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Humans of Humanitix: Jess on the Breaking the Biz Podcast

28th May 2024

Jess at the Room to Read Gala 2024 in New York with Ludacris, James Humpherson (General Manager of Humanitix) and Dr. Geetha Murali (CEO of Room to Read)

Pictured above: Jess at the Room to Read Gala 2024 in New York with Ludacris, James Humpherson (General Manager of Humanitix) and Dr. Geetha Murali (CEO of Room to Read)

Our US Team Lead Jessica Markowitz opened up on the Breaking the Biz podcast about her journey to Humanitix, triggered by the tragic loss of her older brother through an impaired driver.

With over two years of experience as the US Team Lead at Humanitix, Jess leads the business development and operations at Humanitix. Jess also co-founded The Josh Fund, a non-profit organization that honors the memory of her brother Josh, who she lost to a hit-and-run accident caused by an impaired driver. The Josh Fund amplifies lives one beat at a time by facilitating and supporting young artists to pursue their dreams and share their talents with the world.

Lori Markowitz and Sen. John Lovick with a photo of Josh Markowitz. Photo credit: Will Austin

Here are some of our favourite moments. You can watch the full conversation (with accompanying visuals and slides) below, or listen to the podcast on Spotify.

The impact of music

The conversation kicked off with Bret asking: "when did you get bit by the music bug?"

For me, it started with dance. Which goes hand in hand with music. My family loves to dance and obviously, at least for me, you can't dance without some music in the background.
My father's from South Africa so we had a lot of interesting beats and rhythms in our home that blended and created a really interesting way to grow up. We traveled a lot and the different sounds that we heard around the globe really impacted me, probably starting when I was in my mother's womb. She was an aerobics instructor back then. And there was probably electronic music going while I was literally becoming a person. And same for my brother.
And so the 2 of us, we just absolutely fell in love with music and the power it has when you just shut your eyes and feel the beat and the rhythm. It has stayed with me forever and for me it's not a party if there's no dancing or music.

A photo of Jess with her family sitting in the trunk of a car at a young age

Journey to Humanitix

Bret was curious to know Jess' background and education, and how she got to her current role at Humanitix.

I worked in several non-profits and was focusing on fundraising and international development, which is very different to what I do today.
But my life really changed when I lost my brother and somehow my life guided me to Humanitix, which is totally about music and events and way more my brother's thing actually than mine - but maybe that's why I found them. I never envisioned myself working with DJs, venues, music festivals and all these amazing people.

Josh Markowtiz DJ'ing with heart sunglasses

But here I am - we just don't know our path. I'm thrilled to be here and I'm learning so much. And it also shows you don't have to study or come from a background of music or entertainment. Life is just guiding you and you get there somehow.

Disrupting ticketing

Bret then shared his previous experience with ticketing - he'd wanted to ensure their tickets were under $20, and the venue he was using made them ticket their event through Ticketmaster. It meant that there was a $35 fee attached to a $20 ticket which made no sense - it pushed them to a position of scalping tickets to their own events through other platforms.

It's a major problem, especially when you have Live Nation and all those companies merging together and controlling that dynamic. It's so refreshing to have a company that is giving back to charities.

There is no other company that I was so excited to go, 'that is who we're gonna be working with for the next couple of years'. This is a beautiful thing and being on track to donate 10 million dollars - that's huge.

Xzhibit performing at Good Karma Festival 2023

Jess shared a little more about the Humanitix model:

Yeah, absolutely. And we are a charity ourselves. So that's the coolest part - there's actually no shareholders of Humanitix. So we get to decide where the funds go. We get to be in charge of the future of our impact, instead of our profits going back to shareholders or to anybody else, other than to bettering the world. That's where the charity model comes into play.

A smiling child in school uniform

And the biggest piece, like you just said, is that most people have to shake their head twice and say, but what's the catch? There is no catch. That's the beauty of social enterprises. There are folks who have done it in other industries, lots of cool entrepreneurs - like Tom's Shoes, for example. Like these different ideas of, hey, I need to wear shoes, so maybe we can give back when we buy the shoes - but really finding sustainable ways to do so in the ticketing world has not been done. And that's why it's so amazing to be a part of what Humanitix is doing.


Humanitix is the ticketing platform that dedicates 100% of profits to charity. With tickets for good, not greed, Humanitix takes the booking fees we all hate paying and dedicates the profits to charity. Your booking fees help provide access to education, healthcare and life’s basic necessities to millions of humans across the world.

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