Founder Stories: Castiron, a Platform for Independent Food Artisans

Castiron Co-Founder and CEO Mark Josephson shares his experience partnering with High Alpha to start the business.

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High Alpha

Castiron Co-Founder and CEO Mark Josephson shares his experience partnering with High Alpha to start the business.

I am a lifelong entrepreneur having built and run businesses since I was a kid. The third beat in my career was as a CEO of the link shortening company, Bitly, which I ran for six and a half years. My team and I helped take that beloved product and turn it into a business and scale it and sell it and scale it a bit more afterwards. After I left Bitly, I was on a year of saying yes to every introduction and every coffee and every networking thing, and I was connected to Scott Dorsey at High Alpha.

It was right about the time the team was getting ready to do a Sprint Week, and they asked me if I would be willing to or interested in joining Sprint Week. Because it was these guys who were really great and smart and a fun idea, I said sure! Sprint Week was awesome. It was a lot of fun, super productive, and it was great for me in so many ways. And even better for the business.

If you are an independent food artisan who has orders coming in through DM, email, phone call, sidelines of the soccer game, yelled across the street from your neighbor, you don't want to sell anything everywhere. You want to sell your sugar cookies, your hot sauce, your sourdough, your meal prep, and you wanna sell it in a way you have control over it.

Everything we do from our features, functionality, brand voice, content, copy, or our creative is built specifically for independent food artisans. The TAM here is the biggest TAM I've ever seen in the world. It's everybody in the world times three square meals a day if they're lucky.

It's a huge opportunity. I have never been in a market that is this dynamic with this much investment, this much innovation, and also one candidly that delivers such joy. We recently completed our seed funding led by Bowery Capital and Foundry Group and with participation from High Alpha. We had a really successful fundraise.

We're thrilled with our partners. I never wanted to start a company from zero until I met the team and the model at High Alpha. I had plenty of ideas. None was as good as this one. And the resources and opportunity that High Alpha and the High Alpha model gave me made it a no-brainer. It was impossible to say no because we had an idea that we felt passionately about.

I had the partnership of some incredibly talented, experienced and kind co-founders with the resources of the studio to have a full schedule on day one. I was able to start building and creating value on day one, and it's been a rocket ship since then.

The team at High Alpha is as smart as anybody you'll meet. They are as successful as anybody you will meet in the industry, and they're as nice and kind as anybody you'll meet in the industry. They've been great partners that have helped make my business smarter, made us move faster and hopefully bigger and more successful. If you want to be focused on building value and not on all the other things, it's a no-brainer.

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