26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, senior managing partner for ventures and investments, MDC Ventures

Jessica Peltz-Zatulove has been senior managing partner at MDC Ventures, advertising holding company MDC Partners’ corporate venture capital (CVC) unit, since 2014.

MDC Ventures actively invests in technologies that address the needs of the modern CMO (chief marketing officer), identifying the early trends that will impact the future of marketing. This includes machine learning and artificial intelligence, commerce, audio, voice, content, data and other technologies that impact Fortune 500 brands. Gradient.io, a software platform that helps brands maximise their performance on e-commerce platform Amazon, and real time insights platform Perksy are among the unit’s portfolio companies.

Under Peltz-Zatulove’s oversight, the CVC unit has redefined its venture practice to provide the parent company with immense strategic value through its commercial agreements, in-house incubation and recent exits. She has been leading the strategy and structure of its internal efforts, building confidence among the new senior executive team.

Mark Penn, MDC’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Jessica has been instrumental in shifting our ventures investments over the last year to align with MDC’s new strategic plan and operational priorities. In doing so, she has stewarded an investment strategy around two tracks: bigger equity stakes in emerging companies that directly improve the marketing world, and actively incubating new technologies of our own. I view a large part of our job at MDC to be identifying, building and providing access to the cutting-edge technologies that elevate our network and provide a distinct competitive advantage for us and our clients. With Jessica’s leadership, we’re thrilled to be doing just that.”

Peltz-Zatulove has been successfully executing on this new strategy – negotiating the commercial terms and executing the first case study of MDC taking a larger ownership stake and board seat in content licensing and rights management platform Catch&Release. Through a meticulous rollout plan, the technology has been weaved into MDC’s professional services business, with more than a dozen of their agencies actively using the platform to services several blue chip brands, including NFL, Virgin, Google and others. This is widely seen as a significant win, as it is evolving the way their agencies produce creative work for clients – making the business processes faster and more cost-efficient.

MDC launched its first internal incubation competition where Peltz-Zatulove participated as a judge and developed an evaluation framework to select the winner. She then mentored the winner to shape the concept into a viable business plan for MDC – including guiding aspects of the business strategy, commercialisation, go-to market, operating budget, bid-process for the tech build and financial models.

As MDC Ventures has positioned itself at the intersection of emerging technology and Fortune 500 brands, Peltz-Zatulove hosted intimate thought leadership dinners bringing together senior marketing leaders, VCs, and founders, acting as a facilitator of cutting edge marketing trends.

Furthermore, she published multiple opinion pieces, including analyzing voice technology for Adweek, Amazon marketing for CampaignUS, Next Gen social systems on Pulse, and CVC trends for the Modern CMO on ANA Marketing Futures podcast.

A prolific speaker, Peltz-Zatulove spoke about audio intelligence and sonic branding on an SXSW panel, in partnership with F&B and Veritonic, one of MDC Ventures’ portfolio companies that owns an audio input assessment platform. She was also a featured speaker at several tech events, including conferences such as 36|86 Festival, the Voice Summit and Inventures Conference.

In 2019, the unit exited customer loyalty company CrowdTwist to Oracle and advertising technology developer Polymorph Labs to Walmart, and Peltz-Zatulove managed the distributions for fund’s positions.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF