Primary Venture Partners

Jason Shuman


Jason is a Principal at Primary Ventures and has been working in New York as a VC for the past four years. In college, Jason launched a direct-to-consumer footwear company that sold hand-sewn boat shoes and driving moccasins. He later went on to work at New York-based seed fund Corigin Ventures, where he invested in several companies including Latch, Loftsmart and Morty.

Most recently, Jason was the Chief of Staff to Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) Co-Founder Mark Gerson, where he managed all venture and LP investments for Gerson’s family office. His other responsibilities included corporate development, partnerships and strategy at Julius, a venture-backed influencer marketing software company.

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Notable Investments

Lili, Dandy, Latch, Botkeeper

Questions & Answers

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

Following a failed DTC startup that I launched in 2011, I hit a 23 year old life crisis. Venture seemed interesting to me because I could learn about multiple industries really quickly, meet super sharp people, potentially raise money easier the next time around and most importantly it aligned with me why in life, which is to help provide other people with the confidence, tools and relationships to help them live a more successful fulfilling life.After sourcing deals in Boston for free and ubering at night to make money, I finally landed my first gig at Alpaca Ventures (fka Corigin Ventures).

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

Sense of urgency, grit, speed of learning, resourcefulness and their ability to sell (stock, people and their product)

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?

In the long term I really see myself getting into executive coaching, so that's how I tend to approach my style when working with Founders. I tend to get along best with the Founders that like having a close relationship and feel comfortable texting me at all hours, but I'm also happy with the ones that love to run out their own 99% of the time. I want them to feel like they can use me and the team at Primary for literally anything they need, whenever they need it. From crafting the narrative in a Series A deck to identifying and selling your first growth marketing hires, everything fits.

Some of my favorite things do with Founders post investment include helping them with fundraising, jamming on growth loops and discussing the human psychology side of running a startup.

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

Storytelling and knowing the levers of your business are the two major keys.

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

As mentioned before my why in life is to help provide other people with the confidence, tools and relationships to help them live a more successful fulfilling life.

When it comes to investing it impacts the way I approach my relationship with the Founders, their employees, etc. Additionally, it makes me want to invest in things that democratize access to powerful everyday tools for the average American consumer and businessperson.

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

NYC is in its earliest stages right now. The ambitious first time founders and the now experienced talent that we're seeing leave successful startups to launch their own is unlike anything I've seen over the last 7 years. It's an exciting time to be a part of it.