A Conversation With Factor[e] Ventures’ Industrial Design Lead Jordan Westerberg

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Image courtesy of Factor[e] Ventures and Arch Systems.

Freelance designers: it’s probably safe to say you start to feel the pressure when you’re juggling a few projects at once, right? Well, imagine just for a moment that instead of a freelancer, you’re an in-house designer for a venture building company, and you’re responsible for supporting multiple startups in multiple countries at once—each with vastly different design needs. Well, Jordan Westerberg does just that.

Westerberg is the Industrial Design Lead at Factor[e] Ventures, a social impact venture firm that is dedicated to supporting the people and ideas that turn challenges in energy, agriculture, mobility, and waste into de-carbonized solutions for emerging and frontier markets. 

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Image courtesy of Factor[e] Ventures and Arch Systems.

 

Factor[e] Ventures works across the globe to bring disruptive innovation to the world’s fastest-growing markets. They serve as a conduit between philanthropic and commercial investors who are like-minded in their pursuit of sustainable development through market-driven forces. So, you know, no big deal or anything. 

Believe it or not, Westerberg started his college career studying agriculture and was on an early path to entering his family business as a farmer until he found himself unengaged with the program. “[Agriculture] wasn’t catching my attention much, Westerberg says. “I took a few placement tests and scored decently high in engineering and architecture, so I switched out of the agriculture curriculum and ended up getting accepted into the industrial design program after completing the intensive design core program.” As Jordan tells us, it was a pretty standard industrial design college experience: countless cups of coffee, epoxy-covered fingers, and endless hours spent on the computer using CAD.

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Image courtesy of Factor[e] Ventures and Ampersand.

From there, Westerberg went on to work for a product design firm in St. Louis. “A lot of the time I was working on things like consumer electronic products—work for companies like JBL, designing products that were going to be sold in Best Buy,” he says. “The projects were far cry from what we do at Factor[e] Ventures where we are working on solving real-world problems for the people who could benefit the most from good design and engineering.” 

Westerberg has now been with Factor[e] Ventures for nearly two years. During that time, he has worked with seven different companies and several foundations to help them bring their ideas to reality. Westerberg was first introduced to Fusion 360 when he started his journey at Factor[e] Ventures. The Autodesk Foundation provided him access to a plethora of Autodesk software and training to help him execute a project he was working on at the time.

“This might be a swear word, but I used SolidWorks throughout school and early on in my professional career at the first design firm I worked at,” Westerberg admits. “I probably had six or seven years of SolidWorks experience, but once I joined the Factor[e] Ventures team, I hopped on the Fusion 360 train. Literally within a week, I was converted

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