Primary Venture Partners

Sam Toole


Sam is a Principal at Primary Ventures. Before making the shift to investing, Sam was an operator and entrepreneur for 10 years. In college, Sam launched two businesses: a surf school and an e-commerce company. He later went on to a software consultancy in Boston, Intrepid Pursuits, where he led their sales efforts and worked closely with their technical team.  Most recently, Sam was General Manager at Nomad Health, a healthcare labor marketplace. He started at Nomad Health as their sixth employee on the sales side, helping the company build relationships with hundreds of healthcare organizations. Before his role shifted to GM, he was Head of Sales.  Sam loves to dive deep on go-to-market strategy and has a proclivity for “dusty” industries. He earned his BA in English Literature from Hamilton College.

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Notable Investments

Bedrock Ocean, Spark Health, Virtual Facility

Questions & Answers

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

I started a few non-venture businesses early in my career. I learned lots of things to do and more NOT to do. After moving on from both of those business, I held a variety of sales and go to market roles, most recently at Nomad Health. I've always been fascinated in different businesses, so transitioning to investing made a lot of sense to me.

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

Go to market strategy, product vision, pace of learning, and ability to sell.

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?

Starting and running a business is so tough — quoting another investor, "it can feel like a daily knife fight." So as I think about my job, I look through that lens. Ultimately, it's always up to the founder about what that means, but I focus on being available and helping in any way that I can.

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

I'm a salesperson by background and was an English Lit major in college, so I find it really helpful to get the whole backstory. Help me understand what brought you to this moment and why you're the right person to build a huge business.

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

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and believe that entrepreneurship is the bedrock of America. Opportunity, however, is not. So I think deeply about how to help provide that opportunity for everyone. There are so many smart people who have deep expertise across the world — my job is about listening and learning from everyone I talk to.

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

No surprise, but my take is that we're still in the very early days of NYC tech. There are so many amazing reasons to live in New York City and as the tech ecosystem continues to blossom, the tech sceen is so well poised to continue to explode.