Arcady Sosinov is the cofounder and CEO of FreeWire Technologies which provides smart battery systems for EV charging and mobile distributed power. The company has raised $45 million from investors such as EASME, Silicon Valley Bank, Alumni Ventures Group, Total Access Fund, Elemental Excelerator, BP Ventures, ABB Technology Ventures, Momenta Ventures, Chestnut Street Ventures, Spike Ventures, Blue Bear Capital, Strawberry Creek Ventures, Stanley Ventures, and Energy Innovation Capital to name a few.
In this episode you will learn:
- Working since he was 14 years old
- Which investors to choose for your Series A
- The future of power and mobility
- Arcady’s top advice for new entrepreneurs
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Arcady Sosinov:
Arcady Sosinov is a co-founder of FreeWire Technologies and serves as the Chief Executive Officer.
Arcady Sosinov has led the company from ideation, formation, incubation, and now customer acquisition and revenue growth.
Prior to FreeWire, Arcady Sosinov spent 7 years in the finance industry, most recently the investment firm, GMO. Arcady Sosinov focused heavily on emerging markets, creating a best-of-breed financial database analytics suite that is now used throughout the firm to trade over $130B worth of assets.
Arcady Sosinov holds 2 bachelor’s degrees from Boston University, as well as an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business.
Connect with Arcady Sosinov:
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today we have a founder that definitely, we’re going to be hearing a bunch of really incredible adrenalin-fueled stories on building, financing, scaling a company, running out of cash, shutting down the business, opening the business back up. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so without further ado, let me welcome our guest today. Arcady Sosinov, welcome to the show.
Arcady Sosinov: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Alejandro: Born in St. Petersburg, and I know that your family is originally from the Ukraine. I know it was not easy, the upbringing and growing up, but we’d love to hear; how was life growing up?
Arcady Sosinov: Sure, thank you. A little bit about my background and the past. Yes, I was born in St. Petersburg in the Soviet Union, and it’s an interesting story about how I got there because my family’s not originally from St. Petersburg. We’re from a little town in the Ukraine called Chernigov/Chernihiv. This little town is well known for being the largest major town outside of Chernobyl, the power plant that exploded on April 26, 1986. We were about 50 kilometers outside of the reactor that exploded, and unfortunately, my mother was seven months pregnant with me. It was obviously a very traumatic time for my family and for her, particularly. Once they got the chance to escape, they did. After about two weeks, the Soviet Union allowed folks to leave the area. The world had found out about this explosion and how deadly and dangerous it was. So, the Soviet Union could no longer contain that information; they could no longer hide it. So, people started leaving. My family went to St. Petersburg to stay with relatives. It’s there that I was born, but as you probably know, back in those days, there was no real mobility; there are no movements. You couldn’t move easily throughout the country. Within about two months, we went back to the Ukraine, back to Chernigov/Chernihiv, and lived next to the remnants of that power plant for the next five years until 1991. It’s, obviously, affected who I am today. My family lived through, arguably, the worst energy disaster of all time. That has affected the way we talk about energy, the way we view energy, and I knew that once I grew up and became an entrepreneur, I wanted to do something to affect that. Yeah, it wasn’t easy. Then, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed in August 1991. Right before the collapse, my family immigrated out as religious refugees and landed in the Land of Opportunities, New York City.
Alejandro: How old were you at that point?
Arcady Sosinov: I was five years old.
Alejandro: Wow. [00:04:27]
Arcady Sosinov: Yeah. I was five years old, with a 16-year-old sister, with two parents, and a grandmother, and we all landed in New York City and lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. It’s a typical immigrant story where we lived in New York for a couple of years. We worked as hard as possible. We focused on education. We focused on each other, and eventually, we moved to Boston, which is where my family still is and where I consider home. Over time, we did what most immigrants do, which is we worked hard. We bettered ourselves. Now, fast-forward to today, it’s been almost 30 years. Next year in 2021, it will be 30 years since we immigrated. The family has been fairly successful. My sister, who got a great education, ended up getting her Ph.D. from Yale. Myself: I got my MBA from Berkeley, and we’re all doing fairly well. So, I think it’s a really symbolic and great story about the American Dream and how possible that is and how a lot of immigrants in this country experienced it and really lived it.
