From Ballet Dancer to Lead Investor with Emily Walsh @ Georgian Partners — Escape Velocity Show #46

Dan Martell
3 min readJan 28, 2021


Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late to change your direction.

Emily Walsh went from being a ballet dancer… to a lead investor at Georgian, a VC firm that has raised $1.2B across 4 funds and recently added another $850M in early 2020.

Georgian focuses on investing in software and fin-tech.

According to Emily, Georgian typically invests $20M — $40M at a time.

Being a lead investor, Emily has to be right at the forefront of making the decisions of how to spend that money and who to give it to.

If you’ve ever thought about attracting your first or next round of funding, then it’s vital to know how investors like Emily think.

…especially because Georgian are a minority investor.

Minority investors don’t expect to change your company’s direction. They want to see that you already know where you are going.

If they like the direction, they’ll strap $20M+ rocket-boosters (aka: investments) to the back of your SaaS engine to get you there quicker.

But, how does a firm like Georgian qualify SaaS businesses and evaluate if they’re worth the investment?


Georgian has an internal model that allows them to input data about a business and validate if the investment will meet their return criteria.

Clever, right?

Let’s hear from Emily in the latest interview on the Escape Velocity podcast.

Emily has a heart for growing SaaS businesses and in our chat, we talk about:

  • How Georgian grew from 17 to 60 people
  • What got Emily into investing
  • How dancing taught her discipline and focus
  • Why Georgian structures themselves like a software company
  • The 2 questions Emily will ask of any potential software investment
  • The future of Conversational AI in SaaS sales pipelines

I love speaking with decision makers at VC firms about the SaaS industry.

Investors get exclusive views of company roadmaps, timelines and P&L sheets.

They see the behind-the-scenes that most companies prefer to keep secret… and although investors respect the business privacy of their portfolio clients, they still have the wisdom for picking market winners well in advance.

I’m telling you… If you EVER want to attract some serious big-cash investors, you HAVE to think the way they think.

And it’s priceless interviews like this one that will help you.

Turn up the volume, and listen to the episode here.

P.S. Prefer audio? Subscribe to the Escape Velocity Show directly on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and make sure to leave a rating and review if you find the show helpful.

Dan Martell is a serial entrepreneur, an investor in 40+ startups like Intercom, Udemy, and Unbounce and the creator of SaaS Academy, helping over 500 B2B SaaS founders scale faster. He’s founded five SaaS companies and successfully exited three of them. If you want to scale faster without hitting the usual roadblocks, make sure to follow him on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter.

Originally published at on January 28, 2021.



Dan Martell

I coach ambitious software founders | Award-winning angel investor / 5x founder with 3x exits | Speaker | Proud Father.