Our Team

Stephen Hays


Stephen Hays is the founder of What If Ventures, a venture firm investing in mental health and disruptive healthcare startups.

After decades struggling with addiction, and a mood disorder, Stephen was able to experience a trans-formative change in his life with the help of his loving wife and children, his father, and close friends. This change inspired Stephen to combine his personal recovery experience, with his investing background to help entrepreneurs bring life changing solutions to market.

Since launching What If Ventures in January 2020, Stephen has invested over $85,000,000 in 73 Disruptive Healthcare startups via a syndicate of over 4,100 investors. To date, the firm has seen 3 portfolio companies exit via IPO and 1 company exit via acquisition.

Stephen is also the host of a podcast dedicated to mental health, wellness and recovery, called “Stigma.” You can read more about the podcast and listen to his conversations with entrepreneurs, leaders and others about how mental health has impacted their lives here: Stigma Podcast

Previously, Stephen led the venture capital investing efforts of a family office focused on early-stage tech startups.  During this time, Stephen led 25 early-stage investments in B2B SaaS, esports,gaming and healthcare startups.

Prior to his career in venture capital, Stephen was an investment banker on Wall Street for 6+ years. He primarily focused on helping large companies raise capital, and execute Mergers & Acquisitions with an industry focus on the multi-industrial, aerospace & defense, and healthcare industries.

Stephen received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at West Point, and received his MBA from Vanderbilt.

Stephen lives in Frisco, TX with his loving wife Christine, three beautiful children (ages 9, 8 and 1) and their pet bunny rabbit, named  Mr. Snuffleupagus.

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