for the perfect role to be advertised. If you’re interested, set up the conversation, find out what the start-up needs over the next 6-18 months and figure out how you can help.
  3. In the Startmate community, it truly is one degree of separation. I was consistently amazed at the number of people that are connected into the network.

Where are you now?

I am now Director of Customer at a Crime Intelligence Saas Platform, Auror. Auror empowers retailers with the intelligence and tools to stop crime, for good. $100B+ is lost every year by retailers globally and Auror are tackling this problem directly on the head with retailers and also Police. My role has a large international focus and after six months in the NZ office, I'll be heading abroad to the UK and / or US to assist with growth in those markets. I’m stoked to be here because of the mission, the scale of change, the gigantic $100B+ problem and to have joined an amazing team.

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