"When I joined On Deck I reached out to Ellen and every other health care founder. I think our On Deck relationship was actually a slow burn; we first spoke sometime in the summer and didn't catch back up until the New Year.
I remember thinking, "Man, Ellen's working on some cool ideas." WellTheory's mission is super personal to me (my wife is actually one of our members). Ellen and I would have these long conversations, always going well over the allotted time. Everything was fair game and I love that Ellen had no issue with me being honest about my feedback, with challenging assumptions.
Over time, these Zoom calls became hikes we'd go in the Bay Area. I still remember when Ellen asked me to join WellTheory: I wasn't quite ready for a few more months but at some point, it just became clear to me that this was someone I wanted to (needed to!) partner with. The rest, as they say, is history." - Wallace Torres
"I was building WellTheory while I was in the third cohort of ODF. I was a solo founder and not actively looking for a co-founder. Some time afterwards, Wallace slid into my Slack DMs. We set up a coffee chat, and I remember how enthusiastic and energized he was. It's funny how these feel like dating stories ...nothing much happened from that initial call.
We wound up catching up a couple of months later. Wallace's wife has an autoimmune disease so I understood how passionate he was about what I was working on. He also gave me some really direct, kind of blunt advice in that call. From there, I started to really respect him and his opinion because he wasn't just agreeing with me. He was providing another way to look at the world. We formed a friendship. We both were living in the Bay Area at the time, so we would hike together and commiserate about founder life. It was on one of those hikes that I suggested he join me in WellTheory in an operations role. It took him a few months to wind down his company, but he ultimately gave me a call and said "When can I get started?" I gave him an offer within 24 hours. He didn't join under the guise of being a co-founder, but within a few months it was clear that he had an ownership mindset and we formalized his role as a third co-founder to me and Claire Rudolph." - Ellen Rudolph