Introducing Cap Table Cast, a new podcast from FoundersXcel

We often hear the stories of successful founders after they’ve achieved incredible outcomes — but what we don’t get is the journey. The in-the-weeds, unfiltered account of what it’s like to undertake something massively ambitious.

If you’d like to take an exhilarating peak behind the scenes and experience the brilliance of Arist (Y Combinator S20) founder Michael Ioffe, take a listen to the first episode of our new podcast, Cap Table Cast

Learn about how Arist went from acquiring its first Fortune 500 clients as little more than a dorm room upstart…to nearly facing collapse at the onset of…

How Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg’s mentors helped them build a billion dollar business.

Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, Flatiron Health

As sophomores at Wharton, Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg built Invite Media, an adtech platform that Google bought three years later for $81 million¹.

Later, after a brief stint leading Invite’s integration into Google, the two went on to found Flatiron Health, the patient big data company helping researchers find new ways to beat cancer. Roche, the Swiss Pharmaceutical giant, bought Flatiron for $1.9 billion in 2018², just 6 years after Weinberg and Turner’s departure from Google.

These magnificent success stories go beyond just sheer luck…


In an industry dominated by the Zucks and Spiegels, the biggest returns will come from the most unsexy problems.

Current landscape

Painting a non-statistical picture of most student-level startups seeking investment is not difficult. They fall into one of two categories, hyper prevalent social media upstarts and uber-niche, college campus specific startups aiming to make student life more efficient. But this isn’t an indictment — entrepreneurship in any sector and of every scale is to be celebrated. This is a question of impact. One of broadening the scope of ideas and execution and using a time unburdened by non-academic responsibility to solve the biggest problems first.

Thinking big

Big problems don’t always translate to the big ticket, existential issues that occupy the mindshare…

source: Diana Stoyanova

Diverse founders return 30% more cash on median to investors.

Diversity in venture and by extension the startups that venture capitalists fund is not a new topic. By and large, partners at VC funds tend to be strikingly homogenous, not only in terms of academic background and network but also in terms of ethnicity. Finding a partner of non-white or non-male origin on Sand Hill Road is nearly an exercise in futility, as by and large, they do not exist. Less than 2 percent of VC partners (read: investors with decision-making power) are black¹ and less than 2% are Latinx² — nearly none of whom are women. Stats like these…

We’re a sustainable apparel brand empowering thousands in the battle against single use plastic waste and climate change. We’re fighting back one tee at a time, with the future of our planet in mind. Kaiyō’s 100% cotton designs are more than just statement pieces, they’re functional apparel. We’re design driven and eco-forward, with messages that help you make a difference. Kaiyō means ocean in Japanese — Our vast oceans contain more than half of all life on Earth and support marine plants that produce about 70% of the Earth’s oxygen. The health of vital ocean ecosystems is threatened by climate…

Scott Smith

Mostly startups, VC and creative ramblings. Founder and tech investor by day, creative by night. Working on something new.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store