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Speaker Bio

Rea asks Jean about what led to the creation of Sweeten and what was challenging about her shift from physical architecture to information architecture.

After earning an Architecture degree at The Cooper Union, Jean spent a decade working in architecture and construction. Her own challenging renovation inspired her to transform the opaque construction industry and create the first modern renovation experience that is transparent, efficient and personal.

Sweeten (as in “home, sweet home”) launched in 2011. Today, Sweeten has nearly $1.5B of construction projects in the pipeline. The two-sided marketplace brings trust, transparency and technology to a $400B industry, creating the end-to-end standard for the renovation experience. Sweeten has been called a “Renovation Game-Changer,” with Jean hailed as “The Contractor Whisperer” by New York Magazine and one of Inc. Magazine’s “Most Innovative Women Founders in America.”

Jean is a Loeb Fellow from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where she co-founded the African American Student Union (AASU), an organization supporting African Americans in architecture, real estate and urban planning. As a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute, she recently launched SAW (Sweeten Accelerator for Women) to help female contractors build their businesses.