Kelly is a tech industry executive turned growth equity investor. She leads the firm’s operations, investments in enterprise SaaS and fintech, and is the pioneer of our Edison Edge operating platform. Over the last eight years with the firm, Kelly has worked with more than 55 portfolio companies, been involved in 15 financings and has served as director of 11 companies. Kelly is active with her alma mater, Michigan State, serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Burgess Institute and on the advisory board for the University's Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance. She is regularly featured in business, investor and technology media, is an in-demand speaker at local and national events.
A 20+ year veteran of high-growth emerging and established B2B and B2B2C companies, Kelly is a technology optimist who has built her career on a passion for breaking new ground, having never held a role that someone held before her. She joined Edison in 2014 from SundaySky where, during her tenure, revenue grew 3X year over year, and she established the company as the leader in personalized video. In addition to her time at SundaySky, Kelly has held leadership positions at Operative, an Edison portfolio company sold to SintecMedia for $200M, and LivePerson (LPSN) where revenue doubled during her tenure. Prior to LivePerson, she started a wine venture, Oriel, achieving profitability in three years and doubling sales year over year. Kelly began her career in various roles at Lotus (acquired by IBM). She got the startup bug in 2000 when Ray Ozzie, the inventor of Lotus Notes, recruited her to Groove Networks, where she spent five years prior to the company's acquisition by Microsoft.
Bento for Business, Billtrust, Blue Medora (now observIQ), Emplify (now 15Five), ExecVision (now Mediafly), ItemMaster, Salsa Labs
Axial, Bento for Business, Billtrust, Blue Medora (now observIQ), Emplify (now 15Five), ExecVision (now Mediafly), GAN Integrity, ItemMaster, Kinetiq, Lawnstarter, Northpass, Salsa Labs, Suuchi, Terminus, Solutions by Text
BA, Michigan State University
My dad spent 34 years at Polaroid, the Ford family’s bread and butter, the subject of every dinner table conversation, and those cameras captured every childhood moment. We had a Polaroid camera collection, but they were all the same camera to me: clunky, instant, so-so photo quality. And when my dad spoke about his colleagues, they were all the same to me, too, because they all seemingly did the same job, readily switching shifts with one another to make Polaroid’s instant film. For me, Polaroid was not terribly interesting because of this perceived sameness. For my dad, Polaroid was all about stability and security – he valued this.
So when I took a position early in my career at IBM, dad was thrilled – big company, stable, secure. But when I’d go further to tell him about new departments, new products, newly-created roles, he’d caution against it. And when I left IBM for my first startup, he definitely questioned whether I was the daughter he raised. Twenty years later, I have never held a job that someone’s held before me (and dad has come around -- er, given up?). As a marketer, invention, experimentation, new technology categories, new markets, making things work, making things scale… this is what keeps me up at night and gets me up in the morning. And this is why I enjoy working with entrepreneurs and their teams along their journey to building market leadership and successful, differentiated companies.