Ilya Rekhter has built one of the first sustainable Bitcoin mining companies in the world — Megawatt, which is headquartered in central Indiana. 

Prior to starting Megawatt, Ilya was the Co-Founder and CEO of DoubleMap, which was acquired by Ford Motor Company in 2019. What started out as a college project scaled to one of the 100 fastest growing companies in America – doing all of this without taking a dollar of outside funding.

Get IN. is the show focused on the unfolding stories and most extraordinary innovations happening in the heartland today. Get IN. is brought to you by Powderkeg and Elevate Ventures.

In our conversation with Ilya, we talk about:

  • His family history and immigration to America from the Soviet Union
  • Scrappy startup stories that will inspire you
  • How to bootstrap a software business all the way to a successful exit 

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Episode Transcript

I’m Matt Hunckler, CEO and Co-founder of Powderkeg, and on the show today, CEO and founder of Megawatt, Ilya Rhektor. 

I’m wearing a suit, , I’m in the bus with the mayor sitting next to me. Just sweating, watching, Reid, you know, straddle the driver’s seat of the bus and open up all these electrical compartments and wires But to his credit 26 minutes and I think like 10 seconds is what it took. , he got it done , all credit to him.We won the bid.

Ilya Rhektor has built one of the first sustainable bitcoin mining companies in the world, megawatt, which is headquartered in central Indiana. Prior to starting Megawatt, Ilya was the Co-founder and CEO of DoubleMap, which was eventually acquired by Ford Motor Company in 2019.

What started out as a college project scaled to one of the hundred fastest growing companies in America doing all of this without taking a single dollar of outside funding. In our conversation with Ilya, we talk about his family history and immigration to America from the Soviet Union scrappy startup stories that are going to inspire you for sure, and how to bootstrap a software business all the way to a successful exit.

That’s all coming up on this episode of Get IN.

I was born in technically a country that doesn’t exist anymore. The time of the Soviet Union, now it’s Russia. So in my dad was the ultimate, in my opinion, kind of hustler, entrepreneur where he wanted to get us out. He did not like the system for a million different reasons, some of which we’re seeing today.

So he saw the writing on the wall back then, but he started writing letters. He learned English. He was a scientist is a scientist. Started writing letters to all of these different universities and academic organizations around the world one of which went out to the University of Washington in Seattle.

And this guy David Gordon. Thought, thought there was something there and ended up convincing At the time, the Soviet Union in early 1991, before it had collapsed to let my dad leave my mom and I were back in the middle [00:02:00] of Russia, and at the time I, I was young, so I can’t pretend that I remember this, but in theory, we weren’t going to see each other again.

So my dad left and luckily a few months later, the Soviet Union collapsed. He didn’t have any money, but his boss, this guy David Gordon sent some money to my mom and I, and we caught the first plane. and came to America. So I credited a lot of entrepreneurship to my mom and my dad because my mom didn’t know English.

She was very young. My dad learned English, but very much a second language. And through these, you know, letters that he wrote got us out of there. Tell me a little bit about the psychology of that being, you know, first generation immigrant in the us. What kind of impact did that have on your career and what direction you took things?

Well, if you think about it, I’m now in my second startup, but going back to the first one, startup. That’s just not a thing that existed in the Soviet Union. It, it somewhat does maybe now, which is questionable in Russia there, you know, capitalism didn’t exist. So had I stayed, had my dad not taken those risks, had my mom not taken those risks, my life would be [00:03:00] vastly different.

So I always felt the sense of responsibility to, to do something of value with opportunities that they. Well, you certainly have, it’s gotta feel good to deliver on that expectation. Sounds like you put on yourself. Mm-hmm. . You got wild to think about. It really is. But literally, if your father hadn’t been able to, if you hadn’t sent a thousand letters, got someone to reply, got over here, claps of the Soviet Union, your mom and and yourself move here at this very.

who knows where you would be? That’s, that’s pretty insane to think about. Yeah. Not somewhere I’d want to be . Yeah, yeah. Alternate reality. Yeah. I think about that parallel universe frequently. Right? So I was adopted from Russia when I was nine months old, and I’m constantly kind of drawn back to like, wow, you know, and I’m having a bad day.

It’s like, It could be worse. Yeah, it’s a great day. Yeah. Uh, Did your family stay close? Was it David Gordon? Yeah. Did your family stay close with him or stay in contact with him as you [00:04:00] guys like, you know, got settled in the states? Yeah, we’re, we’re still in touch with him today. He was the reason he ended up getting a job at the University of Michigan, and this was a few months after we’d moved to Seattle.

He asked my dad, you know, Hey, I know you just moved across the world, but do you wanna move to Michigan? My dad’s response was, , it’s in America. I don’t really differentiate Michigan versus Washington State. So, sure. , and at least the way the story’s been told to me, my, my dad is, is not James Bond, let’s put it that way.

He’s a scientist. The cia or one of the organizations rightfully so, was I think watching him. Oh, wow. Yeah. So he just left because we moved to take this job at, in Ann Arbor, and a few months later, I think his lab got raided . Wow. Because they lost him. Oh my God. And they started interviewing everybody, my dad’s name.

You know, hey, you know, does Mark actually do work here? Is he just in the back? You know, take Right. Jotting down some notes. Luckily, you know, he wanted to get out of Russia , so he was doing, you know, actual academic work in science related research. So that worked out, but wow. Funny backstory there.

