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RiseUp: Partnership Strategies


Jun 14 - 18 2021


12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Virtually through Zoom


Liz Smith


Liz Smith

Global Channel Sales/Partnership Sales Leader

Other Organizers

Whitny Sobala
Whitny Sobala

Whitny Sobala is a purpose-driven brand strategist, social innovator, marketer and mentor. In her 20+ years of experience, Whitny has built brands, engaged communities and co-created culture for both established CPG companies and emerging startups. Whitny started her career at PepsiCo, where she spent 12 years honing her Marketing expertise through various leadership roles including, brand management, media strategy, sports marketing and innovation for multi-million dollar, joint venture and emerging lifestyle brands, such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Lipton Brisk, Sierra Mist and SoBe. Motivated by her strong entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, Whitny made the move to NYC-based start-up,, where she helped lay the foundation for growth and build marketing launch plans. Passionate about unlocking the potential of people and brands to drive positive social change, Whitny then founded Added Perk, a brand consulting firm that partners and collaborates with social impact ventures and conscious business leaders to create brand affirming workplace cultures and deliver brand “purpose” through culturally relevant brand strategy and business innovation. In this capacity, Whitny has advised and consulted on a number of brands and businesses including, Sambazon, Make it Happy,, Do Anything Foods, Merchant’s Daughter Hard Cider, Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Better Spaces. Whitny is also the co-founder of the public benefit corporation, ŪMEWE (‘you-me-we’). ŪMEWE is a collaboratively-built, locally expressed, lifestyle brand that turns Optimism into action. Among our many products and projects is International Optimism Yellow, a color developed in collaboration with fellow Optimist, artist and (art)repreneur Riley Johndonnell and the Pantone Color Institute, as well as “We Are INTOyellow,” a locally adaptable civic campaign that celebrates Optimism and Resilience in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Whitny holds a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated Magna cum laude with a Marketing concentration from the Wharton School of Business. She is an Optimist to the core and believes in living an experiential, wholistic life. She loves travelling, reiki, farm-to-table dining and historic bars and restaurants. Whitny has a first degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate; and the daughter of a tennis pro, practically grew up on a tennis court. She is married and is the proud mother of two small girls.




Leveraging partnerships to help your startup create, penetrate or sell can become a valuable and cost saving measure.

Partnerships are key to many companies’ early success but Entrepreneurs must first be clear about what their goals are and how to prioritize before selecting the who and the how. Entrepreneurs need to know how to Leverage partnerships for accelerated growth.

Entrepreneurs face pressure from early stage investors to demonstrate how and when they will monetize their company’s offering and how they will scale the companies’ revenue growth as part of their go to market strategy.

Competing budget priorities in early stages such as product development  requirements and the need for costly engineering resources often present  the entrepreneur with a conundrum of how to fund both product development and build out their sales and marketing infrastructure.

Leveraging partners with existing sales and marketing infrastructures is a great way to accelerate growth into new industries or geographic markets without having to commit huge amounts of initial capital funding.

The founders who join this RiseUp sprint will take a look at how to determine which partners make sense for your company based on first understanding and prioritizing the different benefits that partners and alliances can bring.

From there we will then map out step by step the typical partner lifecycles and discuss what you should be thinking about and doing at each step.

Who should take this cohort?

All entrepreneurs looking to understand how the right partners can help accelerate growth and what types of partners to consider at different stages.

Homework and Outcome

Complete a partnership planning template to map out the why, the priorities, and then the who and the how of building partnerships into their go to market planning.

Once partner type(s) are identified, we will have you map out what needs to happen at each step of the lifecycle for the partners you have prioritized.

This is a highly interactive sprint amongst the experts and other participants.

After completing this sprint, participants will be ready to interview prospective partnering companies and know how to control the relationship.

Course Timeframe

Monday June 14, 2021 12:30pm – 2pm MT (2:30pm ET – 4:00pm ET)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 12:30pm – 2pm MT (2:30pm ET – 4:00pm ET)

Friday, June 18, 2021 12:30pm – 2pm MT (2:30pm ET – 4:00pm ET)

Meet the Expert

Liz Smith
Global Channel Sales and Partnership Sales Leader

With a JD from University of Santa Clara and over 20 years of experience as a Sales and Business Development Executive with multiple leading SAAS software service providers, Liz has built her career helping both mature and startup companies rapidly accelerate their business in new markets by leveraging channel partners as an essential part of their go to market strategy.

As Regional VP of Sales at r4 Technologies, she led the company into sales opportunities in multiple fortune 500 accounts in North America and Latam by recruiting and co-selling with multiple regional consulting partners in Mexico, Colombia and the Western US. Prior to r4, she served as Regional Vice President of Sales, EMEA and later LATAM for SugarCRM, one of the leading CRM software providers in the world.  

Liz led the successful expansion of the brand into both markets while again leveraging partners such as IBM and other regional consulting firms to drive sales at multiple fortune 500 companies, including New York Life Mexico, Quaker State Mexico and Zurich Insurance Italy.

Prior to SugarCRM, Liz served in a variety of strategic senior sales and marketing roles at Oracle Corporation and was instrumental in driving a number of different initiatives focused on growing the Oracle sales channel with ISV’s and strategic alliance partners such as HP and Apple.  Before joining Oracle, Liz had a successful 10-year legal practice at several top California law firms advising fortune 500 and startup companies in areas of trade secret, patent prosecution, construction and business litigation.

RiseUp sprints are week-long engagements, entirely focused on helping you solve your most head-scratching business problems.

Sprints are led by experts who identify, address, and solve similar issues so frequently, they can quickly understand the source of your problems and offer advice as you create a smart plan that will help your business rise. Each sprint is attended by a hand-picked cohort of founders facing similar challenges, who learn from the expert leading the sprint and each other.

This isn’t like taking a class to learn the basics of running a business. RiseUp sprints drill down into specialized topics, asking “what’s broken?” in your business model, product, organization or execution. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and be assigned (and complete) homework, while diving deeply into what’s holding back your business. Rise Experts are there to guide you, but they aren’t going to do your job for you. It’s up to you to lead your company to growth as you hypothesize better outcomes and create and execute your plan.

Sprint to the top with RiseUp.