AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wellth Ventures has launched as a venture capital investment firm committed to building a healthier, more sustainable and more connected world. Through Wellth Ventures, Founding Partners Allie Hope and Suzie Baleson will focus on early-stage opportunities in the “Better-for-You and Your Planet” consumer product and hospitality-focused proptech sectors, and will support like-minded entrepreneurs with a unique vision for the future.
Ms. Hope and Ms. Baleson have extensive operating and investment experience across Wellth Ventures’ target sectors. Ms. Hope was until recently Chief Development Officer of Virgin Hotels, a collection of lifestyle hotels operated by the Virgin Group. As a member of the senior executive team since inception, Ms. Hope led the growth of the business for over a decade. She will have a continued advisory role with the brand. Ms. Baleson is the founder of Wellth Collective, a wellness and hospitality-focused marketing and strategy agency, and over the past decade has emerged as a leader in the hospitality and ‘better-for-you’ consumer goods sectors as the industries have begun to focus on health and wellness. Wellth Collective is the strategic agency partner of Wellth Ventures and will support their portfolio companies as they grow. Wellth Collective is dedicated to making a healthier, wellthier lifestyle more accessible to consumers.
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, has made a financial commitment to support Wellth Ventures’ activities.
Richard Branson said, “Allie has made a fantastic contribution to Virgin Hotels, from the early start-up days to its continued expansion across the US and UK. We are thankful for Allie’s leadership, and I am delighted to support her next business venture, which will benefit greatly from her talent and knowledge.”
Ms. Hope said, “The decision to leave Virgin Hotels was extremely difficult, but I leave with pride in what our team accomplished and gratitude to Richard for his vision and support both over the past decade and in my next professional chapter. Suzie and I have been good friends and informal business advisors to one another for many years. I am deeply impressed by what she has built and her ability to recognize value. The opportunity to now work together formally and to build a successful and sustainable investment business focused on areas where we are most passionate was one that I couldn’t let pass. I could not be more enthusiastic about our partnership in Wellth Ventures.”
Ms. Baleson said, “I am thrilled to partner with Allie who has had an extraordinary run with Virgin. I have watched as she has been instrumental in establishing one of the most-exciting lifestyle and hospitality brands in the world. Her experience complements mine perfectly and affords Wellth Ventures exceptional insights into our target sectors. We launch with what we believe is an unmatched pipeline in both consumer goods and hospitality, and are excited to join together to support entrepreneurs who are working to create a healthier, more sustainable world.”
Wellth Ventures has begun deploying capital and looks forward to building on its momentum in 2022.
About Allie Hope
Allie Hope joined Virgin Hotels in 2010 as the second employee and helped put the brand on the map with the opening of its flagship location in 2015. Ms. Hope has since led the development of five additional hotels for the brand, five hotels under construction, and an extensive pipeline of planned properties. In addition to development, Ms. Hope held many other roles within Virgin Hotels that helped mold its identity since inception, including establishing the relationships between the brand and its partners, building a global team, and setting brand strategy. She will continue to serve as an advisor to the business.
Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Ms. Hope worked at Sunstone Hotel Investors, a publicly traded real estate investment trust where she was involved in acquisitions, dispositions and asset management. Ms. Hope is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration where she received the Dean’s Baccalaureate Service Award for her contributions to the local community during her tenure in Ithaca.
About Suzie Baleson
Suzie Baleson is the founder of Wellth Collective, an experientially driven wellness and hospitality-focused marketing and strategy agency dedicated to making a healthier, wellthier lifestyle more accessible through wellness-focused experiences. Wellth Collective has helped create the healthy hospitality market by launching wellness initiatives for the world’s top hospitality brands and government partners, including New York City’s Meatpacking Business Improvement District, The City of Austin, Highgate Hotels, Virgin Hotels, Marriott, Gurney’s Resorts, Refinery Hotel and Dream Hotels and more. The agency has brought top consumer brands into the wellness experiential market, including Under Armour, Lululemon, Core Water, Body Armor, Lifeway Foods and Blue Print Cleanse.
Prior to immersing herself in her passion for wellness, Ms. Baleson worked in real estate and accounting as a Partner in a $350 million Las Vegas-based development fund. Early in her career, Ms. Baleson worked in international tax accounting at Alvarez & Marsal where she was involved in restructuring clients for tax efficiency and negotiating long-term tax incentives with local governments in Asia, Europe, and the United States.