Co-Founders of Shine Talent Group Launch Shine Ventures

Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward
Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward

Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward, the co-founders of global influencer talent management & brand partnerships agency Shine Talent Group, have launched Shine Ventures, a Los Angeles, CA-based angel investment firm.

The vehicle will invest in early stage startups with strong digital engagement that are building technology for the creator economy, innovating in women’s health, and more.

Shine Ventures has already invested in norm., a platform that helps influencers scale their revenues.

Shine Ventures leverages proprietary trend data and network of content creators who can test and actively be involved in the R&D of the invested brands’ products, providing built-in influencer strategy and digital marketing expertise. Ward and Hunichen are also experts in PR, events and media communication strategy.

Shine Talent Group originally started as Shine PR, as Ward and Hunichen boast a combined 30 years of marketing and communications experience. They also have expertise in acquisitions, making them equipped to support the growth and sale of the companies they invest in. Shine Talent Group acquired Toronto-based influencer management agency, Fourth Floor Management (FFM), in December 2020. In December 2022, Ward and Hunichen sold The BodCon, the body confidence-centric virtual conference series they co-founded, to the e-Commerce group, Trafilea.

Ward and Hunichen are looking to invest in early-stage global companies, with a strong focus on startups based in North America.

Shine Ventures will be announcing a new category of focus each year. For the rest of 2023, it will be focusing on investments in the women’s health space, with a specific emphasis on all things mensuration through menopause. It will also release a white paper with trend data, qualitative and quantitative analytics and Ward and Hunichen’s commentary on why they’ve chosen the particular category for the coming year.