Jennifer Byrne – General Partner at Grit Capital Partners
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ūüéČ Thrilled to announce a significant milestone in my professional journey: stepping into the role of General Partner at¬†Grit Capital Partners¬†ūüéČ

This opportunity is not just a new role; it is building upon my prior role as Venture Partner and represents a profound commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the world forward, and I am honored to be a part of it.
Throughout my career, I have been driven by the power of #innovation and collaboration, the thrill of nurturing groundbreaking ideas as well as the impact of people and investments. Grit Capital is the culmination of this journey, allowing me to leverage my experience, insights, and passion in a space where we can foster real transformation and unlock the potential of creative and persevering entrepreneurs.

As an Angel investor and LP…. and throughout my career… at startups such as Hands-On Mobile, as an intrapreneur in Fortune 500 companies such as CBS Verizon and American Express and being an entrepreneur myself, launching Quesnay Inc. advisory + Female Founders in FinTech and InsurTech global accelerators (and most recently TheFFC (The Female Funders Club), I have always held an unwavering belief in the potential of founders, emerging technologies and business models.

Having originally joined Grit Capital as Venture Partner, it gave me the opportunity to better understand the mechanics of operating an early stage fund, the level of support entrepreneurs need and that Grit uniquely provides, and to make my first venture investment on behalf of the fund.

I look forward to collaborating with ambitious founders who are setting new benchmarks in their respective fields, and a team of partners who share a common goal: to build a future that is dynamic and boundlessly innovative, in particular in this era of artificial intelligence.¬† We thought ‚ÄúMobile‚ÄĚ was world changing for the¬†#financial¬†services,¬†#media¬†and¬†#commerce¬†industries‚Ķget ready

Here’s to the next chapter at Grit Capital:  the opportunity to make a significant impact while delivering outside returns to our investors, by working alongside these incredibly accomplished entrepreneurs/leaders/operators/investors: Paul Palmieri Michael Flannery РVenture, Talent, and Acceleration Matthew Bellows Topher Brewer

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Grant Nelick

Associate

Grant Nelick is an Associate at Grit Capital Partners where he focuses on supporting the Investment Team in identifying, evaluating, and supporting investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Grit, Grant was a Venture Capital and Growth Equity Analyst at StepStone Group (fka Greenspring Associates). While at StepStone, he gained exposure to direct, fund, and secondary investments across varied stages and sectors. Notably, Grant worked closely on the early-stage direct and emerging manager fund strategies. Beyond his professional role, he activ ely invests in, and advises early stage companies.

Grant earned his B.S. in Finance and Business Analytics from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He is based in New York City and Baltimore.

Topher Brewer

Partner & COO

Topher Brewer is a Partner at Grit Capital Partners. He leads capital formation and firm operations. Before embarking on the journey with Grit Capital Partners, Topher was the Chief Marketing Officer at ABR Capital Partners where he focused on capital formation, strategic marketing, and corporate development.

Topher’s professional journey is backed with invaluable experiences from notable entities, including Sands Capital Management, Facet, Brown Advisory, and Legg Mason. With a career spanning over two decades, he has been a stalwart collaborator for emerging investment sponsors, orchestrating strategies that propel exponential growth. Topher received his BA from Washington College. He lives in Baltimore, MD alongside his wife and two children.

Matthew Bellows

General Partner

Matthew is a General Partner at Grit Capital, investing in early stage companies across fintech, media and entertainment. Previously, he founded, led and sold three companies: a digital financial planning company called BodesWell (acquired by American Express in 2022), a pioneering sales enablement company called Yesware (Vendasta, 2022) and an early bet on the disruptive power of mobile games called WGR Media (CNET Networks, 2004). In addition, Matthew has served in executive roles at Floodgate Entertainment, CNET, Vivox, and American Express. Matthew earned his B.A from Naropa University and his M.B.A. magna cum laude from The Olin School for Business at Babson College. He is a long time practitioner and teacher of meditation, translating the power of mindfulness into modern daily life. He writes about startups, meditation, financial planning and cooking at bellowsand.co

Jennifer Byrne

General Partner

Jennifer Byrne is a General Partner at Grit Capital investing in companies in fintech, insurtech, and digital media. Jennifer has been an executive, venture investor, board advisor, and ecosystem builder in the media, telecom and financial services sectors for the past 20 years.