Alejandro: That’s amazing. When you experienced this, even though you were five or six years old, maybe you have some memories from those early years being in New York, and also seeing your parents, too, because they were dealing with a huge amount of uncertainty, going to a new place, and starting a new life. I’m sure that this also shaped you and your mindset as an entrepreneur, too, and being able, as well, to deal with uncertainty. Would you say that’s the case?
Arcady Sosinov: Oh, absolutely. I think the biggest thing an entrepreneur has to have is risk-seeking behavior. I speak to a lot of young entrepreneurs around the Bay Area, and one question I always get is, “How do I make that leap? How do I choose to quit my job, my well-paying, secure job, and leave all the comforts behind and start this thing where I have no idea where it will work out; I have no idea if I’m going to raise funding; I know I’m not going to be able to pay myself. How do I take that leap?” I think being immigrants and coming to this country and having to leave everything behind, having to leave family, jobs. You couldn’t even bring clothes and jewelry with you at that point. Being able to do that and seeing that my parents were willing to do that to better their lives and to better the lives of their children makes me more willing to do that as an entrepreneur. That definitely shaped who I am today.
Alejandro: That’s amazing. You’ve been working since you were 14, even carrying golf bags, so talking about that mindset or working hard and making things happen, I’m sure that also gave you the drive too.
Arcady Sosinov: Oh, absolutely. It was interesting. My parents both worked extremely hard when we first moved, and they still do today. Seeing that work ethic affected who I was. As soon as I could have a job and earn some money for the family, I did. About 14 years old is when I started working. They were simple jobs at that point. I think my first job was carrying golf bags at a country club outside of Boston. I would get driven to the country club by my mom and get there at 4:35 in the morning, carry bags for eight to nine hours, and then come home and give all the money to my family. That was how it started out. But since that point, since 14 years old, I’ve never stopped working. I have never not had a job. No one listening on this podcast should feel sorry for me. I was happy that I did that. I enjoyed working. I enjoyed providing for my family what little I could. I think it’s a work ethic, I hate to harp on this point, that a lot of immigrants have in this country, and I think it’s an important one to have.
Alejandro: 100%, and I fully agree with that, Arcady. So, you went to school, and if we fast-forward a little bit, you started getting into the trading and quant trading and things like that. This was actually the segue to starting your own business. Tell us about being in this space, and then also coming up with the idea of FreeWire.
Arcady Sosinov: Right. I started to get deeper into my profession a little bit after I graduated from college. I started working for a subsidiary of the Bank of New York Mellon, and I was developing accounting and trading software. We were developing that software for the banking and the hedge fund industry. Eventually, I came across a hedge fund based in Boston that was implementing that system, and I got a job there doing some of the implementation work. After the implementation was done, which was pretty quick, I moved over to more of the quantitative side of the hedge fund world, and that was around trying to figure out how the world works and modeling that programmatically, pumping data through those models and trying to make investment decisions based on those models. I did that for a number of years. It was incredible. I started to understand how markets worked. I started to theorize how you generate wealth, generate return, and I started to look at interesting sub-sectors of various markets. For example, I started looking at oil and gas in emerging markets, understanding how oil and gas companies in Russia and Brazil were affected by regulatory pressures and how that attributed to returns. I started looking at the utility sectors and trying to figure out how utilities could be abended by new competitors who come out. Our electric vehicles are solar. Is wind generation going to affect utilities in a negative or positive way, and if so, how? I started working through those angles. Eventually, that company, they moved me out to Berkeley, California, right outside of the San Francisco Bay area. While there, I continued to do that work, but I also decided to go to school part-time. So I applied for and got into UC Berkeley’s part-time MBA program. For a period of time, I was going to school part-time, working full-time for this hedge fund, and I had founded FreeWire, the company that we’re going to be talking about shortly today. I was doing all three at the same time. And, at the same time, I was trying to maintain a social life and relationships and friends, so it was definitely a very stressful and hectic time in my life in my late 20s. But looking back, I enjoyed every single second of it.
Alejandro: How were you able to balance all this? You have this fantastic job; you also have your Master’s going on, so why did you complicate your life with one more thing?
