Steve Schlafman

Hi, I'm Steve Schlafman. I'm a professional certified coach, angel investor, facilitator, speaker, former operator and recovering VC. I'm also a devoted husband and father. The next phase of my life is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs bring their boldest visions to life and evolve into extraordinary leaders. Throughout my career, I’ve held a mix of investing and operating roles at Primary Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, RRE Ventures, The Kraft Group / The New England Patriots, Microsoft, Stickybits /, and Massive. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, meditating, reading, riding my bike, cooking, watching the Patriots, listening to music, and enjoying time in nature.
New York, NY
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Questions & Answers

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

I've been in technology for nearly two decades. I spent the first ten years of my career as an operator at Microsoft, The Kraft Group / New England Patriots, and a variety of startups such as and Massive Inc. I spent the last decade as a professional VC at some of the top early funds in NYC including Primary. I recently left to focus on coaching and angel investing.

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

There are too many to list here but some that are incredibly important include product-focus, customer-centricity, self-awareness, curiosity, and mission-oriented.

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?

When I get involved, I try to be helpful mostly around leadership, organizational development, personal productivity, self-care, go-to-market, and fundraising. I provide a confidential and judgment-free space. All topics are welcome and fair game. This includes everything from co-founder dynamics to investor relations.

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

Tell me why what you're building matters. Help me understand why your company has a chance to be really impactful.

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?

I left ‘institutional VC’ life because I wanted to serve founders in the capacity of coach, advisor, mentor, and/or unwavering supporter. That's now the role I play. I've dedicated the next phase of my life to helping entrepreneurs bring their boldest visions to life and evolve into extraordinary leaders.

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

NYC is the city of dreams and the creative capital of the world. Anything is possible here. It's home to more than two hundred thousand small businesses and startups. The diversity of founders, ideas, and companies is endless. I've bet my career on NYC tech and the vitality of the region. I'm bullish and all in.

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