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), and had early investor roles in A Kids Book About, Branch, Brightland, cadence, cleancult, co-op, Density, Envoy, Haus, Judy, Lalo, Settle, Stix, Swag.com and Windmill, among others.
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.
For the founders and companies I believe in, I strive to be one of their very first checks (day 0) and leverage my network to bring in other strategic capital/resources in an advisory role. I am often described by founders as their company’s #1 fan, providing unwavering support and dedication for the short, medium, and long-term.
Outside of angel investing, I am an active real estate investor, 2x Outward Bound Alum, graduated from Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration and ran the New York City Marathon.
Feel free to reach out in whichever way you are most comfortable - while noting that email is my preferred method of communication (email@example.com). Please note that due to the volume of emails I receive I am no longer able to respond to every one. That said, I read every single email and am extremely grateful for the time spent sharing your opportunity with me.
Below are a few helpful links, including founder references, that showcase the value I try to deliver to the companies I support.