Elaine+Russell

Elaine Russell — Albertsons Fund & Greycroft

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Elaine recently joined Greycroft to co-lead the Albertsons Fund, a $50M fund investing into the future of retail.

The Albertsons Fund (ACI Fund) is investing with Greycroft’s core fund $2-6M into Series A or seed companies that are redefining the future of retail.

 

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I’m here with Elaine Russell today. She is one of the leaders of the $50M dollar Albertson’s fund. David is not with us, which is a little risky because no one to kick me under the table. And I could talk to Elaine for a long time anyways. Albertsons Fund is this new ish, relatively new fund that’s part of Greycroft and very excited to hear about that.

But also before that, you are a partner at PLG, which is Peter L. Goldberg Seed Fund here in L.A. And not surprisingly, the Albertsons Fund is focused on the future of retail, which you’ve been doing in different capacities. But even since your time at JP Morgan, as I understand it anyways. Elaine, thank you for being here.

I’m so glad that we’re now just around the corner from each other. How long have you been at great craft now?

Thank you for having me. Many. It’s fun to be here. I have been at Grey Croft since the beginning of December, so just a short while now.

Got it. But the fund predates you by like a year or so. Correct? Correct. So obviously, Gray Croft has been around for a while.

And about a little over a year ago, Gray Croft formed this separate really sidecar fund backed by Albertson’s grocery retailer Sidecar Fund is what you just called it.

Yeah. What’s the sidecar fund? Well, it is a it is a fund. That is it sits alongside the typical Gray Kropf fund. So we have a gray Kraft. Our traditional core fund, which is a 250 million dollar fund, really focused on series A investments. We have a growth fund which is focused on later stage investments, really starting at series B. And then we have the Albertsons Fund, which is more industry focus, right?

I left is because, yes, of course you’ve got a regular fund. You’ve got a growth fund. Most people have that. And then you’ve got an Albertson’s fund. Yeah.

Which is, you know, I think fondly we call it the Albertsons Fund or the HCI fund. But really it’s a an industry focused, focused fund focused on the future of retail that happens to be backed by Albertsons and has, you know, a major strategic asset in the back of our pocket that we work very closely with them. Oh, the strategic asset for great growth.

Because tell me about that relationship in terms of if Greg Kraft is looking at an investment, not necessarily out of the Albertsons funds, you know, how does that kind of relationship. Tell me about the asset in the back pocket. Yeah.

So, you know, great. Kraft in general looks at I think we I think the statistic which is similar to probably other large venture funds, but over 5000 companies a year come come through our doors. And when it makes sense for our industry focus, we would look at this both through an Albertson’s fund to lend and also through a great Croſs lens. Any deal that we do is really has to make sense first at a great profit level.

Just a venture venture capital perspective first. But once we make that decision that it does make sense and it’s something we want to move forward on, we’re able to collaboratively work with Albertsons to add value to each one of our portfolio companies. That’s right.

Yeah. It’s a very close relationship, right. Between I mean, because I keep saying, oh, you’re at great Kraft, but you’re. Yeah. I am a great Kraft. We have two investment committees. So I sit on the traditional investment committee for Gray Kraft.

But we’ve also developed a another investment committee, which we meet every Friday. And that is. So I’m the co-lead of the of the fund, along with Ian Ciccolo, who’s also the co-founder of Grey Kraft to him. And I sit on the investment committee with the Albertsons team as well. Technically, they have one seat on that investment committee that we invite anybody from their team to be a part of that call every week. And also, I should note that Albertsons is majority owned by Cerberus, a private equity firm.

So we also have someone from Cerberus join as well.

So I got it above him. Great. I can ask you all about the Albertsons Fund and the city on the Great Craft Investment Committee.

So just to stay focused on Albertsons, though, what are the main things you guys are looking to invest in? Is a 50 million dollar fund. So sort of what size? Check in one of the main money. What are the what interests you?

All right. So on our. You’re writing a million dollar check into deals, though, majority of the time Gray Croft will also co-invest. So I would say that on average are our total check, which to an entrepreneur they would what’s meaningful is really just the full check. It’s not necessarily which fund it comes from because we’re all the same same team. So on average, where we’re looking at two to six million dollars of capital and still a series A and seed n._c.

