Before launching her recruitment platform 1-Page, which is about to list on the ASX via a reverse takeover with an estimated $21 million market cap, founder Joanna Weidenmiller worked at the FBI, was an international model repping luxury brands like Audi and Saks Fifth Avenue, and an accomplished sportswoman.
She doesn’t do anything by half and it is this full throttle approach to business and life which has got her to where she is today – a tech entrepreneur with an incredible resume.
Weidenmiller, visiting Australia this week ahead of her company’s market debut, told Business Insider that growing up she was told she could be anything she wanted – and it was something she took literally.
Landing a college scholarship, she worked as a model in New York while studying foreign affairs and also found time to row at a national level.
During her senior year she was recruited into the FBI, landing an internship in the International Training and Assistance Unit.
“You don’t ever know why you are recruited into the FBI,” she said.
“They live in your backyard, they interview everyone around your house, five miles each direction, literally, they go to your school, both high school and college and they talk to everyone they can find.”
Writing her thesis on how to win the war on terrorism by training local police forces, Weidenmiller went on after she graduated to travel with her supervising agent working with police forces in the Middle East. She did all of this in her 20s.
“I loved what I did, I had an incredible job,” she said.
But working for the FBI wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“Once you have the gun, the tight pants and the cool car, that’s it,” Weidenmiller said. “You have to work in this bureaucratic structure.”
She felt stifled in the system, so handed in her badge and set out to be an entrepreneur.
“I knew I could always go back. I knew that if it didn’t work out, if being an entrepreneur wasn’t the right thing, I could always go back,” she said.
“Most people would never want to leave the FBI but if you’re not happy and you’re not doing something that you’re not fulfilled at, there’s no point.”
She enjoys being a bit of a trailblazer.
“Anything that has ‘the first’ involved in the sentence, ‘oh you’ll be the first Silicon Valley tech company to go public on the ASX’, I’m like brilliant, I love it,” she said, adding not subscribing to the status quo is also important.
“When someone tells you can’t do it then go do it,” she said. The reverse takeover is due to be finalised in the next couple of months, and Weidenmiller is aiming to raise $7 million.