Linda FacchinettiI am Linda Facchinetti, the Founder and CEO of Jump Into Reality, an interior tech start-up.

I set up the company in 2017, with the aim of addressing some of the main frustrations and challenges faced by interiors designers everywhere by providing them with realistic 3D design software to make it easy for them to share their ideas with clients.

On a personal level, the most accurate way of describing me is probably as a citizen of the world, as home, to me, is in a number of places. I’m Italian, and though I haven’t lived there for many years, I still miss the landscapes and especially the smells of Italy. I now live between the UK and Spain, having worked in London for over 15 years, before raising my children in Spain.

In London, I worked in international finance, advising governments and supranational institutions across the globe, such as central banks and ministries of finance. Then in Spain, I spent 3 years managing a microfinance institution which trained and supported disadvantaged Haitian and Dominican women to access microcredits.

Finally, I speak 6 languages, which I love because it allows me to truly connect with people across cultures and backgrounds wherever I go.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?​ 

I never sat down as such but, subconsciously, I think that I have had a plan for my life and, consequently, I knew where I wanted to end up professionally, since my early teens. Let’s say that I left little to improvisation and I always tried to mix a good amount of my real passions with a bit of pragmatism. Looking back, I think that most of the things I have done both in my personal and professional life have followed a path that I marked out for myself when I decided to leave my home town.

Have you faced any challenges along the way? ​ 

Life is full of challenges and I am constantly working to solve problems. I think that’s all part of being an entrepreneur. One of the biggest challenges I faced was when we moved our company headquarters to the UK. It was something we were keen to do due to there being a large market for our product, as well as a deep investor base, but the timing with the pandemic and Brexit presented some logistical challenges. For the move to be secured, we had to have all the documents signed before 31st December and so many things had to line up. Thankfully, we managed to get everything signed and sealed on that afternoon — it was tight but we did it!

What has been your biggest achievement to date? ​ 

There have been lots of things I’ve been proud of with Jump Into Reality so far, but the one that leaps straight out is our first day in our Madrid office. We’d worked tirelessly to get to this point, and as I sat with my co-founder, Gustavo, and we took everything in, I realised that this lifelong dream was finally happening. Jump Into Reality was now our tangible reality!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?  ​ 

In every path I’ve taken, in career and life, I’ve always prioritised people. To me, it’s fundamentally impossible to achieve something meaningful long-term without building strong personal relationships. When I worked in finance, a crucial part of my role, which I also thoroughly enjoyed, was developing good relationships with people at the highest level and that has stayed with me throughout my career. So, whatever I do, I try to ensure I’m connected and engaged with all of the people I’m surrounded by — from my team to investors, through to the customers we seek to attract to our brand.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?  ​

I think that a good mentoring relationship can make all the difference to the personal and professional development of any person, mentor and mentee. When I was in the not-for-profit sector, I mentored a young entrepreneur in Spain who was going through company restructuring. Our relationship focussed on business development and networking but I also supported him in strengthening his personal development and managing the relationship with his business partners. Recently, one of my junior colleagues told me that one of the things he enjoyed most about Jump Into Reality was having me as his mentor. It was one of the most rewarding moments of my career.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?  ​

Every man has at least one woman in the family. So, in order to make a difference, I would tell men of any age not to be afraid of empowering the women in their family because if the women in the family are happy and fulfilled, they too can have a happier and more fulfilling life.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?  ​

Whilst I’ve always felt driven to work hard, if I could go back and speak to my younger self I’d let her know that the fruits of all this work will come through — there’s no need to worry. When I was younger, I would sometimes get too distracted by what other people were doing and achieving — so I would tell my younger self to keep going just as she is and focus on herself and her work. I think this would have saved me many stressful moments!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?  ​

JUMP into DESIGN® is Jump Into Reality’s first product, but the patented technology means that the company is able to deliver high-quality content to almost any device, such as VR headsets. This opens up a world of possibilities for real-time interactive content, as well as productivity tools in a large number of industries. Currently our products are targeted more towards industry professionals, however, we have plan in the coming years to develop a B2C version of the product too.  Watch this space.