Hum-an Stories: Q&A with Managing Director Becca Connolly
This interview is part of Hum-an Stories, a Q&A series with Hum Capital leadership and employees providing a look under the hood at what drives Hum and its funding platform, the Intelligent Capital Market.
Becca Connolly is a Managing Director at Hum and Chief of Staff for Hum’s Strategic Capital team. After a long tenure at Morgan Stanley working in the public markets, Becca transitioned to the private markets and the startup world almost 2 years ago when she joined Hum.
In this Q&A Becca shares why she joined a fintech startup, what sets Hum apart from competitors, and her passion for volunteer work.
Q: What excites you most about Hum’s Intelligent Capital Market and its mission to rewire the fundraising landscape?
Our team has built and continues to build something really incredible with the Intelligent Capital Market. Fundraising is often an arduous and demanding process for companies, when their time could be better suited building their company. Conversely, investing in the private markets can be a fragmented and lengthy process for investors and lenders. ICM is a data driven platform that provides tools for both parties to efficiently and effectively navigate the process. The most exciting part for me is that I see the platform truly facilitating our mission of connecting great companies with the right capital every day. And just to underscore this point, I feel both excited and privileged to speak with companies doing incredibly interesting and important work each day, and ultimately help facilitate their growth.
Q: Prior to Hum, you spent your entire career at a traditional financial institution (Morgan Stanley). What made you join a Fintech startup?
I had spent my career in the public markets, so from an outside and perhaps naive perspective, the white space in private investing seemed huge to me. The concept of being able to utilize data to provide transparency and access to the private markets (to both companies as well as investors) seemed like something that should have already existed. From an intellectual standpoint, the concept of what Blair, Chris, and the team were trying to build made perfect sense to me, and everyone I met through the process was (and is!) some of the best in class talent I had encountered.
From a personal perspective, the opportunity to be a part of an ecosystem I had only tangential experience with I thought would provide a challenge and steep learning curve that I wanted to explore. I also wanted to experience being a part of an early stage company with a great idea and have an active role in its growth and forward trajectory.
Q: As someone who’s role consists of interacting with customers, how would you describe Hum’s biggest differentiator compared to other funding platforms?
Hum’s tech and talent allow us to find the right capital for companies. This is differentiated from our competitors, because there is not just one solution we can offer to customers. We are able to utilize a company’s data to work with them and explore products, investors/lenders, and structures that work for them. It is not a one size fits all offering, we are able to in fact help them find and or structure a solution that works for their specific growth needs.
Q: It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on the end of 2022. What is your proudest Hum accomplishment this year?
When I joined Hum I had a general concept of what I would be working on and what my role would be. Over the course of 2022, I have had two (quite different) roles, and worked on numerous cross functional projects across the organization. I am proudest of the fact that I have been able to pivot and be nimble, which is largely because of the support I have received from various internal stakeholders. I think part of the reason I am proud of this is because it fulfills one of my intentions I mentioned earlier, of joining a startup to get exposure to a new ecosystem and face the challenge of steep learning curves.
Q: Outside of the office you’re very passionate about volunteer work. Can you share some of your experiences and which organizations you are involved with?
Thanks for asking about this! I’ve been really fortunate to have involvement with a lot of great organizations since I was a kid. In recent years, I have spent most of my time working with New York Cares, which is New York City’s largest volunteer organization. They facilitate volunteer opportunities across all boroughs and a myriad of different causes. It was appealing to me because if there is a cause you care about (food instability, childhood education, etc) you can likely find a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood to support. I’ve participated in many different projects, mostly focused around food banks, including a regular commitment to lead a team serving lunch to seniors in midtown Manhattan. I also served on their junior board for several years as Chair of Sponsorships. If you live or work in NYC, I’d encourage you to check it out!