Arcady Sosinov: I think it is part of the immigrant mentality of never being satisfied with what you have. That’s definitely a big part of my life. I always want something more. I always want to do the hardest possible thing, and that’s a revolving joke in my life amongst my friends and my family that if it’s easy, I won’t do it. If it’s hard, then I’m going to convince myself that I have to do it. I needed to. I needed to go through that period in my life. I needed to be intellectually curious. Going back to school triggered some of that intellectual curiosity and triggered some of those muscles that you use. After you graduate, your undergraduate, and you leave school, and you go to work, things can get a little repetitive at times. I think going back to school triggered something for me and allowed me to flex my muscles a little bit, and I wanted to use them to the full as possible. I decided to do all three of these things. Juggling everything was hard. I think my social life definitely deteriorated at that point. I was in a relationship, and I think that the person I was with, she was very supportive, and I think that’s one thing an entrepreneur needs is someone by their side who is supportive about the difficulty of being an entrepreneur and doing all these things at once. But, yeah, it was a tough position to be in, but I think I handled it pretty well.
Alejandro: At what point do you decide, “Okay, now it’s time to go at it with FreeWire and make it happen?
Arcady Sosinov: I think there were two things that led me to that point. One is, the idea of FreeWire, actually came from a class project at Berkeley. First of all, I’m very lucky to have met the people that I have met and been around the circles that I was. Berkeley is a great place to do that. You have professors who are venture capital investors or executives of public companies. I was lucky in the fact that I took this idea of FreeWire, and I’ll describe it shortly, but I took this idea. I put it through a class project, basically a tiny little version of an accelerator or an incubator. At the end of that, that ten weeks of that class, the professor, a gentleman named Steve Blank, who is a pretty well-known angel investor, stood up and said, “It’s amazing. How would you like $50,000 to start this company?” I think that was a big trigger point for me. That was me knowing, “Oh, my gosh, this is possible. I’ve come up with an idea. Someone is willing to take the risk and back me on this idea, and I’m going to make sure that I do right by that money and by that person. This is my ability to do what I want to do. The other trigger point for me was going back to the chairman of the hedge fund that I worked for, a brilliant gentleman who is enthralled in the cleantech world, and he was one of the best mentors that I’ve ever had. When I told him this idea, and that I had an opportunity to go and leave the company and start something, and I had a little bit of seed funding that I had access to, he pushed me to do so. In fact, when I left the hedge fund, he became my largest angel investor and invested in the company, as well. So, again, I know that I’m lucky because I surrounded myself with people who are capable of doing that, and people who can support me in that way, but it’s also a bit of creating your own luck. It’s also a little bit of being passionate about something and finding people around you that can help you and push you. I think that’s when I decided to take a leap and quit that job and hedge funds, start FreeWire, and go at it full-time was when I knew I could access a little bit of capital. It certainly wasn’t enough capital. I’ll definitely raise a lot more over time, but it was a proof point for me.
Alejandro: Absolutely. What ended up being the business model of FreeWire for the people that are listening to get it?
Arcady Sosinov: Sure. Here, at FreeWire, we develop technology to enable ultrafast charging of electric vehicles. Imagine, you, Alejandro, that you have a Tesla or an electric Audi, and you pull up into a shopping mall. You want to be able to charge your car in 15-20 minutes. You want to do that quickly, and you want to get on your way. To enable that, it takes a lot of infrastructure; it takes a lot of technology; it takes a lot of capital. So, that’s why we don’t see more prevalent ultrafast charging around the country and around the world is because the amount of infrastructure necessary to do that is exorbitant. So, we develop technology that you can deploy charging quickly. It’s ultrafast, so you can start charging 15 to 20 minutes, but it’s a fraction of the cost compared to traditional ultrafast charging infrastructure, and it doesn’t have a negative impact on the grid, whereas traditional charges, every time you plugin, you see a large spike that happens on the grid because you’re consuming so much power. We flatten that spike out so that utility sees a nice flat, steady consumption curve. The way you would interact with our chargers, Alejandro, is, you’d go into a parking lot. You’d see large charger; it says, “FreeWire boost charger on it.” You plug into it. You have a nice big screen. You’d swipe your credit card. You get ultrafast charging. You wouldn’t know what kind of technology is in there, but what I can tell you is that it’s compelling.
Alejandro: Very nice. I know that every company starts with putting together a band, putting together a founding team, and I understand that in your case, perhaps the sound wasn’t coming as nicely as it should have been from the beginning. I know that there were some hiccups there, so tell us about the hiccups.
