Jason Shuman (Primary Ventures) – Payback Period, Market Timing, and The Importance of Distribution

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Jason Shuman is a Principal at Primary Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm responsible for backing NYC’s most promising founders. Some of their investments include Ticketfly, Jet, Deliveroo, and Package Free.

Jason 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.

Thank you Sumeet Shah for the intro.

One book that inspired Jason personally is Attached by Amir Levine. One book that inspired Jason professionally is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Jason, you can follow him on Twitter @boatshuman. To follow along behind the scenes of the show, you can follow @mikegelb and @consumervc.

In this episode you will learn – 

  1. What attracted him to start his own footwear company and become an entrepreneur? What were some of the learnings from that experience? How does he think about market timing? What attracted him to switch from being a founder to venture capital and working on the other side of the table? What makes seed investing as a stage so interesting to him? What attracted him to consumer?
  2. What are his own KPIs for founders that are looking to fundraise a seed round? What are some qualities in founders that you look for? What is his own due diligence process? What metrics does he focus on and how has his evaluation changed the past few years What should the diligence process be for an early hire? How does he think about growth – organic vs. paid. Why does Primary Ventures only invest in New York Companies? What is some advice for founders that live in secondary and tertiary markets? What are changes in consumer behavior or consumer trends that he is most excited and focused on and looking at investment opportunities? What is something that he would change when it came to venture capital?
  3. What is one company that he had the opportunity to invest in, didn’t, and in retrospect wish he did? What is one piece of advice that he has for founders of consumer companies?

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