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Melinda Wittstock

Entrepreneur • Advisor Washington D.C. Metro Area, US

CEO & Founder, Verifeed - the predictive social intelligence company. Serial entrepreneur, content maven and big data fanatic.

CEO & Founder, Verifeed - the predictive social intelligence company. Serial entrepreneur, content maven and big data fanatic.

followers
following
7 vouches

Primary Skillsets

  • Business Development
  • Data Science
  • Enterprise Sales
  • Growth
  • Marketing
  • Product
I have an idea I'm commited to
Immediately

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Business Development
  • • Data Science
  • • Enterprise Sales
  • • Growth
  • • Marketing
  • • Product

Involved In

Founder

Verifeed
NewsiT
Capitol News Connection

Advisor

1776DC
ROCeteers

Positions

CEO & Founder Verifeed June 2013 - present
CEO & Founder NewsiT September 2011 - present
CEO & Founder Capitol News Connection September 2002 - September 2011
Host National Public Radio July 2000 - December 2000
Executive Producer, Broadcast Journalist & Host BBC News January 1998 - December 2000
TV News Anchor MSNBC and CNBC January 1999 - September 2000
TV News Anchor/Host "World News Now" ABC News February 1998 - November 1998
TV News Anchor & Host BBC News 1995 - 1998
Host & Producer CNBC International October 1993 - December 1994
City Diary Editor Times of London January 1993 - November 1993
Media Correspondent The Times of London April 1989 - January 1993

Education

McGill University Political Science 1983 - 1986
North Toronto Collegiate Institute

Interested In

Cofounder With
  • • Data Science
  • • Full Stack Engineering
  • • Growth
  • • Operations
Advisor With
  • • Business Development
  • • Social data
  • • Big data
  • • Backend Architecture
  • • Data Science
  • • Graph databases
  • • Hadoop
  • • Behavioral analytics
Markets of Interest
  • • Advertising
  • • Data & Analytics
  • • Enterprise Software
  • • Financial Services
  • • Healthcare
  • • Media
  • • Mobile
  • • Social Impact
  • • Video
  • • Wearable Tech
  • • Fitness
  • • Nutrition
  • • Wellness
  • • Content

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Digital marketing • Product management • Journalism • Marketing Strategy • User Experience Design

Key Accomplishments

My grandmother was the first to call me "disruptive" at age 5, when I went door-to-door with my black lab to get neighbors to pre-pay for my "show". Earned $100! I'm an entrepreneur in my bones. Verifeed is my third company, not counting my childhood, teenage and college endeavors. I love to work with super-smart, innovative, "yes...if" people who want to build great products to solve real customer needs and have fun along the way.
I'm also a "recovering journalist" - I joined the Times of London at age 22 as a financial correspondent, where I reveled in being "first, right and predictive". I realize all these years later I'm replicating with algorithms and unique processes what I did with "shoe leather" and asking the right questions to move markets. I understood the value of the right information in the right hands at the right time.
Previously I built and ran the innovative Capitol News Connection, which served 200+ radio, TV stations and digital media with localized and personalized news from Congress. In 2007 I created, built and grew to 3 million users the interactive app AskYourLawmaker, enabling anyone to ask any question of their elected representatives, vote the best questions up the rankings. Our correspondents got the questions answered for people to listen to, comment on and share. I went from there to found NewsiT, an innovative crowd-sourcing and collaboration iPhone app that Marissa Mayer called "the future of news". It was ahead of its time, however, and I pivoted its underlying technology for filtering user-generated content for relevance and reliability to found Verifeed as the social intelligence analytics platform with a B2B recurring revenue model.
Other stuff about me: I live in DC, with my two great kids and golden retriever. I do yoga every day, and try to meditate also. I'm part of two great entrepreneurial groups, HerCorner and Netcito. I also do a lot of coaching and advising on lean startup, growth-hacking, social media / content marketing and fundraising. I speak at events and conferences quite often. In my spare time (ha!) I like to read, dine out with friends, travel, sail, ski and just have a great time with the kids and dog.

How I like to work with people As a Cofounder

I think it's really important that co-founders are aligned on "the why", the mission, the big idea. But I'm not a fan of everyone drinking the same Kool Aid: Co-founders and executive team members must complement each other with diverse skills and experiences, seeing through different lenses. I like to work with dedicated, positive and ego-less people who want to build something great and love to collaborate to find ways to find opportunity in anything. I'm a big believer in creating a great culture, as companies who have that special "flow" and "lightness", where team members can truly be themselves and feel free to innovate, take risks and still be accountable, do much better. I like to work in a lean startup way, collaborative, set priorities, execute, and learn fast from fails in a positive way. I like people too who can be honest and tell me how they see it, and also come with solutions not just challenges. I like people who are open-minded yet tenacious in pursuing an outcome.

As an Advisor

I like to first understand exactly what the challenge is. I tend to start by asking a lot of open ended questions to get to the heart of the matter at hand. I think I prefer to lead people to their own conclusions rather than impose in a "you should..." way. I like to inspire people to think for themselves, guiding them to the questions they should be asking, to the discovery and ultimate empowerment we all need to succeed. I tend to be very frank about my own "fail-forward" moments, and share openly my own learnings when invited to. Sometimes it just helps to know someone else has gone through what you're going through - and not only survived, but prospered in the end!

7
Vouches Received

0
Vouches Given

Think Melinda is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Kimberly Guiry
Happiness Astronaut, ROCETEER INC. Arizona State grad.
Melinda has a wealth of knowledge and experience in digital marketing strategy.
David Conley
We worked together  •  Head of Product and Customer Happiness, Verifeed and Board Member, Verifeed. George Mason grad.
Melinda brings a huge Oz factor - heart, brains, and courage that keeps building great company after great company.
Joshua Bowden
Co-Founder/CEO, 1Media. Previously Co-Founder/COO, Work In Progress.
Sandy Kresch
They're my investor  •  Board of Directors, Newsit, LLC and Board of Directors, Consensus Point LLC. University of Pennsylvania grad.
She has strength, great ideas, is tenacious as anyone I've ever met and is driven to be successful.
Jane Barratt
They're my friends  •  CEO & Founder, GoldBean - investing for beginners. Previously c-suite madison avenue / global digital marketer.
Melinda is a brilliant person, with great intuition and deep skills from the worlds of journalism, social and research
Renee Lewis
They're my investor  •  Serial entrepreneur. Love bringing to market valuable tech tools that require you think differently about the problem.
She already is a great entrepreneur. She has the vision and ability to deliver. It's always a pleasure to work with someone so willing to ... do what it takes to create a product the market can really use.
Kendra Bracken-Ferguson
We worked together  •  Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Digital Brand Architects and Co-Founder and Managing Director, Digital Brand Architects.
Since I met Melinda, I have been impressed by her knowledge, expertise in the space and ability to write compelling content and make a stor ... y out of anything. Her company is leading in terms of social analytics and continues to create new tools to move the industry and the market forward.