Arcady Sosinov: There were hiccups, yeah. I think this is a story for every founder. One thing I want to say is that I think one big mistake that I made in my founding team was I recruited people from my MBA program. You do not want to recruit founders who are like you. So, to me, it was myself and two other MBA students, and that’s just not a healthy mix. If you’re starting a technology company, you want maybe a business person, you want a technology person, and you might even want a lawyer on your team or a finance professional. But, having three MBA companies, that’s already too many cooks in the kitchen. So, I think that’s something that you want to watch out for and make sure that when you form that initial team, that you have a diverse set of backgrounds, a diverse set of skills to found that team. I made that mistake. What happened next was that there was another problem with risk appetite. I was risk-seeking as we talked about already. I was willing to quit my job. I was willing to go full-time. I was willing to take no salary. I had no mortgage; I had no house; I had no kids. I could take that leap, knowing that if I failed, it would affect me only. The folks that I started the company with had wives and children and mortgages and families to take care of. So, they were not as risk-seeking. There became a problem where I did go full-time. I left everything behind to do this whereas, the other two co-founders kept their full-time jobs, keep the salary, and could only work on the weekends and evenings, could not put in the hours that I put in, but we’re still treated as equal founders. That causes frustration over time. You start to think about, “Are we really allocating equity the right way? Are you really a co-founder at this point? I need you to put more effort in. I need you to take these risks that I’m taking.” Honestly, I felt alone. I felt lonely in this process. During the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, these folks were stuck in a corporate job, and I was sweating away at this company not getting paid, and I needed someone to share that experience with, and I didn’t have that. So, that caused a lot of frustration, and after about a year, that founding team broke up, and I was the only one left. The other two continued on with their corporate jobs. Then there was a disagreement with how to allocate equity once that split happens, but even though we had contracted in our founder’s agreement how that equity switch should happen, there were still disagreements. Certain parties wanted more than was agreed upon. We had to turn to lawyers. Imagine you being in a small little startup, barely scraping by, not even paying yourself, and now you have to spend time with lawyers and pay lawyers to figure out how to split this equity of a company that may be worth nothing, frankly speaking. That was really frustrating and caused a lot of real heartache and pain on my side. I’ll be honest, even to this day, when I still think about this story, and me telling you the story now, it causes some heartache. It brings up some really nasty memories and some stress that I never want to do that again.
Alejandro: I hear you. Look, when I speak with founders, I always tell them that you need to have a cliff and at least a year of two years. I’m seeing cliffs between founders so that if one leaves, they leave all the equity on the books so that they can allocate it to new people coming in. Otherwise, they are the free riders, and that’s really tough.
Arcady Sosinov: You must have a cliff. I completely agree with you. I had a cliff. In our case, though, based on the way the original founders’ documents are drafted, there was some flexibility there. So, I would also recommend that as founders, if you really are allocating equity, first of all, don’t use documents you find online. Review it with a lawyer. A lot of lawyers in the Bay Area will actually do it for free because they want your business in the long-run. I also would recommend adding milestones. Not just a milestone of a day, a cliff, I would add milestones that say something like, “If this person doesn’t go full-time with an x-number of months, then the amount of equity is cut in half, let’s say, as an example. Or, if this person is brought in because they’re a business development professional, they have to bring in, let’s say, a million dollars’ worth of revenue or 10 million dollars’ worth of pipeline within x-number of months or else that cliff isn’t triggered. I would put hard milestones in there. And those milestones can be adjusted over time as the business develops, but it better aligned incentives, and that’s what I would do for my next company going forward.
Alejandro: That’s fantastic – fantastic insights there, Arcady. For this company, you have raised quite a bit of money. How much have you guys raised to date?
Arcady Sosinov: About 45 million dollars.
Alejandro: Got it. I know that in many instances, you’ve almost run out of cash. Maybe there’s one of those stories – maybe there’s this story about the call that you received right before Christmas. What happened there?