Yeah. So if someone’s doing a 2 to 4 million seed, I mean, seeds are kind of crazy now. And so if they’re doing that size of a seed, know is something that we could certainly lead and we can scale on to. You know, on average our check is a million dollars.

We can write a $500000 check just as easy.

But I didn’t realize that most of the time.

The model is that both Albertsons and Greg Kraft invest. Correct. Got it. Learning so much already thank you. What are you guys looking for to invest in there?

And the reason that we do that, I’ll step back. Yeah, I get it. The reason that we do that is because, you know, if this is a deal, kind of what I mentioned before, if if this is a deal that’s interesting enough for Gray Kraft, it should be an interesting enough for the Alverson Fund and vice versa. So there shouldn’t be a deal that is interesting on one side and not the other. Since we’re looking at it from a venture lens, regardless, we would we should want to put capital from both funds into any deal we do.

Okay. And yeah. So, you know, it’s on average a million dollars from the Albertsons Fund. And we’re looking to get anywhere between 5 and 10 percent ownership on that Albertson’s stake. And what are the areas of focus?

So right now we have three high level areas that we have outlined. The first one is really and all of them really sit under the umbrella of the future of retail. The first area is consumer experiences. So how are consumers going to shop in the future? What is commerce look like and how can we enable that? The the second part and that can be an example I use is maybe what is the next Instacart if Instacart revolutionized how people grocery shop eight years ago or something?

What is next? It does not have to be in food. And Bev. Retail broadly.

But won’t the future. Will I still will. Will people still go to the supermarket? I don’t think we will see.

But I don’t think that the bricks and mortar grocery store model is going to completely go away anytime soon. I think that it will be re-imagined and reinvented.

Let’s reimagine it. Help me reimagine. OK, so I go to the store.

This will happen under two different models. One, I think, you know, part of it, you’re talking about traditional grocers and how they might change. And that’s going to be really different when you compare it to new entrants and new grocery models that will enter off-line as well. One will be a little bit more innovative than the other.

But but a couple of themes that I think will happen over time is I think the theme of convenience and the theme of walking into a store with something on your mind, most likely a recipe and caring about local natural ingredients to make that recipe. And in most categories, not all categories, but most categories carrying even less about brand, more about ingredients. And so, you know, the some of the outcomes of those themes are our stores are creating ways to enable shopping by recipe.

Brands that are enabling retailers to do more around owned brands around there. They’re white label products and private label and stuff like that. And, you know, you can see it now at Target. You walk in many different stores. And actually Trader Joe’s Joe’s sort of pioneered this whole philosophy around private label brands. But you walk into a target today and it’s it’s kind of hard to even tell which ones are there, private label brands. They’re well branded.

They’re healthy or you know what? Whatever category you’re looking at. They’re speaking to the consumer in a great way, but OK.

But I haven’t walked into Target, so somebody I can’t really examine walked into a target is they also deliver. So but I’ll still walk in and will I still.

Will it be enabled by my phone? You know, as in myself to look for things in a store.

Recently, I’ve never been in Target.

But I get a lot of stuff from, you know, I guess. OK. Some some other trends that will happen sooner rather than later. Cashier list checkout. That’s happening. You know, you can Amazon go stores. That’s that’s happening already. The question is, who’s going to do that in a way that actually works?

There’s a lot of noise in that space right now as well.

Assortment, merchandising, all this what we automated, everything’s going to be fed by data. And, you know, I do think that for the most part, a lot of consumers, not everybody. You know, there’s for the most part, consumers still want to have some sort of experience where they’re picking the banana that they want when they’re in the store or whatever it might be.

But delivery, it’s a massive theme. It’s great. Craft was an investor and ship to which was purchased by Target next door, next day delivery, same day delivery. All of that will will happen. And is almost a table stakes at this point.

And is that how how does everyone think about that in relation to Amazon? If I’m if that’s a fair question, like do you think of like Amazon does all these things so like the cashless checkout.

