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Featured on May 27, 2011

Dave Cascino

"They are only into it to get radical, they'll never understand the spiritual side of it. -Bodhi"


I was packing boxes in a basement when Datek Online hired me with zero technical experience and a suit I picked up an hour before the interview. I immediately got hooked on solving challenging technical problems and being involved in startup culture. I went on to cofound a high frequency trading company for 5 years, writing algorithms and trading on our highly tuned platform. In 2008, Pete Miron convinced me to "turn off the blackbox" and help him build a technology team around Knewton's innovative vision. Hanging out with entrepreneurs like Jose Ferriera is contagious and so you'll find me at WeWork Labs working on my second startup.

  • Title: Cofounder of LetsConfirm, Cofounder AI Capital
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Contact: @david_cascino

You spent over three years with Knewton.  What are some of your favorite memories from your time there?  Also, how did you end up boxing Jose Canseco?

It feels like 10 years, you pack in so many experiences working at a nascent startup. Jose Ferreira would always bring amazing speakers to talk with our small team. (Ron Conway, Jason Finger, Mitch Kapor, Reid Hoffman) That was always inspiring. The thing I miss the most is helping the team grow and hit their stride.

Regarding Canseco, my friend Sven Northcott introduced us while he was in NYC preparing for a celebrity boxing exhibition.  Canseco asked if I'd take him to the gym and spar a bit since I had an impressive 5 beginner boxing classes under my belt. Apparently that was enough to get in the ring with the former professional athlete. He didn't kill me so I guess that worked out ok.

What scares you?

Jose Canseco and the Singularity. Besides that, living an ordinary life keeps me up at night.

You were an Ambassador this year for the Startup Bus to SXSW.  What was your favorite app to come out of StartupBus? Is this something you plan on doing again next year and how did you end up on the Silicon Valley bus?

John Britton needed some twilio ambassadors in Silicon Valley so he tapped Pete Miron for some hackers. I jumped at the chance and was on a plane 2 days later. Favorite hacks were speakermeter and walkin.

As for next year, I believe its a one time thing. Alumni come back as conductors who organize, advise and shepard the nomadic hackstars. I'd definitely conduct if Elias Bizannes thinks I'd do a good job.

Ruby Developer, Java Developer, Technical Lead, Python Developer