Lynn-Ann Gries has spent her career in the financial arena. From investment banking to venture capital she has experience working with a wide range of companies, from start-ups to those in the Fortune 1000.
Lynn-Ann joined Early Stage Partners in 2016 and will lead the investment activities for Fund III. Prior to joining Early Stage Partners, Lynn-Ann co-founded and served as the Chief Investment Officer at JumpStart Inc. from 2004 through 2014, where she led a team that invested $30M into 80 Northeast Ohio based start-ups. Of this total, approximately 35% were in the medical arena (medical devices, medical IT, biotech), 45% in information technology and the balance in advanced materials.
She and the team at Early Stage Partners have been collaborating since 2001, when the parent company of ESP, Capital One Partners, invested in JumpStart’s predecessor fund, JS FUND I. Since 2001, the team at ESP has invested in nine companies that were initially funded by either JS FUND I or JumpStart.
Lynn-Ann began her career in the mid 1980’s working for two investment banking firms in New York, Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. When marriage brought her to the Midwest she began working for the regional firm McDonald and Company, now part of KeyBank. At McDonald she was primarily responsible for helping companies access capital through the public equity markets but also assisted companies in the processes of raising growth capital or transitioning ownership through sales or mergers. While at McDonald she also taught a graduate level course in Investment Banking at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
In addition to her work at Early Stage Partners, Lynn-Ann runs her own consulting firm that provides a variety of services including financial analysis, market research, advisory services to entrepreneurs seeking capital and also to regional leaders who seek to spur entrepreneurial activity through the use of a unique type of public/private partnership known as a “venture development fund.”
Lynn-Ann serves on the boards of the Smith Club of Cleveland, Summer On The Cuyahoga, In Counsel With Women, and Bad Girl Ventures. She holds an MBA from New York University (Stern School of Business) and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College where she majored in Economics. She lives in Shaker Heights, OH with her husband and two children.
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Area of focus: All areas
Interesting fact: Despite growing up in New Jersey, Lynn-Ann's love for the Cleveland Indians is unending