And so everyone else needs the capabilities.

We just look at everything that Amazon’s doing, build business around that or it wouldn’t be the best. No, it wouldn’t be the worst starting point, I would say.

But, you know, they’re there. They are setting the terms with the customer at this point. You know, they are. They have such scale that they can do things that maybe financially don’t make sense today and build these consumer expectations around them.

And does this matter as much? Is it different? If I’m talking about me, Albertsons is a grocery store. Right. And Amazon is not as strong in grocery.

Right. Or what is what is kind of what do people think about Amazon in grocery right now?

Yeah. I think that’s correct. I think, you know, there’s Whole Foods, which is still a well-regarded. You know, I think a lot’s changed since they were acquired by Amazon, but they’re still a leading grocery chain for sure.

But I think that that’s maybe even an example where, you know, Amazon is investing in online grocery business. It is. Grocery is not going to go away. Being in person and grocery, you might not shop in Target or go into the malls anymore or any stores be probably still set foot in a grocery store once in a while.

So it’s one of these areas that actually is, in our mind, a little bit protected from online. I think there’s a lot of online capabilities that can be additive to the grocery experience. But and, you know, Instacart is an example of that. But I don’t think that the experience of buying your groceries in a store is going to be completely replaced anytime soon.

OK. But we’re going to shop for recipes. Why?

Why is that true now that people are shopping for recipes, but they didn’t as much 20 years ago?

One, I think that the the whole revolution around meal kits changed a lot of the thinking and consumer behavior in homes, starting in homes.

So all of a sudden, you know, people aren’t looking for they want less waste. They want. They were taught how to cook now really well through blue apron or plating or any of these items.

I don’t know how to cook. I’m really I’m very I went to Google during my formative years and I got three meals a day.

Anyways. It it’s even if even if you’re not cooking, you’re you’re buying targeted things. Do you know what you want a little bit more. And you don’t want to just stock your entire refrigerator full of things that you may or may not use.

And so it is a little bit more targeted shopping. And so that’s one way to think about how you can walk and. Sure, and but it all comes back to just convenience again. Oh. Nobody wants to walk up and down every single aisle and go shopping. But if you have if you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can go into a grocery store.

So I always is. I need David here to kick me on the table. As I said, you said there were three areas of focus and one was sort of convenience and the consumer experience.

Consumer experience. Yeah. The second is software that’s enabling retailers. And this is more on the B2B side. But this can be anything from logistics, transportation, waste management, workforce automation, sustainability. Any of these different pillars that are very important to a large retailer. Anything that Albertson’s could potentially be a client of in some capacity. You know, we have a unfair advantage in the sense that we can we have a direct line with the business units at Albertsons where we can talk to them, pick their brain on what’s working, what’s not working, where the pain points, where are they spending a lot of their capital and where where do they see?

You know, just areas in their business that need innovation. So we take a lot of that back and we’re able to feed a lot of our investment decisions using that, not to mention once we make an investment, we can hopefully help the portfolio company by by giving them additional business as well.

Right. So Albertson’s will be their customer if it makes sense. This is not how we 100 percent it’s not guaranteed. It’s not how we make our investment decisions per say. But but yeah, when, when and if it makes sense. That’s a great outcome of our investment thesis.

So and how big is Albertsons vs.. You know, I don’t really know the space all that well. How big is Albertsons versus, you know, a Whole Foods versus whoever else are in that top tier?

Yeah. So the largest grocery retailer in the United States is Kroger. The second is Albertsons. And you know, there’s they own Safeway down Von’s. They own a bunch of different brands that you probably see on a day to day basis.

Pavilion’s is Albertsons. Yeah. Yeah, that’s it.

So, you know, it is a big portfolio of of brands.

And they, again, I said are owned by Cerberus today.

And then going back to your question of the three areas. The third is at DTC brands.

So we will invest. In, you know, brands direct to consumer brands. Ideally, brands that have a large white space around them. Omni channel capabilities. I like to tell people, though, I’m not a fortunately or unfortunately I’m not a buyer for Albertsons. So we’re not, you know, looking at every consumer packaged good company out there that may make sense to be on Albertsons. Shelves are a lot of great brands out there that fit that bill.

