From the time Ashley Lightspeed was a little girl, she wanted to be an architect just like her father. Often, she sat down with her father at the drafting table in the garage, sketching up ideas. Early experiences like these led Ashley to great success at Duke and studying abroad at Copenhagen, where she learned to prototype business ideas rather than actual buildings. A series of successes kickstarted her career at Bain, where she did mostly operational work.
Ashley joined Thumbtack’s product team as a category manager, responsible for developing customer experience improvement strategies as well as growth within the events and wedding division. Running simulations with her clients during her tenure at Bain, she used iterative prototyping to develop product improvements throughout her career.
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Ashley Lightspeed firmly believes in the power of prototyping to iterate on existing ideas and potential product improvements. As an important part of her toolkit, prototyping has helped Ashley develop solutions for her clientele, putting her ahead of the curve.
Her first experience with venture capital came from working at Thumbtack’s fundraising pitch deck. Venture capital’s tendency to be future-focused intrigued Ashley, along with the fact that the industry focuses on trends and predictive analysis.
Ashley chose to depart Thumbtack to study at Stanford GSB while she did consulting work for startups in order to support her dreams. Projects with her clients provided inspiration for her future goals and showed Ashley that she preferred to deep-dive into several large topic areas at once.
The fact that Ashely derived so much creative energy from working with startups inspired her to join up with Lightspeed, a consumer investing team. Ashley works closely with startups in their infancy in order to develop effective growth strategies, drawing on her essential experience with venture capital and prototyping in order to help companies reach maximal growth potential.