Greycroft Has Prescription for Vacancy: Hire Ellie Wheeler

Ellie Wheeler thought she’d be a doctor one day. Instead, she’s just become the newest member of the Greycroft Partners team in New York.

It’s been a circuitous journey.

After one semester at University of Massachusetts’ medical school, Wheeler, who’d majored in psychology at Georgetown University, realized she’d rather put her old finance classes to use instead.

A posting she discovered at Georgetown’s career site led her to her first job, as an associate at Summit Partners in Boston. Deciding she wanted to get close to the actual operations of a business, Wheeler’s next move two years later was to Cisco Systems, where she worked in corporate development, focusing mostly on enterprise software and collaboration.

Wheeler says she “loved the work.” Alas, the market crash of 2008 came in the midst of it. “It was very interesting to be a strategic” after that, she says, laughing.

A move to Harvard Business School came next, then a gig helping Chris Sacca with his firm, Lowercase Capital. (The two connected when Wheeler responded to a tweet of Sacca, who was seeking help at the time. Sacca, also a Georgetown alum, began working with Wheeler last August.)

Now, roughly two months after graduating from HBS, Wheeler may be on her way to becoming one of the few female partners in the venture capital industry. Specifically, she began work at Greycroft Partners in New York last month as a senior associate, after recently moving to the city.

“I was looking to be in New York and wanted to remain in this same very interesting area of digital media investing,” Wheeler said.

For now, Wheeler won’t be sitting on boards but rather bringing deals to the team, helping conduct due diligence on startups, and otherwise helping to nurture Greycroft’s portfolio companies from inception through their more mature phases. Presumably, if Wheeler fits in well with the rest of the Greycroft team—including founder Alan Patricof, New York-based partner Ian Sigalow, and Los Angeles-based partner Dana Settle—board seats and observer slots will come later.

Wheeler’s appointment comes two months after Marissa Campise, a principal at Greycroft, left to join Venrock as a vice president in its New York office.

Greycroft closed on a $130.7 million second fund last year, following a $75 million fund it raised in 2006.