We are still looking for a tech enabled businesses of some sort.

It’s DTC means do direct to consumer, and that’s usually the manufacturers direct to the consumer. So in that mean, almost they don’t need the Albertsons.

Yeah. But yes. And so, you know, we look at it as more of a complement to Albertsons business model. That being said, I think a lot of DTC brands today, it’s only a matter of time that it’s an omni channel presence, at least the ones that are working really well, which means they would have e-commerce, their own own channel, which is their e-commerce channel, probably many partnerships in place and probably either today or in the future some sort of wholesale capabilities with retailers like an Albertson’s or who who are.

It doesn’t even have to be Albertsons, but with Target or Whole Foods, whoever it may be.

And what is it? What do you how do you know that someone has a lot of white space around their brand?

You know, this this is probably more of a traditional venture capital answer for you. But, you know, we’re looking at large industries that, you know, are ripe for disruption. And, you know, have we?

There are a few industries that I think we have a lot of insights from Albertsons. But in general, you know, currently we’ve made bets around beauty. We’ve made bets around pets, babies, family. And then there’s kind of smaller areas. But this is where we think there’s even bigger white space in terms of less competitors or maybe a newer industry, new theme, new trend, food as medicine, microbiome, areas like that.

Interesting. Got it. So those those are your three areas. Yep. OK. I’m positive. I think my next question. Is there something else interesting on Albertsons?

I really need to cover above a.

I mean, I think the other thing maybe is a little bit like I think maybe around. Corporate venture. That’s actually what I was gonna say, CVC M&A. How this is different. A little bit. OK. So those are three areas of focus.

Is there also sort of a component where it’s set up kind of like a regular CVC, where there’s an aspect of integration with what the product teams are doing and looking at this as sort of an R&D or an M&A potential?

Yeah. So I think one thing that really differentiates us from more traditional corporate venture would be that. And I think to Albertsons credit, you know, they they came to great craft first with this idea and concept because they knew they needed to be involved with more innovation even from the beginning, all the way through the M&A at the end.

But they wanted to do it correctly. And so the way that we look at this is we have a fund set up, which our number one priority is financial returns.

Just as if we are a traditional venture capital firm, that the secondary benefits that can come out of this is that for Albertsons, they can they can watch and learn from our portfolio companies. They can have early access or early insights into M&A opportunities. But that’s not how we’re making our decisions from day one. We’re making our decisions based on what are the best companies out there that we think are going to produce an outsized returned and.

You know, those it sort of feeds a spit of a circle there where those are the businesses that probably Albertson’s should be interested in anyways. But that’s the the mindset that we have when we are investing vs. first leading with M&A or leading with innovation. And, you know, I think it really benefits the entrepreneur as well, because at this stage we’re looking at them, which was usually a seed or maybe series a stage. You know, they’re looking for partners that can help them.

They are given access to the entire Reycraft platform, which entails, you know, services around sales, around marketing, around hiring, certainly around fundraising, future rounds. But we have an entire platform dedicated to help our entrepreneurs building their companies. And then they also get the added benefit of having Albertsons sitting on the sidelines, ready and willing to help a direct line into the decision makers at the company when and if it makes sense for their company.

But it kind of comes with the best of both worlds without any promises around what a lot of other corporate venture funds are focused on.

So that’s a little bit how it is, how it is different with some of the same value add.

Right.

And that’s kind of why I say sometimes that you’re my friend who just joined. Greg Kraft around the corner because you’re really part of great Kraft now, which I’m interested in.

You know, it’s it’s sort of new for you. It’s interesting to me. So has there been anything? You know, first four months on the job, few months on the job.

Has the platform experience been different than you expected in any way? I think you’re just talking about. Yeah, I think a few areas that is new to me and actually just pretty amazing.

One would be definitely the breadth of services we offer on our platform to our entrepreneurs.

Having been a entrepreneur in the past, you know, I know that picking your investors is an incredibly important decision that you should be making.

