Leslie Mitts, Managing Practice Leader
Leslie leads the High Impact Growth Consulting Practice of the Wharton SBDC. The practice supports seven vertical practice areas (Clean Tech, Internet, Financial Services, General Management, Health Care and Media & Entertainment). As Managing Practice Leader, Leslie recruits, educates, and directs the consultants and practice leaders - a team of approximately 75, and collaborates with staff, expert practitioners, senior advisors, and faculty members to support data-based smart analysis execution on behalf of the start-ups and complex operating businesses with whom the practice consults. Leslie has a background in the diversified telecommunications industry, having previously worked with a small boutique consulting firm, The MAC Group, and then in M&A for Verizon. Leslie is also a founding Managing Director of Phoenician Ventures I and Co-Founder and Partner of the Trident Consulting Group. Leslie received her MBA from the Wharton School (1990) with double concentration in Operations Research and Management.
Leslie is currently pursuing her doctorate in Social Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests focus on exploring cooperation and integration in emerging organization as it scales, including how cooperation is maintained where the venture is funded with outside venture capital vs. when it is funded with cash from operations. Her current work is focused on exploring ways in which the lack of hierarchy, structure, and clear accountabilities that accompanies the faster growth of the venture-funded start-up in response to risk leads to the belief in magic as a source of social bias that becomes a foundation for decision-making.