Feb 10, 2022
Analyst Spotlight: Ally Batter
Investment Analyst, Winter 2020
What is your Palm Drive Capital journey and where are you now?
I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship after working for a health-tech company in London in the summer of 2018 and participating in numerous founder programs at Dartmouth. After seeing what it was like for a company trying to grow and acquire funding, I really wanted to experience the investor side. Looking at Palm Drive’s portfolio and speaking with Henry and the partners, I realized that Palm Drive was a great fit for me. I took an internship there during the winter of 2020, which was perhaps my most formative work experience yet.
I really value PDC’s motto of “innovation is everywhere” and took it upon myself to reach out to companies that might have been overlooked by other VCs, especially in sectors that I believe to be extremely prevalent right now: healthtech and the virtual wellness space. I liked Palm Drive because of the flexibility and mentorship that everyone at the firm provided,they all took the time to walk me through each step of the investment process. The small yet nimble team imbued me with a great sense of responsibility and ownership, something which I will carry on with me to my full-time job at Jefferies as a LevFin/Capital Markets analyst in NYC.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt working for Palm Drive?
During my time at Palm Drive, one of the most valuable lessons I walked away with was simple, yet often glossed over: the importance of valuing founders’ stories and making genuine relationships or connections. The best conversations I had and the most promising investment opportunities were derived from thoughtfulness and genuine human connection.
Palm Drive really focuses on creating meaningful relationships with founders instead of solely viewing the engagement as a transaction. This sentiment carried me forward through the internship, and I am still in contact with a few of the founders I spoke to during my time at Palm Drive. Through these contacts, I was even invited to a conference at the United Nations! The amount of knowledge and life experience that you can exchange with founders is valuable and limitless.
What was your most challenging experience?
My most challenging experience at Palm Drive occurred when I found one of my most promising investment opportunities yet, but ended up being “ghosted” by the company. The partners wanted to invest in this company as well, which made it even more personally disappointing. I spent weeks crafting different emails, calling company connections, utilizing LinkedIn, and even considered walking into their offices without an appointment. Ultimately, I was able to secure a call through connecting them with one of PDC’s portfolio brands that wanted to carry the brand in their stores. While their investment round ended up being full, much to my dismay, this experience proved to me that long-term perseverance and the laborious use of a variety of different strategies can ultimately pay off.
What you liked most about working at Palm Drive?
Put simply–the people! I really enjoyed the mentorship of my coworkers and getting to talk to new people and companies every day.