Gale Wilkinson, managing partner of Vitalize Venture Group

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For Gale Wilkinson, the managing partner of Vitalize Venture Group, past business failures are a key part of helping her portfolio founders succeed.

“I can share my mistakes with founders,” Wilkinson said. And there have been plenty of willing students: Vitalize has funded over 70 founders, investing about $50 million in seed-stage startups since Wilkinson founded the firm in 2012.

Wilkinson’s journey into venture capital wasn’t linear.

With a degree in marketing, she began her career consulting for consumer-packaged-goods companies before landing a strategy role at travel website Orbitz. She bootstrapped a side hustle in those years, an education-technology startup called WhatCollegeForgot. She worked on it during nights and weekends, but it never took off.

While getting her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, she started her second business, a human-resources tech startup called HireBrite. That one fizzled, too.

But Wilkinson never despaired and never slowed down. She founded Vitalize Venture Group in 2012, originally called IrishAngels, an angel-investing network affiliated with Notre Dame, where she was an adjunct instructor teaching early-stage investing. And she found her stride.

“It really happened at the right place and at the right time,” Wilkinson said of Vitalize, which she considers her third business.

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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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