Kathryn O’Day has spent more than a decade helping grow some of Atlanta’s biggest startup successes. Now, she’s joining the Atlanta Ventures team to help invest in the next generation of founders coming out of the city and the region.
O’Day, a self-described “proud Atlantan,” went to college in New England before returning in 2008 to join a fast-growing Atlanta-based startup, Pardot.
“I’d like to think that I had the foresight to know about [Pardot’s growth]. But really, I was happy to have a job,” O’Day smiled as she told Hypepotamus about her early days at Pardot.
She was employee #9 and the first team member on the customer success team.
The team grew to over 100 people by the time O’Day left in 2015 to join another Atlanta-based startup, Rigor (acquired by Splunk in late 2020). She served as COO for the performance management software company until early 2019.
While she had helped scale two Atlanta success stories, O’Day told Hypepotamus that she wanted to get experience on ‘day zero’ with a startup. That opportunity came when she joined the founding team of the sales promotion platform Drum.
In late 2020, she reconnected with David Cummings and started talking about what it would be like to pivot into the investing world. “I had worked with David at two other companies, and he is awesome to work with. He really cares about people and culture.”
O’Day is bringing her wealth of startup knowledge and her deep empathy for early-stage teams to Atlanta Ventures, a firm whose previous investments include Calendly, SalesLoft, Terminus, and LeaseQuery.
“You’re working with amazing entrepreneurs to help them maximize their impact. And it’s really fun to come in early with those teams,” O’Day said.
O’Day said she is looking forward to growing with Atlanta Ventures, particularly as the tech industry looks towards the end of the pandemic.
“Tech is one of the areas where nothing was really put on pause during the pandemic. Companies were able to grow tremendously because people saw the value in scheduling tools, video conferencing, and telehealth. The amount of capital and incubators and opportunity in Atlanta right now is so exciting. And I can’t wait to see what happens the rest of the year. But also, I can’t wait to see what happens five years from now, too,” O’Day added. “We’re planting the seeds now for even better things to come.”