Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft and is based in the firm’s New York office.
Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston.
Reoriented: Dropped out of medical school
Finance: Landed at a generalist PE fund focused loosely on consumer, liked the early stage growth companies more than the financial engineering
Tech / West Coast: Moved to SF and went to Cisco doing corporate development
School: Went back to business school during the financial crisisEarly Stage: Did a stint at Lowercase during school and an internship at a fund in London
NYC Venture: Joined Greycroft in 2011
Founder / Problem Fit -- Why them, why this? Ability to Attract Talent - also a decent proxy for upstream capital; Evidence of MacGyver-ing -- creatively grinding and figuring stuff out; Would I Consider Working for this Person?
I think it's my job to figure out how to effectively communicate effectively with each founder, and I've found the approach needs to be different for each person and situation. It's easiest for me when a direct approach is well-received, but I've learned how to adapt to more collaborative decision makers. I have learned over the years what matters is when it matters, you are *heard* and your perspective is valued as an input to any given decision. That is a different thing that having said something -- there are no points and there is no moral victory for having said a certain string of words if it's not actually absorbed.
Be yourself. It's often obvious when you're trying on a persona, while I'm trying to get to know and understand you.
I often think about what this product or service looks like in a success scenario -- how is the world different? What does the world look like? Does this matter?
The community -- I love the diversity of people, experiences, and types of businesses they are drawn to. Given how much NYC has going on in terms of industries, you get a wide range of perspectives and talent. I'm positive about where we're headed -- we need more companies to go public here and stay independent, and this past 12-18 months has been a very positive step in that direction.