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Oct. 22, 2020

Elaine Russell (Greycroft) - The Future of Retail, How to Choose a Co-Founder, and Running a Single LP Fund

Elaine Russell (Greycroft) - The Future of Retail, How to Choose a Co-Founder, and Running a Single LP Fund

Our guest is Elaine Russell, who co-leads Greycroft's Albertsons Fund. Greycroft is one of the premier full lifecycle investors, investing out of both their venture fund and growth fund. Greycroft's Albertsons fund is one of their sidecar funds that focuses on the future of retail. Previously, Elaine was a Partner at PLG Ventures and was the Co-founder / CEO of Little Key in Chicago, an on-demand marketplace for parents to discover and book kids classes and activities.

A book that inspired Elaine is Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Here are some of the questions I ask Elaine:

  1. You’ve worked on both sides of the table as founder and operator and also as an investor. What were some of the learnings from when you were a founder? What attracted you to become a VC?
  2. You lead Greycroft’s Albertson’s fund. Talk to me about the structure of the fund and where the fund falls on the financial vs. corporate/strategic? How do you think about the future of retail?
  3. Seems like during COVID, there has been a huge pressure on grocery to innovate very quickly when it comes to ecommerce. What are some opportunities that you are excited about or how do you think about retail tech? Has COVID changed how you think about what the in store experience within grocery stores will look like? What are the milestones that an entrepreneur has to have achieved in order for you to be interested?
  4. What are some qualities within founders that you like to see? Has it been difficult to establish conviction within founders since you have to meet with them remote? In grocery tech, what has been the current fundraising climate? What’s one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital? What’s your most recent investment and what makes you excited about it?What’s one piece of advice to founders that are currently fundraising?