Ben Zises

Hi, I’m Ben Zises - angel investor, advisor, syndicate lead and fund manager. Most notably, I was the first investor & founding advisor to quip, Caraway & Arber (before each had its name). As a former founder, I’ve also experienced the complete life cycle of building a company which gives me major advantages: (i) founder empathy, resulting in higher quality deal flow (“access”), and (ii) a unique understanding of the startup journey, leading to my ability to identify what it takes to achieve outsized results. Read my full bio here.
New York, NY
Average Check Size
$50K - $100K
Questions & Answers

Origin Story: In a couple sentences, how would you describe your path to becoming an investor?

Investment Approach: What are the key factors you consider when evaluating a founding team?

1) Unwavering ambition to build a multibillion-dollar company 💰 2) Relentless pursuit of perfection + product obsessed 📍 3) Ability to learn new things + absorb information fast ⚡

What's your style and approach when it comes to working with founders post-investment? What are the characteristics of founders you've worked well with?

“The most founder friendly investor on the cap table”

I strive to be one of the first checks (day 0) and leverage my network to bring in other strategic capital and resources in an advisory role. For the founders I work with, I am often described as their company’s #1 fan, providing continuous support and dedication for the short, medium, and long-term. View founder references >

If I'm coming to pitch to you or your firm, what's the one piece of advice you'd give me?

Over invest in your deck, both design + content. It's an easy way to stand out amongst the hundreds of other startups I review and shows the care, time and attention you've already put towards your business.

As an angel investor, how many deals do you aim to do each year?


How would you describe your own personal mission and values, and how do they impact the way you invest?

My focus is geared towards areas where I am most passionate and have an informational AND educational advantage: Consumer (CPG, eCommerce infrastructure) + PropTech + Future of Work, seed stage.

I personally experienced the complete life cycle of building a company: from identifying a problem/market opportunity, coming up with the “idea”, to painstakingly developing a business plan and road-map (both in my head and on paper).

I've been in a founder's shoes: from leaving my stable job, asking friends and family for money ($2MM raised from 30+ investors), to hiring and scaling a team, and more. I've also experienced similar ups and downs: from launching to widespread industry acclaim, countless press articles, gaining tens of thousands of users, iterating & pivoting 3x, pitching hundreds of VC's in NYC & Silicon Valley, to failing to raise a successive round of funding, and ultimately winding down the company (and moving past failure).

Those experiences, among others, give me a major competitive advantage over other investors: founder empathy and unique understanding of the startup journey.

What do you like best about investing in NYC, and what’s your outlook on the future of NYC tech?

I grew up in NYC - I love the energy and opportunity. However, I invest all over the US and you can most certainly build a GREAT company from anywhere. My outlook in NYC tech is that it will continue to attract incredible people, founders and talent and I plan to live and grow here for years to come.

There are no investor profiles added just yet. Check back soon!