The extent to which hedge funds and venture capitalists are using big data and artificial intelligence to inform their investment decisions is no secret to Jessica Schaefer, a public relations veteran with a keen eye for new trends, and founder of newly minted New York firm Bevel.
Not only are financial heavyweights increasingly relying on satellite imagery to assess, for instance, the health of the Chinese economy, or checking on apps like foursquare to predict the first quarter earnings of fast food chains like Chipotle, they’re also keen to invest in emerging technologies of all kinds.
But finding the companies that have cool technology to share can pose a challengeto investors, and that’s where Bevel comes in.
Schaefer founded the firm to help companies with all kinds of cool, new age technology articulate their mission and create their brand, in order to increase their visibility vis-à-vis the investment community. “This can help companies secure additional funding and increase their valuations” she says.
Prior to funding Bevel, Schaefer led communications and marketing for Point72 Ventures, the early stage-venture capital arm of Point72, which invests in disruptive technologies. She also served as Vice President of Corporate Communications at Point72, the family office managing the assets of billionaire and philanthropist, Steve Cohen, one of Wall Street’s leading hedge fund managers.
During her tenure, she not only amassed a wealth of key contacts in the world of high-power investing but also forged close ties with reporters dedicated to covering emerging technologies, artificial intelligence and big data at top media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.
“We can introduce companies to leading venture capital firms and help them in other ways like securing high profile speaking events,” Schaefer says. “Many of these start ups don’t have the funds to pay for these and can’t afford expensive high branding fees. We can help them.”
Jessica Schaefer, Founder of Bevel
Currently, Bevel – the firm was launched in the middle of February – is working with six companies, but Schaefer has a growing list of new, cutting edge firms eager to partner with her to formulate their PR and media strategies.
“I really enjoy working with start-ups and entrepreneurs that are disrupting the financial services space,” she says.
One of her clients is Acorns, an app that connects a user’s credit and/or debit card with a savings account and allows them to automatically invest any spare change from their purchases into a diversified portfolio of exchange traded funds and stocks.
Bevel arranged a media tour for Acorns, introducing its CEO to key reporters from Yahoo Finance, Reuters, Fortune and others.
For Schaefer, though, what’s most important about Bevel is its focus on transparency when formulating strategies for its clients.
“One of the biggest problems with PR is that the client has no idea what the firm is working on,” she says. “We want to build a platform that is transparent and interactive with our clients, so that they can see exactly what we’re doing. That’s important to us and so we’re communicating with our clients frequently using an online sharing portal where we can IM them, post news and updates and share all documents so that everyone is on the same page at the same time.”
Bevel will partner with Cognito, a global finance and technology focused PR and marketing firm, to provide clients with a full suite of offerings, including marketing communications, media relations, advertising and media buying.
Prior to Point72, Schaefer had multiple sales and marketing roles at Moody’s Analytics, which included Head of Marketing Communications. She helped build the firm’s reputation and establish Moody’s Analytics among clients and investors as a leading player in risk technology and economic research.
She started her career at Prosek Partners, a leading financial services firm, where she was Senior Account Executive in the Financial Services practice. Her clients included First New York Securities, Jefferies, Lenox Advisors, OppenheimerFunds, RBC, RBS, Sterling National Bank, and Swiss Re. Schaefer has received multiple awards for her work including the most recent PR News Rising Stars 30 under 30 and Moody’s Rising Star Award
WRITTEN BYSavita Iyer