Mary Lemmer is an entrepreneur, recovering venture capitalist, philanthropist, improv comedian, and writer. She started her first company at age 14, did early stage VC, was a Director at a Silicon Valley unicorn, published a book of advice for entrepreneurs, and started doing improv comedy to help her as an entrepreneurial leader with loads of anxiety. She now runs Improv4 of The Applied Improv Institute, applying improv comedy techniques and philosophy to train business leaders at small startups to Fortune 500 companies and universities, including the University of Michigan, TED, SAP, TechStars, CBSi, R/GA, Silicon Valley Bank, 500 Startups, among others. She remains the founder of Iorio Gelato, a gelato producer and retail cafes she started as a teenager, and is a founding board member of a philanthropic fund that helps entrepreneurs make contributions to good causes they care about.
Mary graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Minor in Environmental Science, and Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the College of Engineering. She also studied improv and comedy writing with some of the most talented people (and probably some future SNL cast members) at The Second City and The Annoyance in Chicago, Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC, EndGames Improv, and Bay Area Theatre Sports in San Francisco, among others. She has performed improv and comedy all over the country, including at Gilda Radner’s Laughfest, The Punch Line in San Francisco, and the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival. She is the creator and producer of Startup Late Night, a late night comedy show where she welcomes entrepreneurs and investors to an evening of comedy, music, conversation, and competitions.
Twitter: @bymelisabeth #improv4