AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Elsewhere Partners today announced the appointment of software industry veteran Josh Stephens as CTO, a new role created to both support Elsewhere’s investment pipeline and provide portfolio companies operational and domain expertise beyond capital investment. Stephens has been an Elsewhere Operating Advisor since 2015 and advised numerous companies including Vyopta, ActivTrak, BurstIQ, and others.
Elsewhere is a growth-stage venture capital firm that invests in capital-efficient B2B software companies outside of traditional venture capital hubs. The full-time CTO role, which is atypical for most venture firms, will help to frame market trends, identify new opportunities, lead technical due-diligence, and support portfolio companies’ go-to-market strategy and product evolution.
Prior to investment from Elsewhere Partners, Vyopta had bootstrapped to millions in revenue with an impressive list of customers. It had gotten the product right in its first phase of growth, but needed to materially expand the offering to a much larger segment of its target market.
“Josh’s experience and perspective gave our team the confidence and clarity to significantly expand our product offering, a bold and risky process that was transformational for Vyopta. His product and sector insights were invaluable,” said Alfredo Ramirez, CEO and president of Vyopta.
Similarly, ActivTrak had reached more than four thousand customers without any outside capital prior to the Elsewhere Partners investment. The company had built a great product, but the long-term vision and near-term feature prioritization was critical to continuing the momentum.
"Josh has been instrumental in helping shape our vision for the product and greatly assisted in our prioritization of near-term feature updates for our target market. His big-picture thinking, hands-on experience with freemium models, and constant product enthusiasm have permeated the entire company," said Rita Selvaggi, CEO of ActivTrak.
Stephens rose to industry prominence as vice president of technology and Head Geek at SolarWinds, where he was the go-to resource for a voice-of-the-customer view, roadmap validation, creative solutions, and strategic product decision-making. Since SolarWinds, he has served as chief strategy officer at Idera, Inc. and Itential, and has been a strategic product advisor to multiple other companies.
As Elsewhere CTO, Stephens’ focus will flex as needed. In many cases, he will help jump-start new partnerships as interim chief product officer or on-site advisor to flesh out product offerings, refine product roadmaps, optimize freemium models, and iterate on customer use cases and product positioning strategy. He will also assist in recruiting top engineering talent for the portfolio.
“Our philosophy is to provide transformational expertise in building great companies and software products that solve a real problem,” said Chris Pacitti, founder and partner at Elsewhere. “With a growing roster of Operating Advisors and Josh as CTO, we are well-positioned to efficiently identify compelling investment opportunities, effectively lead all stages of due diligence, and drive transformational and sustainable growth of our portfolio companies over the long-term. I can’t think of a better person to fill this role, and I’m thrilled to have him on board.”
“I’ve spent multiple decades contemplating product strategy and evolution challenges in various software markets. It has been incredibly rewarding to leverage that experience to help numerous entrepreneurs and executives solve similar challenges in the Elsewhere portfolio,” said Stephens.
About Elsewhere Partners
Elsewhere Partners is a growth-stage venture capital firm that invests in Elsewhere Outliers – business software companies that are located outside of traditional venture capital hubs and have achieved substantial customer traction and revenue growth without significant outside funding. Elsewhere Partners combines transitional capital with transformational expertise to help companies achieve exit readiness on their founder’s timetable. To learn more, visit www.elsewhere.partners.