Bio / Executive Summary

Haftan has thirty years of combined industry and academic experience building internal data science capabilities at companies like AIG, Amazon, Albertsons, and academic facilities in Neuroscience, Neurology, and Psychiatry. Early academic research appointments focused on developing technologies in data management, data analysis, and statistical modeling for longitudinal studies, and novel approaches to networked storage and parallel processing for simulations in computational neurobiology and genetics. Haftan co-authored more than twenty peer reviewed publications and was investigator on more than $30M in federal grants. Corporate appointments to build internal capabilities started at post melt down AIG, followed by Audible — the audio-book subsidiary of Amazon — to build out their data science capabilities in the US, EU, and Japan. Launching Newark Venture Partners pulled him into startup land at Plated — a US meal kit delivery service for pre-portioned raw ingredients and recipes across the continental US. There he built out the data science capability introducing novel approaches to acquisition, retention, sourcing, recipe development, and distribution. After being acquired by Albertsons, Haftan moved to Understood.org, providing digital solutions to millions of households of people who think and learn differently, their parents, their educators, and their employers. He also launched mission aligned investment funds: Difference Partners, a VC fund, and Planet9 Studios, an incubator fund. Haftan currently advises data heavy startups like Abacus Insights (data engineering as a service), Flagship (data science as a service), and Synonym (underwriting continuous fermentation facilities). Haftan holds graduate degrees in Biostatistics and Developmental Psychology from Columbia and Cornell Universities. Haftan was born and raised in the United States, and often visits family in Sweden. For the past thirty years, he has been living with his husband in Brooklyn, New York.

What is your key differentiator as a startup mentor?

Communications and Creativity. I really do help people think differently about data, reimagine problems, invent new solutions, and develop new capabilities.

What is your biggest startup win?

Plated was a very well know Shark Tank pitch funded by Mr Wonderful, and it was a very successful exit as acquired by Albertsons.


Ideation & Communication

$1000 / One Time
How do we think and talk about what they are doing? This service usually falls into one of three common needs: Pitch Renovation, Customer/Product Evolution, and Brain Storming. Each section takes 2-3 hours (choose one per purchase). Pitch Renovation focuses on fund raising: the concepts of the problem and the solution, the narratives being used to represent the past and the future, and visualizations deployed for supporting the narrative. Customer and Product Evolution focuses on customer segmentation (which is largely driven by how the product is perceived and used) and product development (which is largely driven by how customers consume it). This includes the sourcing of products and customers, bringing them together at the right time and place, and capturing the data thrown off by the interaction. If there are existing data, then this can turn into a longer set of consultations with analysis and modeling. Brain Storming is about getting people outside of their box(es)... where I like to live.

Resourcing & Talent

$5000 / One Time
These four services focus on "who can do this?" in a structured sustainable way at different parts of business life cycle. Each section takes about one full day (choose one per purchase). 1. Team Resourcing Plan defines the Roles and Effort necessary to deliver on the looks at Goals. 2. Funnel Development converts the roles into job descriptions, the process for screening candidates, and the participants in the decision. 3. Team Recruiting defines the skills and abilities necessary and nice to have in candidates, along with the challenges useful for getting deeper perspective, and the criteria for ranking candidates at each stage. 4. Team Retention & Pathing provides each function with a clear set of skills and experiences that provides a clearly defined set of leveling metrics, and next steps in career development for each person wherever they are in that matrix.

Decision Making

$10000 / One Time
This service addresses four common business situations all having to do with "why are we doing what we do" (and can it be done in a structured sustainable way)? Each of the experiences takes about a week of work (choose one per purchase), which can be stretched out over time. 1. Mapping Opportunity: Strategic, Tactical, or Technical Looking at Operational Flows, Information Flows, and Transition Points to develop a structured way to (a) execute and track annual strategic planning, or (b) execute on more frequent higher risk decisions like investments, or (c) define the ai roadmap in terms of what can be built, where it should be implemented, and who needs to build it. 2. OKR Development & Implementation This is an established way to align and prioritize resources against Goals, Objectives, and Metrics across functions on a weekly basis. It can also be used to define hiring plans and annual budgets. 3. Efficacy & Risk Management Looking at Inputs, Outputs, and defined Response helps companies monitor their work in real time, and prepare for action based on defined criteria. For ia deployments, this is a highly defined process, that can be scaled to any level of risk, from low risk manual processes needing slow paced correction to low latency automated processes needing immediate intervention, suitable for diligence with government agencies. 4. Continuous Experimentation Most companies have a valid, robust, and continuous source of hypotheses that can be used to improve the business starting with declaring Questions, Contexts, and Execution. Once implemented, this yields of constant source of what to test and develop next.


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