Will McClelland (Elizabeth Street) – The Changing of Retail on High Streets, How to Analyze Competitive Advantages, ROI on Consumer Companies

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Will McClelland is the Co-founder and Partner of Elizabeth Street Ventures, an early stage investment firm focused on the digital consumer and next generation brands that improve daily life. He is also the Co-founder of Bambike, a family business that builds bamboo bicycles and operates eco-tourism activities in the Philippines.

Prior to Elizabeth Street, Will was a Partner at Grace Beauty Capital, a family office venture portfolio focused on early stage consumer businesses. During his time as portfolio manager at Grace Beauty, he invested in ThirdLove, Harry’s , Rothy’s, Birchbox (sold to Viking Global).

One book that impacted Will personally is The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and one book that impacted him professionally is Pioneering Portfolio Management by David Swensen

You can follow Will on Twitter @data_01. If you are a founder and working on something innovative, have a question you’d like to hear VCs or founders answer on the show you can DM and follow the host @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.

On this episode you will learn – 

  1. What attracted Will to invest in startups and transition his career in investment banking and hedge funds to co-founding a bamboo bicycle company and early stage investing? When evaluating startups, does it help when you are the target consumer? How Elizabeth Street came together? Why consumer could be its own asset class?
  2. What’s the difference when having a family office as a partner rather than a venture capital fund? The growth expectations for consumer companies. How he looks at the DTC landscape currently and how the funding model has evolved? What Elizabeth Street’s check size? What qualities Will looks for in founders? What types of qualities does he look for in a founder?
  3. When should a founder know when they have found product-market fit? How Will thinks about market sizing. How he thinks about investing in digitally native brands today when online marketing and online customer acquisition costs are becoming so expensive? Consumer trends that Will is focused on.
  4. One thing Will would change about Venture Capital?

If you would like to follow along you can click “Subscribe” on the Apple podcast app or whichever platform you are listening on. If you enjoyed the episode, feel free to also leave a review. You are also to see all episodes here and learn more at www.theconsumervc.com and follow Mike on Twitter or Instagram

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