Elmspring Accelerator has added Anka Capital Management partner Bob Gillespie as executive director. Founded by Thomas Bretz and Adam Freeman, Elmspring invests in and nurtures technology startups in real estate and related fields.
Gillespie will be responsible for the development and growth of the Elmspring fund. He will also oversee the acquisition and development of technology startups. Companies launched in the Elmspring Accelerator have included College Annex, a search service for college campus rentals; HerbFront, the nation’s only verified legal cannabis property listing platform; and PeerRealty, the premier real estate crowdfunding platform.
Gillespie brings over 25 years’ experience in consulting, technology, leadership and operations. At 1871, the Chicago home of the Elmspring Accelerator, he holds regular sessions on finance, financial modeling and related issues for entrepreneurs. As part of Anka Capital Management, he has worked with over 100 early and growth stage companies on global market expansion and growth strategies. Himself a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Gillespie’s diverse experience will make him both a valued leader within elmspring and a valuable mentor for elmspring accelerator participants.
“Bob brings a new set of skills and perspective to elmspring that will continue to push our growth as a premier tech accelerator,” said Bretz. “While the accelerator was born out of the needs of the real estate sector and investor communities, Bob helps connect those needs to emerging trends in technology, where he is a proven leader.”
The Elmspring Accelerator program, poised to begin session 3.0, provides startups with seed capital, mentorship, office space at Chicago’s 1871, access to its partnering businesses, such as Century 21 Affiliated, Waterton Associates and Harrison Street, and the opportunity to demonstrate products for investors during a demo day event held at the culmination of the three-month program.
“Our goal is to recruit the best and brightest startups from around the country and help develop their ideas into game-changing companies. The best entrepreneurs are looking for more than just money and connections,” added Bretz. What Bob brings to the table is proven mentorship that will help set our startups—and our accelerator—apart.”