Jean Brownhill - Ascent Conference Jean Brownhill - Ascent Conference

Jean Brownhill

Jean, a trained architect, spent a decade in construction before her own challenging renovation led to the inception of Sweeten (named for “home, sweet home”) in 2011.

The concept—a free service matching homeowners to vetted general contractors for major renovations, with support throughout the process —earned her a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. The award-winning technology platform has since been called a “Renovation Game-Changer,” with Jean named “The Contractor Whisperer” by New York magazine as well as one of Inc. magazine’s “Most Innovative Women.”

Just as Sweeten sets new standards for contractors, Jean is taking on traditional barriers for diversity and women in tech. She’s a female founder in a male-dominated industry. She’s the co-founder of the African American Student Union (AASU) at Harvard’s GSD. She’s a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. And she’s one of very few black female founders to raise $1M+ in venture capital, as featured in the April 2018 issue of Vanity Fair.

By bringing trust, transparency and technology to the $340B residential renovation industry, Sweeten helps people to renovate fearlessly. The company now also handles commercial space renovations and has nearly $900M of construction projects in the pipeline, with plans to expand to eight cities by 2020.

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