Expanding the Primary Family

Last week was a big one for us at Primary, with our 2nd annual Primary NYC Summit bringing over 600 VCs and founders together over two days for some great content, networking and discussion about the state of the tech landscape in NYC. More on that soon, but suffice it to say that it was extremely rewarding to see this national audience assemble to witness just how on fire the NYC tech scene is.

In any other week, that event would have been the dominant news story for us at Primary, but last week was different. Last week we had the pleasure of announcing from the stage at the Summit that Steve Schlafman, who in June joined our team as a part-time Venture Partner, has shifted to a full-time Partner role. As many of you know, Steve is a seasoned investor in the NYC Tech community, with experience at seed firm Lerer Hippeau Ventures and multi-stage firm RRE Ventures. When he joined us, we weren’t 100% sure where the relationship would end up, but we knew that we had a great deal of overlap in our philosophies as investors and a deep respect for each other. And we knew that Steve’s unparalleled network in the New York founder community could provide a big boost to our efforts to build Primary into the go-to firm for the best founders in NYC.

Over the past few months, we’ve been hugely impressed by Steve’s intellect, hustle, networking and, most importantly, his passion for building a great firm. Steve is one of the most founder-friendly VCs we’ve ever come across, but he thinks about that in a uniquely strategic way. For Steve, and for Primary, “founder-friendly” doesn’t mean being nice and easy to work with; it means understanding that the Founder is always at the center of our work and our mission. It means that we must engineer everything we do, every element of our business, to make the relationship between Primary and the Founders we’re lucky enough to back as powerful, productive and user-friendly as possible. We are already a much better firm as a result of Steve’s contributions, and he continues to inspire us and push us to new heights every day.

Not unlike many of the best relationships in life, our relationship with Steve progressed more quickly than either side expected. Over the past month or two, it has become mutually clear that the shift from “dating” to “living together” is the obvious, inevitable next step. We couldn’t be happier to welcome Steve more formally into the fold. You can read more about his journey to Primary in this piece from The Wall Street Journal last Friday.

Please join us in officially welcoming Steve to the Primary family. We are very much looking forward to the journey ahead together!


Brad Svrluga