Josh Yelen

Founder & Managing Partner

"Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield."

Josh brings over twenty years of rich experience in operations, accounting, finance, and sales to his role at New Leaf Ventures. Leveraging his past roles as CFO, sales director, and operations head, he actively champions entrepreneurs set to disrupt their industries.

Additionally, Josh founded ClearBooks, his fractional CFO and outsourced accounting firm, with a vision to transcend typical financial services by forging deep partnerships with businesses, delving beyond conventional accounting to truly understand each operation’s core. His CPA, CEPA and MBA qualifications enable him to provide strategic financial leadership across diverse sectors, including SaaS, tech, healthcare, laboratory diagnostics, and biotechnology, driving growth and operational efficiency.

Josh advocates for a comprehensive approach to finance that links sales and operations, optimizing growth, efficiency, and profitability. His direct experience in steering businesses through growth phases and strategic shifts renders him an indispensable ally in any entrepreneurial venture.

Armed with degrees from Indiana University, Rutgers University, and the University of Miami, Josh’s academic background is as robust as his professional experience.

Josh is more than a leader at ClearBooks and New Leaf Ventures; he is a committed strategic partner, dedicated to guiding the businesses he works with to not only succeed but flourish in their endeavors.
Behind the Scenes
What types of companies do you find most interesting?
I find all types of companies interesting, and you really have to respect any entrepreneur brave enough to dive in and give it their all.

What do you think surprises founders most when they start companies?
You start with a clear vision of where you want to end, but what often surprises founders is that the journey in between rarely goes as planned.

Which mentor has influenced your work the most?
Mick Raich has been a monumental influence in my life. Rising from a trailer park to become a successful entrepreneur, he always provides sound advice and has been a true champion for me.

Five things you couldn’t live without?
1. My wife and the boys
2. Our family road trips
3. Work; I thrive on the hustle and bustle
4. The practice of accounting where every situation is a puzzle, and the numbers always have to tie out
5. Dessert; I have a major sweet tooth

What are your favorite books?
The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen. I'm captivated by Sam Zemurray's business prowess and shrewd moves.

Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler: This book brought David Goggins into the public eye, highlighting his unyielding grit and determination.

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk: Gary Vaynerchuk delivers invaluable advice for being scrappy and winning as entrepreneurs.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield. Accept the ups and downs and learn from each experience.