Venture firm Lightbank announced Wednesday that it has added an in-house public relations team lead by Jackie Lampugnano. Prior to Lightbank, Lampugnano was an account director at Chicago-based PR firm Walker Sands Communications. Lampugnano will head up the communications arm for Lightbank and act as PR council for the firm’s portfolio, the firm said.
Lightbank, a venture capital firm founded by serial entrepreneurs Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, brings public relations capabilities in-house for the first time with the hiring of respected technology PR professional Jackie Lampugnano. The Chicago native will head Lightbank’s public relations and messaging team.
“We look at each investment as a project that we’re passionate about working on side-by-side with the companies we fund,” said Brad Keywell, co-founder of Lightbank. “A key part this process is helping our portfolio companies shape their message and tell their stories through strategic communications, which is why we decided to add dedicated PR capabilities as an in-house competency. Our vision for Lightbank is to possess all the necessary components to accelerate and augment growth of technology businesses.”
Lampugnano joins Lightbank with a background in technology-focused PR, both for startups and enterprises. Prior to Lightbank, Lampugnano was an account director at Chicago-based PR firm Walker Sands Communications, where she developed and executed award-winning communications campaigns for a range of B-to-B and B-to-C companies in the technology industry.
“I’ve always had a personal passion for entrepreneurship, particularly in the technology space, which is what made joining Lightbank so appealing,” said Lampugnano. “For start-ups, effective communication of vision, mission and value is crucial to success, and Lightbank can now offer meaningful help in this area to the companies in which it invests. I look forward to working in this unique environment where I’m sitting next to these portfolio companies every day and helping them tell their stories. It will be great to shed some light on what’s happening here.”
Lampugnano will round out the Lightbank team of in-house resources, which includes talent scouts, mobile developers, experts in business development and operations, as well as a team that runs administrative functions. Lampugnano will head up the communications arm for Lightbank and act as PR council for the firm’s portfolio.
“Adding exceptional communications services and guidance is a strategic asset for Lightbank as we continue to define our vision for what a VC should be,” added Keywell. “We founded Lightbank in 2010 and have continuously grown since. We’re happy to have Jackie on our team as we expand our national presence and work with promising entrepreneurs who are disrupting industries that are ripe for innovation.”
To date, Lightbank and its founders have started nine companies, invested in more than 50 companies, raised more than $1.5 billion and created more than $7 billion in equity value, making it one of the most prolific early-stage investment firms between the coasts. Companies started by Lightbank’s founders employ more than 15,000 people in 100 offices worldwide.
Lampugnano is an honors graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations.
Lightbank is a Chicago-based fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Founded by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, who are founders of Groupon, MediaBank, InnerWorkings (NASDAQ:INWK) and Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ:ECHO), Lightbank not only makes investments of capital, but also takes an active hands-on role in helping entrepreneurs ensure their early- and mid-stage businesses grow and succeed.