Our Team

Stephen Hays


Stephen Hays is the founder of What If Ventures, a venture firm investing primarily in early stage mental health and addiction recovery focused startups.

After decades struggling with addiction, and type-1 bi-polar 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. More of his story with addiction can be read here.

Since launching What If Ventures as a syndicate in January 2020, Stephen has invested over $76,000,000 in 61 digital health startups via a syndicate of over 4,100 investors.

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 was the Founder and Managing Partner of Deep Space Ventures, a VC fund focused early stage tech startups.  During his time at Deep Space, Stephen led 25 early stage investments in B2B SaaS, esports, gaming and healthcare startups.

Before starting Deep Space Ventures, Stephen was an investment banker on Wall Street for 6+ years. He primarily focused on helping large companies raise capital, and execute Mergers & Acquisitions.

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, beautiful children and their pet bunny rabbit, named  Mr. Snuffleupagus.

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