Alyssa Rapp

Alyssa Rapp
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Research Statement

Since 2014, Alyssa has co-taught the inaugural courses of Global Dynamics of the Wine Industry at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Rapp's course focus is presently on the effective management of global wine businesses and past, present, and future economic, regulatory, and market trends of this expanding industry. Her keen interest is in students and the insights that they derive from case studies from the global wine industry, insights that she hopes will continue to resonate after the GSB on their personal, professional, and wine-related lives.


Starting in January 2018, Chicago-based private equity firm Sterling Partners hired Alyssa J. Rapp to be the CEO of Surgical Solutions, a healthcare services portfolio company based in Deerfield, Illinois. In less than six months in healthcare, Alyssa was named one of Crain’s Chicago’s “2018 Most Notable Women in Healthcare,” and was featured in Becker’s Hospital Review and Thrive Global for her thought leadership in the category.

Alyssa also serves as the Managing Partner of AJR Ventures, a strategic advisory firm serving primarily family offices and private equity firms on their portfolio companies with $100MM+ revenue in need of guidance on their e-commerce, digital media, content and innovation strategies. Through AJR Ventures Alyssa also makes select angel investments in start-ups or emerging venture funds pursuing consumer, consumer technologies, and artificial intelligence strategies.

Starting in April 2014, Alyssa joined the ranks as a lecturer-in-management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

From 2005-2015, Alyssa served as the founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc., the leading interactive media company in the U.S. wine, craft beer, and artisanal spirit industries. Alyssa’s work at Bottlenotes included conceiving of, fundraising for, and building a team to first pursue a “Netflix for Wine” e-commerce strategy (2006-2008). Later, due to a major regulatory shift by the California Alcohol Bureau of Control re: Third Party Marketing Firms, Alyssa pivoted the company to become one of the leading new media companies in the U.S. beverage industry (2009-present). As such, she recruited and chaired a world-class board of directors, became a published author, Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips® (Adam’s Media, October 2008), and frequently served as an expert on wine/entrepreneurship on national television and in national digital publications, including: The TODAY Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox Business Network, and more.

Alyssa was named in Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30” coolest entrepreneurs in America (September 2008)” and one of the wine industry’s top 25 of 100 most influential people by, from 2012 to present. Bottlenotes also received the “Best Advertising and Marketing Company” and the “People’s Choice Award” at the Empact 100 in September 2013 at the United Nations, honoring the top 100 companies with founders under 35.

Alyssa earned a B.A. in Political Science and the History of Art from Yale University in 2000 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2005. At Yale, she earned the Frank M. Patterson prize for the best essay on the American political system for her senior thesis on public housing reform in Chicago.

Alyssa served on the national Board of Trustees for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the country’s preeminent contemporary dance company, for over a decade (2007-2018); currently Alyssa serves on the national board of directors for Spark, a nonprofit organization that provides transformative apprenticeships for middle school students in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. She is honored to have been appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and confirmed by the Illinois Senate to serve on the board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

When not immersed in entrepreneurial and civic life, Alyssa loves to ride her Peloton, run track, do yoga, ski fast, and try as hard as possible to decipher a slider from a curve ball from her husband, fellow Stanford GSB alum and 1990 MLB World Series champion, Hal Morris. Alyssa and Hal are the proud parents of Audrey Margaret Morris (born: September 12, 2012) and Henriette Daniella Morris (born: March 16, 2015).

Academic Degrees

  • BA, Political Science & History of Art, Yale University, 2000
  • MBA, Stanford GSB, 2005

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer-in-Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Professional Experience

  • Surgical Solutions, Chief Executive Officer, 2018-present
  • Managing Partner, AJR Ventures, 2015-present
  • Founder & CEO, Bottlenotes, 2005-2015

Awards and Honors

  • Crain’s Chicago 2018 Top Women in Healthcare, June 2018
  • Socrates Program Scholar, The Aspen Institute, 2014
  • People’s Choice Award Winner & Best Advertising & Marketing Company, Empact Showcase, October 2013
  • 100 Most Influential People (#23) in the US Wine Industry,, 2012-Present
  • 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs in America,, October 2008


Degree Courses


This course will examine the world of wine with a fresh and contemporary lens. It will explore the market dynamics of this fascinating global industry. The goal of the course is to provide insight into the branding, marketing, and distribution...


This course will examine the world of wine with a fresh and contemporary lens. It will explore the market dynamics of this fascinating global industry. The goal of the course is to provide insight into the branding, marketing, and distribution...

Stanford Case Studies

Kingston Family Vineyards (B) | SM266B
Alyssa Rapp, Jaclyn Foroughi2018
Kingston Family Vineyards (A) | SM266A
Alyssa Rapp, Kaitlin Malloy2016
Wine in China: The Wild West of the Far East | SM261
Alyssa Rapp, Emily E. Turco2016
WineDirect: Supply Chain Management in the U.S. Wine Industry | GS45B
Alyssa Rapp, Jacklyn Foroughi2016

Conferences, Talks, and Speaking Engagements

  • Wine and Investing
    Longtime Fox Business Anchor and author, Tracy Byrnes, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author, Alyssa Rapp, come together for an evening of wine and investment education. Tracy Byrnes will lead the conversation on investment strategies unique to women and Alyssa Rapp will guide the group in an approach to wine tasting that is as well.
  • iBev 2013
    The inaugural social and digital media conference for the U.S. beverage industry.
  • iBev 2014
    The second annual social and digital media conference for the U.S. beverage industry.

Service to the Profession

  • Co-Chair, Economic Development Transition Team, IL Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner, November 2014-January 2015
  • Spark Program, Chicago Executive Committee, National Board of Directors, August 2011-Present
  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, National Board of Trustees, August 2007-Present

Insights by Stanford Business

July 29, 2015
Aim for “subtle” product pitches, and find ways to bring your brand loyalists face-to-face with each other.