Meet Marissa Campise, The 32-Year-Old Rock Star VC Venrock Just Poached

marissa campise

Venrock just snatched up 32-year-old tech rock star Marissa Campise from Greycroft. Apparently there was an “aggressive offer.”

After doing some digging, we can see why.

Campise has a track record of working her arse off, both in the office and out.

“She comes across as a very calm, quiet, monochromatic individual, and then all of a sudden she speaks with laser-like focus, totally focused on the issue with total animation, and about as high a degree of energy as I can think,” former boss Alan Patricof has said of her. 

Single mother, yoga instructor, and venture capitalist

Originally from Long Island, Campise paid her way through Yale while raising a child as a single mother.

Despite motherhood and a demanding career, she made time to become a certified yoga instructor, and teaches classes for free to entrepreneurs.

marissa campise

Campise has dabbled in entrepreneurship too, starting drink company Salubra Teas in 2007.  Although it wasn’t a successful venture, Campise says she learned a lot.

“Sometimes the best learning is just rolling up your sleeves and diving in.”

Campise achieves so much because she is resourceful.  Last year, she won a national Energy Makeover contest held by The Huffington Post, in part because she asked former employer and CEO of StockTwits, Howard Lindzon, to tweet her submission to his 200,000+ followers.

As the winner, she spent one year meeting with nutritionists, experts, and personal trainers, and she landed a segment on Good Morning America.

Meeting Howard Lindzon on Twitter

Campise graduated from Yale in 2006 with a history degree, but she wanted to work in finance.  She landed a job at Deloitte and Touche in their award-winning securitization banking team. ” I chose Deloitte because the interview process was very rigorous and I thought, I’m going to learn so much here.” Campise says.

Campise got her start in venture capital working with Howard Lindzon, whom she met on Twitter through a work-related interest in Russia.  She messaged him, and from there the two became fast and steady friends.

marissa campise

Lindzon later recruited her and took her under his wing. “He was so good to me,” she recalls. “He introduced me to every VC and entrepreneur he knew, and he taught me the whole early stage investing process.”

It was through Lindzon that Campise met her most recent employer, Alan Patricof of Greycroft.  It wasn’t long before Patricof offered her a job.

“Howard and I sat down and discussed the offer,” Campise recalls.  “He said, ‘You should take the position. You’ll learn about Series A funding,’ which is what I wanted to do.”  Campise says her parting with Lindzon was amicable, and that the two remain great friends.

Campise spent one year with Greycroft, where she learned to thoroughly analyse investments. It was through a Greycroft partner that she met Venrock partner, David Pakman.

Pearl Jam and David Pakman

“I first met David a year and a half ago at a Pearl Jam concert,” she tells us.  “A partner at Greycroft had tickets and invited me and David was there.”  Since then, the two have remained in touch.

Despite a recent promotion at Greycroft, Venrock made Campise an offer she says she couldn’t refuse. “I think of Venrock as a place that I can really learn and grow from amazing VCs,” she says.  “I’m honored that they even found me interesting enough to want to work with!”

When asked what her future will look like, Campise tells us what she tells her son.

“I think about a long term career that allows me to find good people and build great businesses. I never think, will I be this title or that title, I think about enriching myself and being my best. 

“It sounds cheesy, but I’m a mother and I tell my son the same thing.  You should always have end goals and put your best foot forward, but I do believe that process matters.”