And in today’s day and age, when capital is more readily available, I would say in some in some cases, you know, it really does. It really does matter to have investors that are that are really adding value.

But like, what’s a good example of of a service, they grow crops offering that you’ve seen move the needle or you’ve been impressed by.

Yes. So we we’ve actually hired an entire platform team, I think, in the last couple of years now. So this is newer to the great craft offering.

But we have multiple very experienced ex CEOs, memos of public companies leading our platform team internally. So part of a great craft team. And they are focused on. I mean, they will sit down with our portfolio companies and on weekly calls, strategizing around org structures and hiring and firing and go to market sales strategies, digital marketing campaigns, anything in that in that world, I would say like the sales org structure and marketing world, we’re extremely strong and we also have a full time person on the team focused on business development efforts.

So we have hundreds of Fortune 500. There’s only 500 of them, but Fortune 500 companies on our roster of just who we work with on a regular basis. So who we can introduce to our to our founders and help make partnerships happen. And, you know, Albertsons is sort of an elevated version of that to some extent.

And I mean, I think the other thing that I’ve seen and now experienced firsthand is just sort of for lack of a better word, the capital machine. I’d say, you know, helping our companies fundraise. It is at the end of the day, a lot of it is a relationship game still.

And so the team is. Is very good at that. And helping our companies get access to capital. Absolutely. How about just now that your. You said you go to the investment committee, right?

For for Greg Hoffe main fund or whatever it’s called. Yeah.

You know, how does that. What can you share about. Does everyone vote? Do you vote? Is it a closed voting system? Is it. Do you vote before discussing?

Like what are the words setting up our processes here? I’m always eager to learn.

Yeah. Yeah.

If if we are looking at a company and investing in a company at the series, a level or above or really I should say, if it’s going to be over a million dollar check out of the great Kraft Core Fund, then the company does need to come in and present at a Monday meeting.

The entire investment committee. And that entails usually an hour, an hour and a half long presentation after which they will leave. And we do all vote. You know, I think a really a learning point for everybody that has been on the team or it for for myself, joining the team has just been the way the discussions have usually roll out after a company presents.

So typically people vote and then we discuss it and we look at the votes and where they are, where they end up. And, you know, it’s it’s very. Interesting to see. Be interesting. Interesting to see. The discussions, everybody has very strong opinions. And I think if you sit in on a first meeting, you might be a little bit. Set back by that or think that maybe people are disagreeing with each other.

But what what I’ve learned is that it really is extremely constructive. We all it is an environment where everybody is encouraged to speak their mind and speak their opinion, whether or not that might be a popular opinion or not. You will see every single person at some point after some meeting have an unpopular opinion and still speak that opinion. And you will see everybody chime in with their thoughts around it. And instead of becoming this really abrasive discussion, it really turns into a constructive discussion around what we think.

And for the most part, everyone’s comments bring some light onto the the the company at hand. And for the lead partner, whoever is working on the deal at the time gives them a lot of things to think about and either questions to go back to the company with or clarity.

And there’s a lot of people around the table.

Right.

Because you have the L.A. and the New York office at the same time, correct?

We always are on Zuma and conferenced in on video conference with both.

Both teams got the other unique ish thing about Greek life, Greek syndicates.

A lot of their deals, all their deals, like it seems like there’s a lot of times such as Albertsons and great Kraft collaborating, but they’ll have a lot of co-investors.

Yeah, I wouldn’t say every time, but. Yeah.

I mean, you know, it’s not all the time that we can take the entire deal, but we do like to be the first firm that gives a term sheet to a company and we like to have conviction.

So we are conviction based investors if we have conviction about a company. We like to lead the round. And with that, we will bring in other co-investors with us that we think would be the right co-investors for that particular company.

How many investments do you think you’ll do in a year from Albertsons? The goals is twelve. Wow, that’s fast. That’s a lot. Yeah. You’re busy. Yeah. Oh, good for you. The goal is.

Well, we’ll see. I mean, you know, sort of always depends on environment and what sort of companies come our way.

But, you know, we are we’ve made 16 already on the verge of 17. And yeah, plans to do probably, you know, give or take 10 more this year.

