This interview is part of Hum-an Stories, a Q&A series with Hum Capital Leadership, companies, and investors providing a look under the hood at what drives Hum and its Intelligent Capital Market.
After serving as a consultant in the latter half of 2021, Chipp Norcross officially joined the Hum Capital team as COO at the start of 2022. As COO, Chipp is responsible for driving Hum’s planning process and business roadmap to align with the company’s long-term vision.
As a growth-focused leader who’s had roles in software development, finance, marketing, operations, and product, Chipp has a lot of perspective in knowing what it takes to build a successful company. This “jack-of-all-trades” mentality led him to Hum to help the company build a highly-productive team that translates into a game-changing product.
In this Q&A, Chipp discusses what excites him about Hum and the company’s outlook for 2022.
Q: You have a lot of experience working at companies using the power of technology to tackle challenges that require disruptive solutions. Did this experience lead you to join Hum Capital?
Absolutely. I’ve always gravitated towards people and companies who were willing to think differently about solving problems. Over the last few years I spent a lot of time with executives in the financial services industry who were grappling with the impact that artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other advanced technologies would have on their business. When I met Blair this past summer, it was refreshing to meet someone who was on the front foot, leading with technology rather than reacting to it. And to be honest, not only leading with technology, but also seeing over multiple horizons into the future. We both had similar views about where the industry could go over the longer term, and through subsequent conversations it became clear that my joining Hum was almost a foregone conclusion for us both.
Q: What excites you most about what Hum is building and its potential in the industry?
Well, there is a lot to be excited about so it is hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Having been on the fundraising side of the table at past startups, I think that the most exciting thing about the near term is helping companies raise money faster, at better terms, and without all of the distractions that the traditional process causes for the management team.
I do think that the term “faster” is also a relative term because the traditional process has effectively locked out many companies that were not in the right industry, the right geography, or did not have leaders who had the typical background that would open doors to the people who could write them a check. So for some companies, working with Hum might not only mean raising money faster, it might be the difference that allows them to raise money at all.
Q: What are some of the key projects and initiatives you will be focusing on?
As a company that is at the early scale stage, there is a lot of work to do to solidify our foundation for growth. We’ve been primarily focused on dialing in our value proposition over the last year. Now that we are seeing such a strong appreciation for Hum’s services in the market, we need to align our resources towards how we best serve the companies and investors in our marketplace.
Q: What are some of Hum’s greatest strengths and greatest areas of opportunity?
Our biggest strength is undoubtedly the commitment to our mission that you see across our team. We truly believe that we can level the playing field and change the way companies access capital. Trying to revolutionize an industry is not for the faint of heart, but we’ve got an incredible team and some promising tailwinds that are giving us confidence in what we are building.
In terms of opportunities, we have similar challenges to those of most Series A companies. Our aspirations are gigantic, but our resources are limited. We have to keep making good decisions about where we are investing our capital and continue to take steps to level-up our operations. Though it never feels like we are making improvements fast enough at this stage of a company, it’s absolutely incredible how much progress we’ve made over just the last quarter.
Q: As we start 2022, what are you looking forward to seeing Hum accomplish this year?
Honestly, I’m most excited to see us execute on our plan for the coming year. If we do that, we’ll be able to look back at the end of the year to see that we’ve connected a growing number of deserving companies with new capital they might not have otherwise found, helped our team members grow into exciting new roles, and further validated our hypothesis on how we’ll change the way companies raise capital, forever.