Investing in Relationships: A Conversation With A Sustainable Wine Cofounder And Her Investor


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Marian Leitner, CEO and cofounder of Archer Roose

A wino and venture capitalist take the stage at Women@Forbes’ “Closing the Investment Gap” event at the Under 30 Summit—that sounds like the start of a joke. 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Elizabeth Galbut, the founder of SoGal Ventures is no joke and neither is her investment in Marian Leitner, cofounder and CEO of wallet and "planet-friendly" wine company Archer Roose.

If Elizabeth Galbut’s investments were proportional to age, she’d have made an investment every six months since birth. At 28, Galbut has made nearly 60 investments and has had two successful exists. She founded A-Level Capital, a Johns Hopkins student-led venture firm then SoGal Ventures, which invests in early stage wellness companies.

Leitner founded Archer Roose with her husband with the idea to sustainably package fine wine and sell in boxes and canned packs at economy prices. She began Archer Roose with her own money, constantly pitching venture capitalists for funding with little success, getting rejected “hundreds” of times.

“As I was getting ‘no’ on the investor side, my product was growing. Bars and restaurants were willing to pour canned wine. People couldn’t say no to growth,” recalls Leitner of Archer Roose’s entry into VC funding.

Leitner thinks of her search for investors as dating. “You’re trying to find the right partner for you that can ultimately be a real support system to help you grow your business,” she says. “And when you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can waste so much time on the wrong types of investors.

Galbut and Leitner’s relationship occurs over Mexican food and long phone calls as Leitner drives across the country with her wines.

For Galbut, this level of trust is essential. “If a problem is coming up in a board meeting, you’re already 6 months too late,” she says.

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Marian Leitner, CEO and cofounder of Archer Roose

A wino and venture capitalist take the stage at Women@Forbes’ “Closing the Investment Gap” event at the Under 30 Summit—that sounds like the start of a joke. 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Elizabeth Galbut, the founder of SoGal Ventures is no joke and neither is her investment in Marian Leitner, cofounder and CEO of wallet and “planet-friendly” wine company Archer Roose.

If Elizabeth Galbut’s investments were proportional to age, she’d have made an investment every six months since birth. At 28, Galbut has made nearly 60 investments and has had two successful exists. She founded A-Level Capital, a Johns Hopkins student-led venture firm then SoGal Ventures, which invests in early stage wellness companies.

Leitner founded Archer Roose with her husband with the idea to sustainably package fine wine and sell in boxes and canned packs at economy prices. She began Archer Roose with her own money, constantly pitching venture capitalists for funding with little success, getting rejected “hundreds” of times.

“As I was getting ‘no’ on the investor side, my product was growing. Bars and restaurants were willing to pour canned wine. People couldn’t say no to growth,” recalls Leitner of Archer Roose’s entry into VC funding.

Leitner thinks of her search for investors as dating. “You’re trying to find the right partner for you that can ultimately be a real support system to help you grow your business,” she says. “And when you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can waste so much time on the wrong types of investors.

Galbut and Leitner’s relationship occurs over Mexican food and long phone calls as Leitner drives across the country with her wines.

For Galbut, this level of trust is essential. “If a problem is coming up in a board meeting, you’re already 6 months too late,” she says.

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