In the early stages, a startup business can be very stressful. There are so many things to consider, and funding is usually at the forefront. Peterson Ventures, based in both Utah and the Bay Area, specializes in funding for early stage ventures, and they’ve recently welcomed partner Ilana Stern, former CEO and founder of Weddington Way. This new partnership holds excitement and promise as Stern comes full circle with Peterson Ventures.
In the final stretch of graduate school, Stern started Weddington Way, a bridal shopping platform that worked to connect bridal parties and give access to all things wedding. Peterson Ventures was involved in funding from the early stages, and Stern looks back on her interaction with Peterson with fondness. "There’s something really special about the early investors who bet on you and take a leap of faith with you. I loved working with Peterson from the beginning. They have a very founders-first and human approach to how they interact with entrepreneurs." said Stern.
Weddington Way went on to celebrate huge success, and Stern eventually sold to Gap Inc. in 2016. Since then, she has been highly involved in the startup community. Mentorships, investing, and involvement in founder networks has helped her develop a passion for businesses in the early stages. Peterson Ventures deals exclusively with early stage investing, so for Stern a partnership seemed like a perfect fit.
Although Stern will stay in the Bay Area, she’s excited to get involved in the Utah community and help Utah companies in their startup stages. Joining Peterson Ventures is almost a "pay it forward" experience for her- to help others in the way she herself was helped. When asked what her number one goal is, she said, "I want to be a great partner to founders in their pursuit of making a dent in the world of the business they’re building."
"As a Peterson Ventures Partner, Stern will cover early stage consumer and enterprise, with a focus on founders building the next generation of consumer technology and brands, as well as the B2B infrastructure that powers them. Peterson Ventures believes that Stern will play a crucial role in helping founders scale while navigating the ups and downs of the journey." (Peterson Ventures, press release October 17th, 2019)
Peterson Ventures has been based in Utah for over 20 years with a portfolio of close to 100 companies and over $130M in assets under management. Bringing Ilana Stern to the team brings more entrepreneur opportunities to Utah, adding to the budding startup scene in the beehive state.
For more information about Peterson Ventures, visit their website and connect @PetersonVenture.