Cool. I’m interested in like what’s what is you know, what is exciting? What is the future of retail?

Like cool. People still know how to cook. You said yes, right? I mean, still. I know.

I live with my mother.

I didn’t know that. My mom cooks for me. And your drink ends?

Yeah. Yeah. My husband also cooks. Well, see, you have a lot of cooks in the family. You don’t need to cook. You have a lot of cooks in the family.

What else is interesting in the future? I saw who just came out with like membership for coffee.

Someone did maybe a lot of coffee innovation lately. Actually were we’re also looking at a company in the coffee space right now that’s more around innovative IP, around coffee. But how do you.

What does that mean? A different form of delivering coffee?

I guess I would say, okay, I don’t need to probe too much. Okay.

But I think going back to your question, will people cook for as much as I see around groceries and shopping because of my partner? We also do see I don’t want to kind of lead you astray like we do see a lot of businesses focused around, you know, kind of jumping over a lot of the hurdles in the cooking process.

So, you know, conduction based ovens that are you subscribe to meals and, you know, it’s sort of an elevated meal experience where you pop something in a specific oven for ten minutes on your meal is ready. We’ve looked at those businesses that are selling into into corporations, to their employees to subsidize employee meals, etc.. Yeah.

And so, you know, there there is a lot of. Innovation just around meals in general, I think meal kits, I think, you know, the unit economics we’ve learned are tough in that model and the public markets have agreed with that. But after that explosion around innovating, I think there’s been a lot of byproducts that have actually really made sense. Frozen is a big. Popular space right now innovating on not only just the frozen aisle in the grocery store, frozen historically has not gotten much, much love or much innovation.

Today, there’s a lot of people and companies focus on that aisle, but also direct to consumer. So we’re where an investor and a company, halmos Mosaic, which is, um, you know, pre-prepared meal kit or I should say kit, a meal that is delivered, but it’s frozen. And so the idea is that frozen is substantially more fresh, healthy and and obviously stays a lot longer. Shelf life is a lot higher when it’s in the freezer than majority of other meal kits as well.

So frozen is fresher because, well, it’ll stay a lot longer.

Right. So if you can if you can freeze. And the the process of freezing people have changed a lot recently, too. So flash freezing and doing things a little bit differently have changed the quality of frozen foods. So what you might think of as like a I think like a TV dinner.

Yeah. Yeah. Is is a lot different today. Good. Good. Good for me I guess. Yeah.

So that’s I’m saying, you know, you don’t have to learn out of. There’s other things happening.

Got it.

And a lot of these also are these models where I am subscribing to a service that is sort of delivering this all for me.

Yeah. Yeah. Great.

What else do people know about about this new arrangement, about this fund, about the future of retail?

You know, I think that if we’re going to be to elaborate on just be the areas that we’re looking at.

A couple other really interesting spaces that are you could probably fit them into one of those three verticals that I talked about.

But maybe it deserves its own. I’m not sure. But is around the food tech world.

I would say it’s not somewhere that we’ve historically looked too deeply at because it’s not software driven.

But for this specific fund and for our distribution capabilities, I think it makes sense. So we have, you know, the the obvious examples of the food tech world are beyond an impossible. There has been in the last even year, let’s say a number I mean, a lot of additional innovative companies sprouting from either plant based, cell based different technologies.

And so and some of them still in the alternate protein space, such as impossible and beyond, but also outside of that as well.

How do you personally like do you sort of have a mission to this at all?

Do you care where the future goes in terms of the world as being a healthier place, especially our country seems like?

I think there’s two there’s two things that I care a lot about, which I think does drive a lot of of these topics.

And a lot of the innovation today is one is sustainability.

Even though I’m probably not the most sustainable person that you would ever find or come across, especially here in L.A., you know, I have more Midwestern roots and whatnot.

So I’m.

But I don’t think that you would find many people that say they don’t care about the environment or they don’t want to be sustainable if given the choice. I think that’s what’s really important, is that I would like to have environmental choices that don’t come at the cost of quality or taste or anything like this. So, you know, I think it’s really important when we’re looking at more sustainable options, whether that be in food or even other products, that they either are still really work or they still taste good.

