Dan GrunfeldVice President, Business Development.
As Vice President of Business Development at Lightspeed, Dan spends the majority of his time helping the firm’s portfolio companies connect with global enterprise business leaders interested in top emerging tech solutions. He’s also a former professional basketball player and an accomplished writer.
Dan has always been drawn to people who “think differently and like to win,” so the innovation and determination of startups has long intrigued him. During business school at Stanford, he joined a virtual reality startup and loved helping them grow from the ground floor. It was also around then, and through the Stanford GSB network, that he first connected with the Lightspeed team.
Dan’s father was an NBA basketball player and is the only player in NBA history whose parents survived the Holocaust. He immigrated to the United States from Romania at nine years old. He didn’t speak a word of English and had never touched a basketball yet won an Olympic gold medal for the United States roughly a decade later. “Growing up with grandparents who survived the Holocaust and with a dad who overcame adversity to succeed in sports taught me the power of hard work, perseverance, and grit,” said Dan.
An Academic All-American and All-Conference basketball selection at Stanford, Dan played professionally for eight seasons in top leagues around the world, including in Germany, Spain, and Israel. Dan’s writing has been published more than 40 times in media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The Jerusalem Post, and NBC News. And he is the author of the bestselling book By the Grace of the Game, which chronicles his family’s journey from the Holocaust to the NBA.
In his free time, Dan likes to read, write, and spend time with his family. And, of course, he enjoys watching a little basketball here and there.