It’s only natural that Ansaf approaches venture capital from the perspective that “technology and entrepreneurship are great sources of positive change.” After all, he grew up at the intersection of technology and humanitarianism: His father was an electrical engineer and technologist, and his mother was a doctor who started a social-service organization to aid refugees in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
But his path to venture capital was a circuitous one. His studies took him from Stanford, where he graduated with honors and served as class president, to Harvard, where he earned an MBA and an MPP. Ansaf was one of the first ten World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Shapers, a member of the Aspen Institute’s Impact Careers Initiative, and a Policy Fellow for Senator Cory Booker. Ansaf was always attracted to organizations and initiatives that sought to solve problems of great proportion.
“I’ve always believed that government can be a big lever of change,” he says. “But I also realized that technology was an accelerant that was changing the world at an alarming pace. Coupled with the right entrepreneur and team, big ideas could move quickly and catalyze change in amazing ways.”
Ansaf began his career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company in New York, working with the largest enterprises in the world on their most painful strategic and operational problems. Then he joined the product team at RelateIQ, an early-stage enterprise SaaS company building a next-gen CRM platform applying machine learning and data science to one of the most crucial workflows in the enterprise. RelateIQ was acquired by Salesforce for more than $400 million, and Ansaf’s path ultimately led him to Lightspeed, where he joined as a partner in 2016.
“What excited me about Lightspeed in particular was the flat culture and hustle mentality within the firm,” he says. “We are constantly pushing the bar higher for ourselves, looking for ways to keep moving quickly while improving ourselves and our approach to better serve the entrepreneurs we work with—a necessary quality when our business involves partnering with individuals dreaming up the next great technology and looking to create a seismic impact on the world.”