Founder’s Story Recap: Synota Co-Founders Austin Mitchell and Lisa Scott
The December Founder’s Story featured the industry-disrupting journey of two non-technical founders who moved from corporate roles to create Synota, a bitcoin technology startup bringing transformative capabilities to the energy industry.
Co-founders Austin Mitchell and Lisa Scott founded Synota in 2022 to promote global energy abundance by integrating Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and energy. Their vision captured attention, then more profound interest, and recently a $3 million seed round investment.
Every startup can benefit from Synota’s gameplan and disciplined execution.
Highlights and Tips from Synota
- Build a diversified, cross-functional founding team fast.
“Right from the get-go, we were the team we are today. Over the entire time, we all worked together. When it came time to close on financing, we didn’t have to hire. We had the team in place. We had all been talking with stakeholders in the energy and finance industries. Having all that information and those contacts prepared us to be ready for customers.”
- Do not gloss over the hard and fast rules that regulated industries live with.
“Utilities are asked to be compliant with all regulations and laws. One of our first questions from them was, are we? We became very involved from a regulatory and compliance perspective. It was a whole new world and an important part of the process. It is essential to prove you are the company you say you are—being aware and knowledgeable and able to respond thoughtfully.”
- Talk about the right things at the right time.
“We had a singular focus. We went into all the meetings really understanding the questions. When we got questions we didn’t know the answer to, we came back with answers. We found an opportunity that resonates with the market and the moment. People were already concerned about the issues we wanted to talk about. The team’s experience prepared us to articulate and structure our solution for the industry. That resonates with investors. Even if people aren’t sure, they want to learn more.”
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ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
Austin Mitchell is the co-founder and CEO of Synota and has spent his entire career in the energy industry. He started in academia where his research informed energy and environmental policy at state and federal levels. Austin’s business expertise includes markets, utilities and regulation, and risk management for gas and electricity. He is passionate about energy innovation and statistical analysis. Austin holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton, and a PhD in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Lisa Scott, co-founder and general counsel of Synota, and has more than fifteen years’ experience in public accounting work, primarily working with utility infrastructure construction companies. She is a certified public accountant (CPA) and holds a J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, skills and experience that are especially relevant to the regulatory aspects of the industries Synota serves.