Otherwise, they’re not. It’s it’s not going to spread and it’s not going to succeed. The other thing that I do care a lot about and probably similar to yourself. I’m definitely summer to you.

I’m a mom of three, but probably similar to you. I. I’m lacking time. I don’t have enough time in the day or in my week or in my month to get everything done that I’d like to do and spend quality time with my kids or my family or whatever it might be.

And so convenience is absolutely key. And I don’t know totally if that’s going to come 100 percent online. Sometimes it takes me longer to online, you know, get my groceries or whatever it might be than it does just to walk in a store really quickly. But but convenience iterating around, how can I just get things done faster and more efficiently without sacrificing quality or or price too much?

I’ll pay up a little bit for for convenience, but it’s a it’s something I’m extremely passionate about.

And I think that it’s a it’s a major driver for.

For purchasing across consumers everywhere, but especially the female consumer who is the head of a household most likely and is making majority of our purchasing decisions today.

Yeah. One more personal question then. How do you decide what to say? Yes. To what to say no to whether that’s a pitch or just a volunteering at the school?

I’m still learning and I’m still trying to get better at that. I think that I will say one thing that helped is moving from moving to a industry focused fund from a more generalist fund has allowed me to say no to a lot more because it’s just not in my area of my scope of the fund.

So that’s been nice. And so, you know, outside of that, I’m still I’m still figuring that out. I’ve tried more and more to to say no when I can. But but I love. I was an entrepreneur. I love talking with entrepreneurs.

And, you know, just especially, I enjoy in-person meetings because they think there’s an energy to people that is just. That’s why we’re in this business. And so. I still enjoy what I do. So I you know, I tried to do as much of that as I can, but. But then I balance that with having two kids in school and one and a baby at home. And, you know, and and being present, too, you know.

Well. Well. Right. Yeah. Exactly. Well if you if you if you figure that out.

Oh my goodness. Right.

Great. Elaine, thank you so much. It’s nice to see you. Nice to see you, too. Thanks for taking the time to be on the podcast. Thanks for having me. It’s great. All right, then.

Wonderful. Yeah. I don’t know. There was nothing obvious that I really want to get out there.

So we record over those sort of events at night. Is it. Yeah, that was great. Great. OK.

Yeah. Thanks for doing it. Yeah. Oh, please. I don’t know if you wanted to be more like more. I don’t know. I I feel like I tried to be open. But I also know I didn’t want anyone. You know, I want to draw the spotlight. Give me the inside scoop on who I don’t like. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it. I don’t think there was any. No, I don’t think so either.

No, no, no, no, no, no. Not at all. No, I really liked it. I mean, I could have been more controversial.

But yeah, of course I do. You don’t have microphones. Yeah. Yeah. Glass of wine. No microphones. It’s more. Yeah. Yes. We can talk about your partnership. My partnership. The people in L.A.. Oh, my God. My last podcast, guys. When I did this morning, I interviewed Michael Stoppelman, who did 50 Angel Investments last year. Just crazy. That’s a lot like that means you’re a prolific angel with.

Yeah, I know. Well, he sends me a lot. Yeah. Good. I need to get him set anymore. Whatever. I mean he’s in big stuff but he’s cool. Yeah he is. I’ve known him for a hundred years. So have you. I was like a lightning round. I to say the name of the local ABC. You said the first word that comes there.

It’s like, oh, my God, it’s so great.

Mark’s sister is insecure. Is not part of I guess it’s not so funny.

What for some other good ones.

We didn’t really care. Oh, we got going. No one’s faking it. Did you see my name? No. I was joking around with him. Thanks for. Thanks for doing it. Yeah. No, thank you. OK. So most you guys work. Where do we overlap? Yeah, I’ll get somewhere near you. I am going on a lot of it. OK. So I search for Gary Graff and I’m the attendee list just to see how it’s going.

Melissa. Dana? She’s not going. OK, I’m going. Are you just going to have tonight? Not. I think I registered. I mean, I definitely registered, but I. I mean, maybe Idaho ever since.