Jillian Williams is our new Partner at Cowboy, Yee Haw!
By: Aileen Lee
It gives me great pleasure to share our awesome cow-lleague Jillian Williams has been promoted to be a Partner at Cowboy Ventures, woohoo 🤠!
Jill is an outstanding thinker, collaborator, connector, teammate, finder of great early stage ventures, student of financial markets & business, and human being. She exudes grace under pressure, plus we love the perspective she adds to our team as our in-house reality tv aficionado, NYC native and foodie, serious Swiftie, and a humble yet extremely hardcore (former D1, work out-till-you-want-to-vomit-level) athlete.
At Cowboy, we’re on a mission to deliver top quartile financial returns, fund after fund, while having a positive impact on the communities around us. We love to find and invest in teams “post-product” and “pre-product”, the latter of which requires a special instinct for people and potential. We’re also a “we”, not a “me” type of group — we collaborate closely and love to learn from each others’ insights and relationships.which can be somewhat antithetical in venture capital. And we believe with privilege and power comes responsibility — we’re all passionate about using our roles as investors to help drive equity and inclusion in the tech industry, faster.
Jill exemplifies these skills and values as a leader, investor and partner, in spades. A bit more below:
Cowboys Work as a Team
Jill is the consummate team player, and is an outstanding player/coach. She’s introduced fantastic people to the Cowboy community and also rolled up her sleeves to team up with Ted Wang and me on portfolio companies to leverage her fintech, consumer, b2b, and biz dev expertise. Companies she’s worked with in the Cowboy portfolio include Sliderule, a fintech fraud and risk management platform; GetSetUp, a fast growing community for the aging population; Homebase, a growing software platform for SMBs that includes payroll and cash advance; Tally, helping consumers to efficiently pay down and manage credit card debt; and Vic.ai, leveraging AI for accounting functions.
As our Cowlleague Amanda aka “Robby” Robson, shares, “Since joining Cowboy, Jill’s been an amazing partner to work with. Not only does she have an amazing network and reputation in fintech — she dives in to help Cowboy portfolio companies with her time, guidance, and relationships to help everyone be successful. It’s people like Jill that make Cowboy an incredible place to work.”
See Potential to Blaze New Trails
Jill joined us a few years ago to blaze a new trail for us in fintech — to build a world-class practice at Cowboy in backing seed and pre-seed fintech-oriented ventures. Jill sees tons of potential to build new trusted financial services companies, to reinvent and modernize existing fintech rails, to leverage fintech in vertical SaaS (see her blogpost here) and more. Since joining Cowboy, she’s led investments in exciting companies like Eisen to move money quickly and safety between fiat currency and web3 assets; in Getaway, reinventing real estate investing; and in Palla, making cross-border money exchange more accessible and efficient. She also opened a NYC presence for us as our first east-coast based Cow-lleague.
Venture as a Craft
We think of venture as an apprenticeship craft that requires a mix of intelligence, experience, creative thinking, patience with a sense of urgency, optimism with pragmatism, empathy, dedication, and an incredible work ethic. If you talk with founders or co-investors who work with Jill, you’ll hear about Jill’s outstanding craft as an investor:
“I would almost call her one of my co-founders. She was also my translator, helping me figure out how to tell our story in our pitch deck for our successful next round. She is also the first person I call if I have something to work through.”
“She is one of the sharpest people I’ve ever worked with. Her intellectual horsepower is tremendous. As is her network, and she’s very generous with her time. I rely on her judgment constantly…”
“I have worked with a lot of investors over the years. From day 1, Jill acts like part of the company. She asks the tough questions, but also asks how I am doing. And, what else can I do that is not being tough on you? She is honest about how things are, and sincere in a way that is deeply appreciated.”
Ready to Ride
This Cowboy team value is about being low ego, being ready to roll up our sleeves with a positive attitude, and taking our commitments, but not ourselves too seriously. Jill is always ready to ride — whether it be to learn something new, to seize on an opportunity, pitch in to help avert a potential crisis, or lend a teammate or community member a hand. She is a ‘no task too big or too small’ teammate. As one founder shared — “She is always available no matter where she is, and always follows up despite how busy she is.”
Room Around the Campfire
Collaborating with and including others makes our journeys more fun and more successful. Jill not only makes room around the campfire — she makes the circle bigger. Whether it’s sharing insights with the tech community via her blogs, hosting meetups and gatherings for fintech investors and operators across the country, as the NY co-lead for BLCK VC, or inspiring Dan Primack to raise over $1m for the NAACP legal defense fund with a Peloton fundraising ride… Jill is just incredible at bringing people together, inspiring and including others.
As our partner Ted Wang sums up, “Jill is whip smart, has so much passion for finding and helping great founders, and adds so much to our team. We couldn’t be more proud and excited about the next generation of leading investors at Team Cowboy.”
Please join us in congratulating Jill, and checkout her blogpost about her increased role here. It’s super well deserved, and just the beginning of the impact she will have at Cowboy, on our industry and as an investor working with incredible founders and startup teams. And if you’re building in fintech, make sure you find Jill, she’s Jillian@cowboy.vc — she is an exceptional partner.