Unraveling Private Equity Investment and Workforce Trends with Elizabeth Chou, Partner at Leeds Illuminate

Contingent labor as an overall percentage has grown quite dramatically in the U.S. labor force over the last couple of years

– Elizabeth Chou

In this exciting episode of the On Work and Revolution podcast, host Debbie Goodman is joined by Elizabeth Chou, the co-founding partner at Leeds Illuminate. We dig into the rapidly changing investment terrain and the myriad workforce dynamics that are currently molding the market. As I like to say, the EdTech landscape can’t take a day off! Elizabeth highlights the groundbreaking impact of AI on personalized learning and workforce enhancement, and emerging trends in fractional hiring.

The 5 main themes that emerged in this conversation explore:

  • Investment Landscape: Debbie and Elizabeth explore the differences between venture capital and private equity investment strategies, including the types of companies targeted, stages of investment, and levels of control exerted by investors.
  • Market Dynamics: The impact of market forces such as interest rates, valuation pressures, and liquidity issues on fundraising, deal-making, and exit opportunities for both entrepreneurs and fund managers.
  • Workforce Trends: The evolving trends in the workforce, including the rise of fractional hiring, the need for upskilling and reskilling in the face of technological advancements, and the importance of flexibility and inclusivity in the workplace.
  • Technology Integration: Our conversation highlights the transformative potential of AI in personalized learning, workforce development, and talent management, underscoring its role in closing learning gaps and enhancing career advancement opportunities.
  • Impactful Initiatives: Elizabeth spotlights impactful initiatives and portfolio companies like The Mom Project, which focuses on connecting professional moms with flexible work opportunities, showcasing the importance of family-friendly policies and diverse talent pools in driving innovation and productivity in the workforce.

Give this conversation a listen, and don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions, comments, or feedback. 

About our guest, Elizabeth Chou

Elizabeth is a co-founding partner at Leeds Illuminate and has been an investor for over 20 years. She has deep experience investing across the capital structure from early-stage equity through later stage equity and debt. For the last decade plus, Elizabeth has focused on investing in impact education and workforce development companies. Prior to Leeds Illuminate, Elizabeth was a General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners where she invested in early and growth stage companies in K12, higher education and workforce development. Prior to joining New Markets, Elizabeth was a Senior Associate at The Gladstone Companies where she focused on control equity and mezzanine debt investments.  Elizabeth began her career as an Account Executive with M&T Bank’s Commercial & Industrial Middle Market Lending Group. 


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