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SN 2 - #9B Beyond the Pitch: The Future of the Venture Capital Landscape

Welcome to another episode of The 7 in 7 Show with Zack Ellison, which features full length interviews with the world’s leading investors in innovation.

Episode 9B of Season 2 features Samantha Lewis, a Partner at Mercury Fund. Her specific focus is on Mercury’s Power theme, where she seeks to fund startups utilizing blockchain, data platforms and fintech to rethink the way people access capital and opportunity, build wealth, spend money and organize as communities.

Samantha currently serves on the boards of Mercury portfolio companies Apparatus (infrastructure), Arden (infrastructure), Civitech (data platform), Brassica (fintech infrastructure) and Cooklist (data intelligence).

Samantha is an active Kauffman Fellow, the world’s premier venture capital fellowship.

Prior to joining Mercury, Samantha was the Investment Director at Goose Capital, a Houston-based investment group of serial entrepreneurs and F500 CEOs, where she led deal sourcing, structuring and portfolio management.

During her time at Goose, she led investments in Syzygy Plasmonics, Rufus Labs, and Emerge. Samantha is a repeat entrepreneur with a background spanning agribusiness, logistics and supply chain, beauty, and deep tech.

Samantha received her MBA from Rice University and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Texas A&M University. Samantha remains deeply committed and involved in the efforts to build diverse, robust innovation ecosystems.

Outside of Mercury, Samantha actively mentors founders, teaches a Venture Capital class at Rice University, and supports Ukraine through fundraising and medical supply deliveries.

In this episode, Zack Ellison and Samantha Lewis discuss:

  1. Venture capital’s evolution: From pitch to sustainability.
  2. Diversity in venture capital: Identifying untapped markets and founders.
  3. Venture debt: Bridging startups to success.
  4. AI’s role in startups: Beyond hype to utility.
  5. The importance of geography in finding venture opportunities.
  6. How venture lenders catalyze startup growth and validation.
  7. Enhancing investor returns with DPI (Distributions to Paid-In capital)


– Zack Ellison: ⁠

– The 7 in 7 Show: ⁠

– A.R.I. Venture Debt: ⁠

A.R.I. is an investment manager focused on providing growth capital to premier startups in underserved regions and sectors in North America. Learn more at