Peterson Ventures Names Ilana Stern As General Partner

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 24, 2019
  • Peterson Ventures announced it named Ilana Stern as the newest general partner of the firm — who previously founded Weddington Way

Peterson Ventures announced it named Ilana Stern as the newest general partner of the firm. Previously, Peterson Ventures invested in Stern’s company Weddington Way (acquired by Gap Inc.) eight years ago. And with Stern’s arrival, Peterson Ventures has come full circle by bringing her on to invest in early-stage companies across the consumer and enterprise sectors.

Peterson Ventures’ roots are in Utah and Stern will be the firm’s first partner in San Francisco where she will oversee the firm’s Bay Area efforts. And Peterson Ventures is part of the Peterson Partners platform, which has over $650 million assets under management and has been headquartered in Salt Lake City for over 20 years.

“It’s an honor to join the Peterson Ventures team, and I couldn’t be more excited to formalize my role after angel investing over the last several years,” said Stern. “I am especially excited to work with the founders in the portfolio and help them with the challenges of entrepreneurship.”

The majority of Peterson Ventures’ investments are in Utah and Bay Area startups where founding partner Joel Peterson taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 25 years. Plus Peterson Ventures also invests in companies based out of key tech markets like Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.

After selling Weddington Way to Gap, she worked on the executive team. And then she became an active angel investor.

“As a firm, we strive to be a true partner to our entrepreneurs, to be their first call in good times and bad so that we can help to strategize on the path forward,” added Ben Capell, general partner at Peterson Ventures. “As a former CEO, Ilana has seen first-hand how we work, and she knows what it’s like to go from startup to exit. We are thrilled to have her join our investment team and help other entrepreneurs.”

Peterson Ventures is focused exclusively on early-stage investing into consumer and enterprise startups. And typically, the venture firm invests $250,000 to $1.5 million while also reserving follow-on capital for supporting growth. The portfolio that Peterson Ventures manages currently has nearly 100 companies. Some of the portfolio companies include Ethos, Allbirds, and Bonobos.

“When we decided to bring on a new partner, we knew Ilana was the perfect fit,” explained Joel Peterson. “We’ve known Ilana for over a decade, and we’ve loved backing her at Weddington Way. The way she approaches entrepreneurship aligns very strongly with our mission of helping great people build great businesses.”