Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

Advisors take many roles in their work with startups.

You can use advisors to fill gaps in the early stage of the startup.

Some advisors provide support as informal advisors. 

There’s no set goals, meetings, or formal advisor agreement.

This is the most common way startups work with advisors.

Those advisors signed up with an agreement and a set of objectives to take on a formal advisor role.

Some advisors take the role of a mentor in providing guidance.

Mentors focus on the founder, while advisors focus on the company.

Some advisors take the role of consultant in performing very specific tasks for the company while others take on general responsibilities.

Some advisors take on the role of a board of directors.  

This can be helpful in early-stage companies that are not yet ready to form a board.

Advisors here can provide oversight to the company and help the founder keep the broader picture in mind.

Advisors bring experience, contacts, and networking.

In choosing an advisor, know what role you want the advisor to play.

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Advisor_Roles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Igor Khmel, Founder and CEO of is a platform where you can trade stablecoins. BRIK is liquidity protocol for real estate that they are working on. They want to implement the power of the DeFi market and stable coins to automate the biggest asset class in the world - real estate. They have got multifamily properties confirmed for $15m, and are in the process of onboarding other $20m properties. has secured relationships with 5 leading real estate data providers, including CoreLogic. Two leading Wall Street investment banks expressed interest to provide them with 3% leverage financing as soon as they reach the $100m portfolio. They plan to reach a $1bn+ portfolio of real estate within 3 years and are looking for real estate partners and financial institutions to work with. 

Igor created and launched the Innovation Lab for Sberbank, the biggest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe. He hired and managed a team of 15 engineers and managers to create new innovative solutions for the bank and the bank's ecosystem. He got the idea when he met with alumni from the Capital One Lab at Stanford and used that Lab and their best practices as a model.

Among 20+ pilots, he developed card retargeting, an innovative banking product that uses real-time bidding technology to target online merchants when customers buy something offline. To realize this, he led the acquisition of a company that enabled this technology for Sberbank and led the integration. He initiated the sale of a 50% stake in this company to the leading Russian telecom, enabling joint use of data and technology by Sberbank and the telecom. They closed the deal based on 2x valuation - doubling the company's valuation in a single year.

Igor shares what led him to start working in the industry. He also discusses the growth rate of the sector, and some of the challenges he has faced.

You can visit at

Igor can be contacted via email at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at  

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Igor_Khmel_of_Brik.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT