Given Atlanta’s strong fintech, healthcare, and supply chain startup ecosystem, it was only a matter of time before SpringTime Ventures, a Denver-based VC firm investing in those sectors, would want to establish its presence in town. The firm found a natural fit to lead that expansion effort in Allyson Plosko.
Plosko was already living in Atlanta and working in venture capital after starting her career in academia. But she wasn’t really involved in as many local deals as she wanted to be. Joining SpringTime in 2022 gave her the opportunity to plug into the Atlanta startup ecosystem in a more meaningful way.
She joined SpringTime as a principal while the firm was closing their $25 million Fund II. This week, the team announced that Plosko was named Partner at the firm.
SpringTime In Atlanta
Plosko said the promotion means she will get the opportunity to be more engaged with the LPs of the fund. But SpringTime Ventures is a small team, so she’ll still be actively involved in deal sourcing and diligence. She said she spends a good chunk of her time talking to founders ranging from pre-idea to those actively raising funds. To support current portfolio companies, Plosko said she spends a lot of her time connecting with other Atlanta investors who might be potential downstream investors or co-investors.
Having firms like SpringTime establish a physical presence in the city is a sign that the Atlanta ecosystem is not only on the radar of outside investment firms, but that those firms want to be talking to local founders on a regular basis.
Plosko remains bullish on Atlanta. She is particularly interested in how the city is activating established corporates into the startup ecosystem. She is also energized by the number of people with “institutional knowledge” from within larger corporations who are interested in striking out on their own and starting their own companies.
The Road Into Venture
Plosko was at early-stage funds Village Capital and Telosity before joining SpringTime. But she did not initially plan to go into venture capital. She was working at the University of Houston and meeting researchers with “game changing technology” that couldn’t get to market.
The process of getting technology from the lab into the real world is never an easy one. She saw two main barriers: access to capital and access to managerial talent.
“Researchers are awesome subject matter experts, but they’re not always the ones that are going to really take something and push it through all the way into the hands of the ultimate user,” she told Hypepotamus.
Plosko saw venture capital as a way to help early-stage ideas access the funds and the talent they needed.
We asked Plosko what skills she thinks are necessary for those looking to break into venture capital.
She said it is important to “figure out your strengths, figure out what you like, and then network.” Growth-stage investors look at a deal very differently than what she looks at the seed-stage. Those interested in venture have to figure out where their skills and interests lie.
For those soft skills, she said it’s all about empathy and getting to know people.
“Being able to empathize I think is a really, really critical but highly underrated skill in VC,” she said, since investors have to put themselves in the shoes of both founders and their customers.
She added that it is important to go out there and meet people, since “a VC is only as strong as their network.”