Arcady Sosinov: Yeah. You could have chosen a dozen different stories where we ran out of cash. [Laughter] First of all, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Every starter founder runs out of cash. You always have to skip payroll. You may have to use some of your own money to fund payroll for key employees, which I did, by the way. It happens. And, by the way, a little secret in Silicon Valley. Any startup that tells you that they have more than 9 to 12-months of runway are probably lying to you. I had this one story where we were raising our Series A round, and we got a lead investor, a term sheet, we were negotiating documents, etc. We were in that process. We were also running out of money at the time. We were just scraping by. The executive team wasn’t taking any salary. We were asking some employees to forego salaries. We were scraping by, but to the public eye, we seemed like we were growing a healthy company because sometimes, you need to show that. Sometimes, you need to have that façade. This was the end of the year. This was right before Christmas, and we were finalizing the definitive agreements, the transaction documents for the Series A, and we expected to get funded about the first couple of weeks in January. We expected the wire, the money in the bank. That would have been fine. We would have only skipped a few salaries, and we would have paid ourselves back, and everything was going to be fine. December 24th, the day before Christmas, I get a phone call, and the phone call is one you don’t want to hear. It’s that there’s been a change of heart. This was a corporate venture capital strategic investor, and he said, “We’re backing out.” They had their reasons, but it didn’t matter what the reasons were. All I thought about in that moment was, “Oh, my gosh! We’re shutting down. There’s nothing left here. We cannot go any longer, and we don’t have a back-up plan. It was really disheartening. I talked to my closest executives on the management team about it. We said, “Okay. We know this happened. We’re not going to solve it between now and New Year’s, so let’s go enjoy the time with our family and our friends. We did. We didn’t tell anyone else in the company, but then, I think on January 2nd, we came back together and said, “It’s time to shut down. Let’s end this now because there’s nothing left.” We effectively shut the company down. For the next two to three months, nobody got paid. There were very little operations. Some employees continued working, though, because they were so motivated and they thought that things would come back. They had more hope than I did even at that point, which can you imagine how that made me feel. Can you imagine how that made me feel that they had put their trust in me, that they had left other jobs to come work for me. I had failed them, and they were continuing to work, even though I told them that I don’t see any hope of getting out of this. It changed me, I think, as a person, and as a manager, and as an entrepreneur at that moment. The great part of the story is that within about three months, that strategic investor came back around. I did everything in my power; my management team did everything in their power to convince them otherwise, and they ended up investing and leading that round. That doesn’t mean that was the last time we ran out of money. No, it wasn’t. We ran out of money several more times, but I think that point was the one where it looked the darkest.
Alejandro: I’m sure that during those moments, it’s a real mental exercise too because you start questioning yourself. You start asking the what-ifs, what if they’re – so where do you find the strength to keep going?
Arcady Sosinov: I think part of it is social pressure, really. You know, you have to be in an environment where this is okay. I remember a story that one of my investors, out of Japan, told me. He’s Japanese. He founded a company. They were successful, and eventually, over time, their business was kind of eaten by lower-cost Chinese companies, Chinese startups, and Chinese manufacturers, which is commonplace in the Japanese market. But the company wound down, and he was considered a failure by his friends and by his colleagues, and kind of shunned. They thought, “We can’t spend time with this person anymore because their company has shut down; they failed. People lost their jobs. That’s just not how we do things here in the Bay Area. Everyone has a failure story. I’m in various CEO groups where we meet for coffee or for breakfast every once in a while. Guess what? When we’re in those meetings and in those groups, we don’t talk about those successes – no one’s bragging. We’re basically crying on each other’s shoulders, telling each other how this investor has pulled term sheets, or these employees are suing because of that, or this competitor is eating our lunch. We’re talking about the failures to each other because there are a lot, and no one’s embarrassed about it. We’re all willing to talk about them because those are how you learn. So, I think being in an environment like the Bay Area, this is what really makes it different around here is that it’s not embarrassing to have issues or problems or fail or do something wrong, as long as you can grow from it. That’s what’s important. That’s what people see. That distinguishes a lot of the culture, the professional culture that I saw in Boston, and in New York when I was out there. Granted, I was spending a lot of time in those circles and financial circles, which is different than the entrepreneurial circles, but what I can tell you that the environment here in the Bay Area is just different, and it allows for you to try on an experiment and fail, and then learn from those failures, and come back from them. I think that was really, really helpful. The other piece is that you’ve searched so many of these stories where people have failed and come right back out of the ditch, the trough of disillusionment, some may call it, or the trough of despair. Everyone has to have that dark moment. If a company has not had that dark moment, again, the entrepreneur is lying to you. They’ve all had it. What really separates the multi-time entrepreneurs, the repeat entrepreneurs are ones that were able to go through that trough, stick to it, work hard, and get out of it. If you can get out of it, then that’s a sign of a good entrepreneur. Investors look for that. They really do.
Alejandro: 100% because investors, at the end of the day, they don’t want to finance the education. They want to finance someone who is going to put the money into the execution. So I can get that, Arcady. Your space, as a whole, where do you think it is heading?
