Marissa Schlueter Headshot



The story so far

Before moving into the world of venture capital, I thought I had a good idea of how my pre-VC work would carry over into the space. I assumed that some of my prior work experiences would be much more relevant than others - equity research would be more useful than equity sales and things like financial analysis and modeling would be much more important than my ability to adapt, communicate well and manage my time. How wrong I was! Every day, I catch myself drawing upon what I thought were completely irrelevant experiences to get my job done. While the soft skills may ultimately create more value in the long-run, it’s reassuring for our portfolio companies to know that at any stage of their business my superpower is seeing a narrative in numbers. Sometimes it helps to be a CFA Charter holder!

‍Prior to joining OV, I was a Managing Analyst on CB Insights’ healthcare intelligence team, where I produced data-driven research on the digital health startup landscape. Before CB Insights, I worked as a public equity research analyst and in institutional equity sales at Barclays.

Having received degrees from Princeton University (Bachelor’s in Molecular Biology) and Johns Hopkins University (MBA in Health Care Management, MS in Biotechnology), it is safe to say that the healthcare space is my passion. I understand the market and its challenges – which also makes it easier for me to find conviction in potential investment opportunities. We all know where the greatest and most pervasive challenges in healthcare in the US are, and I love it when a founder comes to me with a completely different take on how to tackle those challenges. When she can back up her approach with concrete proof that customers are not only sitting up and taking notice, but willing to pay for her solution, it just gets more exciting.

Over the last couple of years I’ve learned that as much as health is my passion, there is much to be gained from looking at the challenges of any business in a vertical market. Of which healthcare is just one. I have broadened my horizons to work with a team focusing on software that is purpose-built for specific markets, whatever that market might be. Although the requirements for any given market will be different, the approach to tackling it might not be quite as different as you think. 

‍What should founders know about you?

I am always upfront with founders about what my own biases are – and I am open to (in fact genuinely excited about) being told why my assumptions are wrong. Being transparent from the outset means I can also be honest when a business doesn’t meet the criteria we are looking for at OV. When that’s the case I like to take the chance to make introductions to other investors who may be interested, or to make different connections that could be useful (like to talent, for example).

I try to make sure that even if we pass on an opportunity, the time a founder or their team has spent with me is never wasted.

I am host of The Green Room, a dedicated and safe space for founders to pitch their businesses to investors before they formally get out to do their fundraise. It has been a fantastic community-building experience and both the founders and investors involved tell me they always walk away with some valuable insight after the hour we spend together. So if you are raising soon, check us out.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I am just starting to build a new life in San Francisco. My husband and I left the East Coast to move here for this role so we are trying to immerse ourselves as much as possible. We had been living in New York and I was born and raised just outside of Boston. So, whether it is new hiking trails or finding a restaurant that’s off the beaten path, I am always looking for something new and exciting to try, and new people to meet. I love everything from food to museums to anything active!

‍What’s your favourite place in the world and what makes it special to you?

Is it trite to say my childhood home? I grew up in a small town between Boston, MA and Cape Cod. It’s not very exotic, but if I’m really being honest, that’s it for me. There’s nothing better in the world than being there with my family. I may not miss the winters all that much… but there’s a whole lot about Beantown that I miss dearly. I can’t tell you how often I find myself craving Modern cannoli's and Wellfleet oysters (thankfully, not at the same time). 

Portfolio companies

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