Ben focuses his investing activities on NextGen Commerce companies and solutions.
Ben is a co-founder and General Partner at Primary Venture Partners. He has been a serial entrepreneur and investor as a co-founder of LaunchTime an incubator and investor in early stage tech startups and as a co-founder of Community Connect which was one of the first social networking companies.
Ben focuses his investing activities in NextGen commerce companies. Ben’s previous investments include Coupang, MakeSpace, Maple, Jet.com, Greats, FundedBuy, Yipit, ThinkNear, Upsight, BounceExchange and PSDept. Ben has been active in the NYC tech community for almost 20 years. Prior to working as an entrepreneur and investor, Ben worked at Merrill Lynch in the Technology Investment Banking Group. Ben graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Economics.
The Rest of the Story
My parents were entrepreneurs having run dozens of different businesses from restaurants, produce stores to printing businesses. Even with that, when I told them I wanted to leave my investment banking job to start an Internet company back in 1996, they thought I was insane. Luckily, the one thing that they did understand was this incredible desire I had to control my own destiny. They completely related given the path they chose. So fortunately now, my days are spent with entrepreneurs who are taking this incredibly journey to control their own destiny and build great businesses. The opportunity to help them is incredibly rewarding.
Stuff You Wouldn't Know
First Job: My first job was working at my parents’ Chinese food restaurant that was located only a few blocks away from where I live now in Tribeca. I was 8 years old and would bus tables during the day and then help deliver food in the evenings. My father used to drive me to apartment buildings and I would “run up” the food. I would get either great tips because I was a little kid or I would get crappy tips because, well, I was a little kid.
My Childhood: Besides being working at my parents’ restaurant, I grew up in Queens and was in a breakdance crew. Put some cardboard in front of me and watch out!
My Travels: I have traveled to over 40 countries and have run with bulls in Pamplona, climbed up a live volcano in Sicily, ate crickets in Angkor Wat and played in a league basketball game in Shanghai where the refs smoked DURING the game.