Arcady Sosinov: I’m in the electric mobility space: electric vehicles, atomic transportation, electric cargo trucks. I’m so bullish on it right now. I am so bullish. Electric vehicles are really taking hold. Every major automotive OEM has an electric vehicle on the market, and they’re good. They’re no longer the toys that have an 80-mile range. Now, these are long-range vehicles, comfortable, fast, attractive; these vehicles have sex appeal, like the Tesla Model S and the Model 3. I think that we’re undergoing, in my opinion, one of the largest industrial revolutions of our generation, and that’s the shift from combustion motors to electric mobility. And that’s such a major shift. You’re affecting not only the automotive OEMs; you’re affecting the utilities; you’re affecting retail. Imagine this: right now, to fuel up your vehicle if you’re driving, let’s say a Mercedes or BMW, you have to go to a gas station, and you have to spend some time there. Now, imagine if any mall could have its own version of a gas station. They have electric vehicle chargers in front. Now, instead of going to a gas station, you’re spending that time going to the Starbucks or to the Whole Foods. So, retail is going to shift dramatically through this transformation. As autonomous vehicles start to take hold, you’re also starting to change cities. You’re starting to change where people live because previously, you didn’t want to have a two-hour commute. But now, you can live in Connecticut and work in New York City and have your autonomous vehicle drive you there, and that’s convenient and comfortable, and you’re working while that car is driving there. Now, you’re willing to go further and further out of city centers and live in the suburban areas. So, you’re changing homeownership models; you’re changing commuting; you’re changing the utility grid. You’re seeing automotive OEMs, and all these things have to work in unison. I’m super bullish about where it’s going. We’ve had this pandemic now that we’re living through, and a lot of industries are abended. One thing that I’ve noticed, though, is demand for electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging has not decreased. It really has not. If anything, there’s a renewed focus on health, and as part of the health environment is a huge, huge issue there, and companies are spending billions of dollars to effect it. Amazon just launched their billion-dollar climate initiative fund. One billion dollars toward – and a lot of that is going to go toward electromobility. We’ve already heard about Amazon’s massive investment Rivian – their move to electric delivery fleets. This is all in that guise of movement toward better health, better environment, and I’m super happy to be in the space, and I’m super bullish for it.
Alejandro: Very nice. For the folks that are listening, this is a question that I typically ask the guests that come on the show. It’s incredible the experience that you’ve had with FreeWire, and the ups and downs, the successes, the failures. If you had the opportunity to have a chat with that younger Arcady that is still in Berkeley and working at the quant trading GMO company, what would be that one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self knowing what you know now and why?
Arcady Sosinov: I mentioned something earlier, which is that find a founding team with a diverse skillset and diverse backgrounds. That’s clear. I could go back and tell myself, “It’s a lot harder than you expect. It’s not going to be the three to five years that you’d expect; it’s going to be six to ten years. But I think entrepreneurs have to have a little bit of overconfidence. You have to believe some of your own bull ****. If I knew that this was going to be six to ten years, would I have still done it? I don’t know, but I was exuberant. I thought it was going to be three to five years. I thought it was going to take 20 million dollars, not the 45 or so that I’ve raised now. I think that’s what makes a really good entrepreneur because they don’t know how hard it’s going to be, and they hear a lot of people around them say, “No. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take you this much,” etc. They’re just not willing to believe it, so they dive right into it, and they put all their effort in. Some people might think, “Oh, go back and tell yourself all the trouble you’re going to have and all the pain points and roadblocks you’re going to encounter. In fact, I wouldn’t tell myself that because I want to still have as much – I want that younger Arcady to have had as much enthusiasm as I did. But diverse skill set and the founding team – I would caution early Arcady about which investors you bring on in the earlier stages. I would advise him to bring on more financial venture capital in the earlier stages and not strategic; wait a little bit longer to wait to bring in strategic venture capital. I brought in a strategic capital in my A round. I probably should have only done financial VCs and then brought strategists in on my B round. I think that’s the advice.
Alejandro: Very profound, for sure, Arcady. For the folks that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?
Arcady Sosinov: I love to talk to people, so my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on LinkedIn. Send me a message. I respond to them. I’m happy to communicate and talk to entrepreneurs. I’m happy to talk to anybody that’s in the electric mobility space and wants to learn more. So, reach out.
Alejandro: Amazing. Well, Arcady, thank you so much for being on the DealMakers show today.
Arcady Sosinov: It was my pleasure. Thank you.
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