Jennifer co-founded Quesnay, a strategy and innovation advisory firm that delivered custom global startup accelerators with Fortune 50 companies in Financial Services, Technology and Media. Jennifer also launched the world’s first accelerator to source and support women-led fintech companies while facilitating mutually beneficial startup-corporate-investor relationships. Over 500 women-led startups have applied and been evaluated by 500+ industry leaders & investors, raising over $1.8B.

Before founding Quesnay, Jennifer served as VP, Business Development at American Express launching a digital payment service with global partners. At Verizon, Jennifer was Executive Director, Business Development & Partnerships where she was responsible for a $1Bn+ mobile applications & services P&L. She spearheaded Verizon’s innovation division, led 4G services launch, identified investment opportunities, and established industry-first mobile partnerships with Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Jennifer is a thought leader in fintech, and was named to the “Innovate Finance Powerlist” in 2020, 2019, & 2018 (+”Standout 35″), 2020 “NYC Inspiring FinTech Females”, 2021 “Female Founders Alliance Champions” & has been featured on the cover of AM Best and in American Banker, Nasdaq Tradetalks, FNO Insurtech podcast, Insurtech Connect, among others.

Jennifer is based in Santa Monica and New York, and is the co-cofounder of The Female Funders’ Club, the Duke University SoCal Career Chairwoman, and a mentor at TechStars. Jennifer is a graduate of Duke University and speaks Spanish, Italian, and French.

Kelly DeFelice

CFO

Kelly is a driven finance operator with over 15 years of experience working to build processes for companies from startup to IPO. Most recently she was running Sales Finance at Tastemade. Prior to that she spent seven years at Millennial Media working in various finance, chief of staff and sales operations roles, ultimately transitioning to Aol through acquisition. At Millennial she was heavily involved in IPO preparation and various M&A deals. Her areas of expertise include forecast and budget management, strategic sales planning, sales tool development, sales compensation and process development and improvement. She loves a good excel spreadsheet!

Jesse Leikin

Entrepreneur in Residence
Jesse is an entrepreneur and product leader with focused technical experience in ecommerce, analytics, and advertising technology. He has spent more than 15 years enabling digital business. He serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at Grit Capital Partners and leads the product team at Tradeswell. Having led development of SDKs and APIs for Millennial Media, AOL, Flurry and Verizon, tens of thousands of developers and platforms have used his products to manage their advertising and analytics solutions.

Mike Flannery

General Partner

Michael Flannery serves as both a General Partner at Grit Capital Partners, and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Redwood Partners and Redwood Technology Ventures. He focuses on technology investments in marketing technology, Fintech, and e-commerce. Some of his current investments include iFundWomen, Dubset, Alef, Measurence, and Jackpocket.

For over 20 years, Michael has advised global entrepreneurs, corporate executives and venture capitalists on strategic growth, talent strategy and executive search. Redwood Partners uses rich data and look alike success modeling to target and select talent for boards and executive operating roles. Since 2000, Redwood has operated an accelerator and has been successful making direct investments in seed-stage companies to compliment its deep experience in talent and venture development.

Michael is dedicated to the growth and acceleration of women entrepreneurs, and currently serves on the board of iFundWomen and the Female Entrepreneurs Fund. Michael is an alumnus and past Trustee of Cazenovia College. He splits time between New York City and Saratoga, NY where he resides with his wife and two children.

Paul Palmieri

Managing Partner

Paul Palmieri is the Managing Partner of Grit Capital Partners.  He focuses on data and AI based businesses in the areas of consumer software, marketing technology, media, and commerce. He currently serves on the boards of Niche and Incremental.

Mr. Palmieri is a successful entrepreneur in the internet space ‚Äď most notably in the digital media ecosystem. He is the founder and Chairman of Incremental, who has pioneered neutral measurement for the fast-growing retail media space.¬†¬†He was the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) from 2006 to 2014, the market leader in mobile adtech. He led the company from being the early revenue engine for the app economy to catapulting into the programmatic media space.¬†¬†In just 8 years, the company grew to 300M in annual revenue, operations on three continents, a successful IPO, and operation and growth as a public company (NYSE:MM).¬†

Earlier, he held management positions at Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Advertising.com (AOL), and Tessco Technologies (NASDAQ: TESS). He has been a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg Television, as an expert in user data, and the secular trend of mobile computing.

Palmieri is the former Global Chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association, and served on the board of the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). He has served as a national judge for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program, was a winner of the award in the technology category in 2011, and was named Executive of the Year in 2011 by the American Business Awards. Mr. Palmieri is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University. He is based in NY and Maryland.