I started my first business while I was still at university — we published and sold a student newspaper, StudentLife, and then we started selling advertising space in it. The newspaper continued to be published for a long time even after I had left the halls of the university. When I arrived in Moscow, I got a job as a web administrator, but I came to the conclusion that conventional employment was not for me. So on my own, I started creating an online service for compiling wishlists, but this project never ended up growing into a stable business. One day while browsing a website for IT specialists, I saw an announcement about a meeting of startup founders to be held in St. Petersburg. I thought it would be cool to do a similar event in Moscow. Thirty-three people came to the first meeting, and four of them were investors. When I saw the amount of interest in startups and innovation from investors, I recognized that bringing people together is my superpower, and it’s something that I should definitely pursue. This is how the StartupPoint project came about — a community of startups and investors. We helped people find each other: the successful supported the people with promise, and resourceful people supported the ambitious. Over the course of four years, we held over 100 meetings and investment transactions. Thanks to this project, I met Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mark Zuckerberg and visited many countries. I stopped developing StartupPoint because my naivety finally collided with reality. I thought that if I created this platform, then interesting and promising entrepreneurs will receive the resources they need and will be able to do something more. But in the end, one and the same founders came up with new ideas, while investors who had only recently agreed upon investments with projects, came for other projects. I felt like I was deceiving the people around me. At that time I didn’t yet know that venture investment was a kind of mathematical game theory. Essentially, the investor is in constant search of his potential unicorn which will compensate for a percentage of his failures. At the same time, I was invited as an expert in networking and startups to the GoValley program in California. I got to see how everything works in Silicon Valley and get inspired by success stories. There they asked me, “What is the key to success for first-time founders?” I answered — mentoring. On the one hand, there is the entrepreneur with their ambitions and burning eyes, and on the other hand, there are the investors who say, “Here is money for you, we believe in you.” It always seemed to me that these two opposites lacked a third element — experienced entrepreneurs who are ready to support the investment aspect. After the closure of StartupPoint, I stood at the origins of the largest venture fund, being one of the leaders in the Russian market in terms of the number of transactions. And so began my eight-year journey in acceleration processes. We were the first to start popularizing the business growth tracker profession in the Russian market. In 2019, together with the investment fund Mestorozhdeniye, I began to develop the Tracker Academy. Thousands of trained business consultants and investors have taken our business growth tracking methodology and then they spread it to their businesses. We have trained the largest number of trackers on the market, and after eight years this profession has now become indispensable. Currently, I am fully focused on the B2smB.vc fund, where I am the general partner. Successful entrepreneurs have the problem of isolation. The more you develop, the higher you climb, and the more difficult it becomes to engage with other founders. This makes it difficult for founders to collaborate and pool their efforts. And we at B2smB.vc decided to help them break through this barrier. We do not invest in individual startups, but instead in alliances of several startup founders. That is, those who have learned to negotiate and team up, and were able to make their joint efforts lead to an important and interesting result. Our manifesto is “stronger together.” We have our own alliance and acceleration procedures, we give money in advance, and in this way, we stand out from the crowd of investors who can tease entrepreneurs for months, listen to pitches, and intervene in financial models, but in the end, never give any money.