As a child, James spent time in the theater world. He starred as Gavroche in the Broadway production and National Tour of Les Miserables.
“To me, entrepreneurship is one of the noblest endeavors someone can undertake. I view my job as doing anything that can help founders achieve their goals. That's intros, recruiting, thinking about fundraising, M&A, and generally being available and accessible at any time.”
“I love digging into the data, but that’s only one part of the story. The customer’s love for a particular product brings the holistic picture of the company to life.”

Ben Simon

Venture Partner, Early

Ben Simon believes harnessing the power of crypto requires more than just technical know-how. “Crypto sits at the nexus of systems design and frontier cryptography, yes, but also political theory and financial history,” he says. “The multidisciplinary nature of crypto is part of what makes it so challenging—and so exhilarating.”

Ben majored in computer science and philosophy at Stanford before transferring to Harvard, where he studied government and religion. After leaving Harvard to pursue crypto full time, Ben joined Mechanism Capital a week after the fund was incorporated.

As a partner at Mechanism, Ben sourced and guided many of the portfolio’s most successful companies. He also oversaw the fund’s research arm, authoring influential essays and recording podcasts on topics like rollups and algorithmic stable coins. Ben is currently working on a stealth crypto fintech company and recently co-founded Locke Protocol.

At Spark, Ben supports teams tackling crypto’s biggest problems. His ability to support founders stems from his boundless curiosity and optimism about the technology’s potential. “In this industry, it’s easy to get distracted by copycat projects and short-term hype,” he says. “I look for founders that combine bold, expansive visions of the future with the grit necessary to navigate crypto’s minefields.”


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