Startup Investing: The Journey from Operator to Investor with Katie Shea, Managing Partner at Divergent Capital
Play • 25 min

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Katie Shea (@katiesheasays), Managing Partner at Divergent Capital, a first check investor for startups commercializing unique technological and scientific innovations coupled with a nontraditional business model beyond SaaS and enterprise. Katie has spent her entire career working with technology & internet startups as an entrepreneur, operator & investor. 

Prior to Divergent, Katie was General Partner at Kairos/K50. Before that, she ran a growth consultancy working with early-stage tech companies as an interim CMO/Head of Growth. Previously, Katie was the Head of Marketing at OrderGroove - an enterprise loyalty platform used by retailers including Walmart, CVS & L'Oreal. She joined as the ninth employee & was the first full-time marketing hire through the Series A and B.

Katie started her career by co-founding a manufacturing company from her NYU dorm room that was acquired in 2013. The company's best-selling brands were sold at Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Shopping Channel & thousands of global retail locations.

Katie has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, New York Daily News, BusinessWeek, Fox News, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Entrepreneur Magazine & more. She's an active angel investor and a well-known ecosystem builder who frequently brings together founders, angel investors & VCs.

Katie holds a BS in Finance & Marketing from NYU Stern and lives in NYC.

Website: Divergent Capital

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/katiesheanyc/

Twitter: @katiesheasays

Katie's Email: hello@divergenthq.com

Show Notes:

  • How Katie got into angel investing in 2014
  • Katie’s first investment with Bombas Socks
  • Katie’s advice for people hesitating to start investing in startups
  • The transition from operator to full time VC investor
  • Her experience with Kairos Society
  • How Katie identifies early talent
  • Building Divergent as an institutional multi-decade fund with Lucy Wang
  • Their experience raising a fund
  • Their approach to portfolio management
  • Why they stay under the radar with their digital presence
  • Playing to your strengths


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 300+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:
Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/


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