Shaper: Jason Trost

Show aired on 3rd February 2018


Jason Trost

Jason Trost is the founder and CEO of London-based Smarkets, one of the world’s largest betting exchanges. As a trading platform, Smarkets simplifies peer-to-peer betting on hundreds of markets daily, with a mission to provide the best odds and the lowest commission. In a few short years, Jason has engineered Smarkets into a market leader that sees approximately 200,000 customers trade billions of pounds annually, and is counted as one the fastest growing companies in Europe.

Originally from the United States, Jason has been actively involved in the business and technology sectors in Europe for the past decade. He currently acts as an advisor to other technology startups and young entrepreneurs in the London area with Entrepreneurs First and has spoken at Google Campus, Cambridge, UCL and Oxford Universities.

Previously, Jason was an application developer for UBS Global Asset Management Division in New York. He also worked as an equities trader at Great Point Capital in Chicago.

Follow Jason on Twitter @jasontrost.

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“My co-founder was in London and said, ‘betting’s blowing up over here but the technology is not very good’ so I quit my job in New York City and moved over.”

“I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to be in finance. When I started university I thought I wanted to be a doctor but I didn’t like the science classes very much.”

“When I was trading I was obsessed with the numbers… is it going to go up, is it going to go down, who’s buying, who’s selling… but I didn’t care too much about the underlying asset that I was trading.”

“For the first seven years it was lots of graft. I think the short truth is that often times founders are crazy people.”

“I would like to think I learned a lot of lessons from wrestling. Wrestling was my main sport as a kid, I was captain of the high school wrestling team…”

“I don’t think you want that many gritty people in the company. I want intellectually curious people.”

“I don’t have an expectation that people won’t make mistakes. I try to push people hard, so they know I am competitive – but I think they think I am competitive but fair.”

“Everybody needs to evolve their own career and learn new skills. I have to learn new skills as the CEO…”