VC firm Accel Partners is bringing on its first marketing partner with the addition of former Yelp Senior Director of Communications Stephanie Ichinose. In her new role, Ichinose will be responsible for managing the Accel Partners brand and advising entrepreneurs in the Accel portfolio on their strategic positioning and communications strategies.
This is a big talent win for Accel. Ichinose was hired on as Yelp’s first communications strategist in 2006 and helped scale the company’s messaging at all phases of its growth until it became a public company. Prior to Yelp, she oversaw communications for Yahoo’s Search and Marketplace business unit where she also worked closely with entrepreneurs from acquisition announcements such as Flickr, Upcoming.org and del.icio.us. She was also a member of the Sony Computer Entertainment America PR team that launched the PlayStation 2 in the U.S.
As more VC firms offer full-service agency-like services such as PR and marketing, we’re seeing more communications talent in the tech world jump to VC firms. And firms are also using PR talent to help manage their own brands.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to take founders and companies from Series A to IPO…We can help change our companies’ trajectories by adding this level of talent,” said Accel Partner Rich Wong.
Accel most recently announced a new $467 million fund to invest in Europe and Israel.