"They understand that organic and iterative connection is where the magic happens."
Ann is the Founder of Patch Ventures, a private partnership to invest in, advise on, and incubate growth, operations, and marketplace technology products. Patch Ventures is primarily focused on efforts that provide economic opportunity and/or reduce information asymmetries.
Prior to founding Patch, she was the Director of Growth for the East Coast at Lyft, as well as the General Manager of the New York Area (New York State and New Jersey). She graduated from Penn/Wharton with a Finance degree (Bachelors of Science in Economics), and completed her Masters with a focus on Information Technology & Information Management Systems at Harvard’s Extension School. She is based in New York City.
Ann applied for the On Deck Fellowship (ODF) with the intention of gaining clarity and determining her next professional step.
Why she joined ODF:
After over 12+ years in tech or tech-enabled businesses (in Boston,SF, and New York) - including the past ~5 year at Lyft - I was ready to take some time off to consider a more entrepreneurial path. The first thing I knew would be important would be to continue to surround myself with talented and driven people. Since I was living in NY and most of my tech network was still in San Francisco, I was looking for good options. An old colleague of mine recommended a few networks, and On Deck was at the top of the list.
I decided to join the On Deck Fellowship and it was really fantastic. It was a mix of interesting people totally open to brainstorming and helping each other. On Deckt was just starting out and the community developed very quickly.
How On Deck has impacted her progress:
When I was coming into On Deck, I was trying to figure out: Do I want to be a founder? Do I want to be an investor? Basically, what do I want to do next? On Deck allowed me to make a lot of progress both tactically and also mentally. I realized through the program that I wanted to be a founder and maybe even build my own venture studio to enable more founders and be able to work on several exciting efforts at once.
I met so many people who had various experiences and were dabbling in all sorts of unique industries and ventures at various scales. It gave me the tools and support to launch Patch Ventures. It also allowed me to grow as an advisor, and later as an investor. I also love the community flywheels the On Deck team is creating to promote growth and I’m so impressed with the way that they are bringing a global network together.
On Deck has quickly propelled me to feel confident in making so many big decisions.
How Ann describes ODF:
On Deck is a benevolent group. People want to share information. On Deck does a great job of vetting and finding people with a deep desire to make an impact.
Who Ann thinks On Deck is perfect for:
Anyone who wants to keep creating and keep learning. At On Deck you will be surrounded by people who are open and willing to be resources. People that are action-oriented, but just need a community to support them.
What surprised her most about On Deck:
I’m always so surprised by the humility of everyone in the group. The network is hugely accomplished and brilliant and humble. I really value that.
Biggest highlight from ODF:
My highlight is definitely the very first On Deck in-person party. I was plucked to informally host a session that night without any preparation.
That’s really the nature of On Deck. It doesn’t push you to be overly prepared, but - rather - to understand how to evaluate and decide quickly, and be proactive in developing the right relationships. They understand that organic and iterative connection is where the magic happens. When you don’t think you’re “ready,” you’re often way more ready than you think you are. On Deck really reminded me of that.
"The level of helpfulness from founders who are further along than you and lived through the challenges you’re facing was above and beyond 99% of what I’ve found in other places."
"There is a general expectation that writing fellowships are very tactical. Those things are valuable, but the humanity of On Deck is what has supported me in my writing life moving forward."