MassLight Mentor Spotlight: Sarah Mooney, Director of Marketing

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Desert island game: Tetris. I challenge you to a duel!

Favorite quote: Qui n’avance pas, recule. It translates to: "Those who are not going forward, are going backwards.”

  1. What is your role at MassLight?

I am the Director of Marketing. I’m responsible for all MassLight’s marketing operations, and work closely with the startups we invest in by developing tailored marketing plans for them. On top of that, I’m on the investment team that reviews applications for funding.

  1. How did you find your way into marketing and venture capital funding?

I originally wanted to be a French professor. I’ve been passionate about French literature my entire life. I even got a scholarship to study French in Paris. However, I always had a sense for marketing.  My family owns a franchise of hair salons; growing up, I was intrigued by the finer points of individual salon performance, and found my niche optimizing outcomes across the locations.  This was my introduction to marketing–my mom noticed I was passionate, and encouraged me to pursue it far beyond our family business.

I have spent the majority of my marketing career working with early stage startups, seen them raise capital and spent time pitching to investors myself. It’s very interesting to be on the other side now - I absolutely love it.

Exploring a snowy pedestrian bridge in Squamish, B.C.

  1. What excites you most about MassLight’s Build-for-Equity program?

There are so many startups out there. Many are specifically raising to fund software development. MassLight’s niche is being able to deploy software engineers solely in exchange for equity. Furthermore, we go beyond investing engineers; we provide funding, as well.  Through Build-for-Equity, startup capital is fully allocated towards growth - my favorite.

  1. What’s the best part of working with startups?

There’s an indescribable rush. Something about being involved early on, and witnessing that startup grow and generate success. It’s extremely rewarding.

  1. You’ve been hard at work all morning and it’s time for some fresh air.  Where do you take a break?

You can find me roaming the streets of downtown Toronto with my puppy, Lady Brie. Usually, interesting-looking cafes spark our interest, and we’ll order an oat milk latte to take home.

Lady Brie and oat milk lattes; parfait!

  1. When was your last trip?

I traveled to Vancouver, Canada in April 2022. I hiked half a dozen mountains, and biked throughout the city. It was extremely scenic, but physically exhausting! The most relaxing part was taking the ferry to Victoria Island, and roaming the streets of Victoria.

Checking out the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, B.C.

  1. What qualities in partner startups do you look for?

A team willing to put in sales and marketing work. Once MassLight delivers the tech, it’s the startup’s responsibility to acquire customers and apply marketing strategies. You can open a restaurant in the desert, but if you’re not doing any marketing–nobody will know about it.  Sales and marketing are crucial.

  1. If you could meet any historical character, who would you meet (and why?)

Marie Antoinette. Judging by my love for French literature, you can imagine I have a fondness for French history. In elementary school and high school I used to base the majority of my essays and research on her. Dove into every book and documentary about her!

Lapinou, my favorite French bistro in Toronto.

  1. As an experienced marketer, what’s a piece of advice you would give early-stage founders (or aspiring entrepreneurs?)

It’s never too early to start marketing!  If you’re in the pre-launch stage, the best way to go about it is building a waitlist. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Nobody is an expert in every subject.

  1. One book everyone should read:

Anything about Marie Antoinette–or French literature!

About Us

Started in 2000 in Washington DC, Masslight has served the DMV for 18+ years. We serve enterprises and startups with full-stack development and long-term project management services.

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