We’re starting a new series on the blog called Meet The Team, where we turn the spotlight on various members of our team and get to know them better. Today, we’re kicking this off with our VP for Brand and Marketing, Freddie.
What do you do here at Openspace?
I lead the Brand Impact practice at Openspace, which means leveraging the power of brand to add more value to our portfolio companies. It starts with encouraging founders and teams to adopt a brand mindset as early as possible, giving them the tools to think upstream about brand strategy and how it integrates with business strategy. That ensures that brand becomes a filter for collective decision-making and makes sure each company is becoming what it set out to be.
Why did you join Openspace?
There are not many examples of a VC firm incorporating Brand as part of their suite of operational resources. I was fortunate that the leadership saw the potential of what I could add and were willing to take the plunge, which meant also giving me the freedom to shape the role in real time. That willingness told me everything I needed to know about the curiosity, creativity and foresightedness that defines Openspace. And now I see it play out every day.
What is one unexpected thing about you?
I walked 100km non-stop around Singapore for charity, completing it in 22 hours 45 minutes - in mostly heavy rain.
Who's someone you’ve always wanted to meet?
I’ve always wanted to be a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, so if I were to find myself sitting in front of my favorite host Kirsty Young, that might just be a sign that I’ve made it!
What's one thing you really like about working here?
The people I am surrounded by. One thing you can guarantee is that no matter what happens during a day at Openspace, you will always go home having learned something new. It’s easy to underestimate how important that is.
Do you have a particularly interesting or memorable highlight of working here?
There have been so many wonderful experiences personally and professionally, but racing an unnamed & highly competitive Partner on a jet ski in Thailand during our offsite really did feel like a moment of what might be termed present nostalgia (a moment you know you’re going to reflect back on even whilst you are still actually doing it.)
What's a really good piece of advice that you've received from someone in the office?
Focus first on the thing you were hired to do and do it really well. If you earn respect in that, it will afford you the freedom to try new things.
If you were to make an Openspace pizza, what's your chosen topping?
I’ve long campaigned for a pudding pizza (creme fraiche, honey, strawberries, blueberries, dark and white chocolate, mint) but so far I have only been met with heavy resistance.