Current Location: Detroit, MI
Major: International Studies and Political Science Minor
IWU Activities: Amnesty International, Renegades for Peace, IWU Peace Garden, Peace
After years of working with Detroit small businesses on product protyping, microloan
funding, and business plan development, Jessica Bondalapati launched her consultancy,
Lady Bondo, to fill in the “growth gaps” needed to take Detroit businesses and organizations
to the next level. Her services include consultation, coaching, facilitation, and
staffing support in her areas of expertise: administration, internal systems, team
development, communications, and strategy development.
She is also the owner of Bondo Booth, an engaging photo booth company specializing
in nonprofit, community, and public events. Jessica tutored and mentored 9th graders
in an extremely under-resourced neighborhood on Detroit's west side through an AmeriCorps
program. In 2014, she joined D:hive, the welcome center of Detroit, as the Build program
manager while being a student in a Build class for her own business idea.
Jessica took the role of Director of Programming when Build transitioned out of D:hive
in January 2015 and became Build Institute, a small business and entrepreneurship
training and support program. In 2015, she was named a Next City Network Urban Innovator
and an American Express and Ashoka Changemakers Emerging Innovator for her work with
Build Institute, an entrepreneurship training and support program. She also served
as the Kiva Zip micro-loan fellow for Detroit.
At the beginning of 2016 she transitioned into a new director position for Human Scale
Studio, a strategic consultancy firm that helps business, philanthropy, and civic
institutions shape the future of the urban world using human-centered design. She’s
written for Model D Media and Forward Cities on topics including local investment,
ethical redevelopment, placemaking, and affordable housing, and a front cover spread
for Conscious Company Magazine highlighting six innovators redesigning Detroit.