Wow. That’s crazy. Mm-hmm. . Well, and you grew up in a [00:05:00] college town, Ann Arbor, Michigan. What do you think, what impact do you think that exposure had on you, just in your own cultural exposure? Yeah, so my dad was doing his postdoc at U of M. My mom went to grad school at U of M. So we were living in low-income family housing, so we didn’t have any money, which depending on where you live, that can create some class inequality.

Where I lived my elementary school, which had 300 kids, I think had something like 70 countries represented. That’s awesome. So you get off the bus after school, nobody has paid nannies or people to watch them. So I still remember some of these, you know, people’s names, who I was friends with and we had Sonja from China and his family would watch us, you know, on Mondays, on Tuesdays it was Kevin Obanu from Nigeria, we had Dominic from Australia, we had Aaro from Japan.

My family would them one day and it just rotated. So the sense of, hey, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, we’re all here to build a better. Doesn’t matter what religion you are, what skin color you have, what background you have, what orientation of anything. We’re all just working to build a better life.

The, the most beautiful definition and an explanation of [00:06:00] community right there. Absolutely. Absolutely that, and that was my experience growing up in West Lafayette across the street from Purdue. Mm-hmm. was just all my, all my best friend in preschool is from Morocco. My best friends in high school from Sudan and Poland and Korea.

And I think a lot of times people who aren’t from the Midwest maybe haven’t spent any time in the Midwest don’t realize just how multicultural mm-hmm. . Yep. Many parts of the Midwest are absolutely, I think it’s one. Underutilized assets. Mm-hmm. in a lot of ways, or at least lesser known assets.

Yeah, absolutely agree. Well, tell me how you ended up in Indiana. So I, my dad basically got a job at Eli Lilly, is the, the short version of the story, slightly longer. I had this cultural shock where I went to a small school where I had 60 kids in my grade, made this big leap to go to public, you know, bigger, high school.

Had 2000 kids and then midway through freshman. moved down to Carmel, which is like the biggest school in the country, I think. Yeah. And had to make all new friends there. . Yep. The City of Champions. There you go. . I, I know you say it as if it just happened. Make, make new friends there. But that, [00:07:00] that’s actually really hard to do, especially in high school.

Yeah. When you’re going to a school where maybe people have known each other for mm-hmm. their entire lives you learn any lessons, making new friends for the first. I mean, one, I’ll give credit to Midwestern hospitality in Indiana. Sure. People were actually welcoming, of course. So from that standpoint, it wasn’t as bad.

For me, I, I was always athletic. I would have these, I’d play hockey and soccer and run track, and all of a sudden you’d go to this. This big high school, there’s, there’s a lot more competition . So you, you really do have to think about, Hey, you know, it doesn’t matter that I was the best player on my soccer team when I was, you know, 13 or 14.

It’s more, Hey, long term, what do you want to do? What are your actual skill sets? Are there actual curiosities beyond, you know, something like athletics that you wanna pursue? And was it the Kelly School of Business that drew you to Indiana Univers? . So I, I’ve got a funny backstory there too. I, I was an okay Spanish student in high school, but I placed well on the national Spanish exam.

Nice. So I, I got to IU thinking I was gonna take a [00:08:00] Spanish scholarship and I, I asked the academic advisor saying, Hey, what level Spanish do I need to take? And they said, well, it’s a foreign language scholarship. You can take anything you want, . So I, I speak Russian, so I , , I’ll do Russian way to way to work the system.

That’s awesome. I love that. I love that. So it seems like right, academia, like higher ed was part of your life growing up I mean with your dad and, and mom. Was, was entrepreneurship part of your life in, in your home life? I feel very fortunate my parents were and are extremely supportive at the same time, and I joke with ’em still to this day.

I think as far as, you know, the scorecard, the way they were raised, which, you know, academics were the central focus. I’m a huge disappointment. The entrepreneurship doesn’t exist in the minds of that, you know, generation of people from that country, let’s put it that way. So from that stand I, I don’t have a higher ed degree, like I have a, an undergrad degree.

I don’t have a master’s. I don’t have a PhD. I’m not a doctor, a lawyer. So that scorecard is, is off the table failure. Yeah. Well by our scorecard here. You’re doing great, . [00:09:00] Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Well, I, I, and I, I think your first entrepreneurial venture, maybe outside of some childhood lemonade stands and things like that.

Mm-hmm. kind of came about at Indian Indiana University. Is that right? Yeah, so my goal at IU was to get good grades, get a job, and have some fun. Maybe not always in the right order, , but at the same time, going into my senior year, a friend of mine in my fraternity, he was running for student body vice president, wanted some help on the campaign.

I, I ended up agreeing to help. We, we get elected and there’s five platform issues that they ran on. I, I wasn’t one of the main people, I wasn’t president or vice president, but I helped enough on the campaign where once they, they got selected, I was one of the chiefs, there was five chiefs. So think of it as a cabinet.

Yeah. So we had a very sophisticated way of picking who got what issue, platform issue. And I lost five sequential games of rock, paper, scissors, and got stuck with transportation and eventually, because nobody wanted to, to do that. So that was the origin story there. Rock and little did you know at [00:10:00] that moment how cool buses would be?

It wasn’t a passion of mine. That’s what’s interesting, . It’s, it’s something that I learned. I’m either gonna do something a hundred percent or I’m not going to do it. So once I committed, I became obsessed with transportation. I learned everything I could. So it actually in a roundabout, So what happened?

So what, so how did that evolve? So in student government, you want to just get things done to help student life at whatever university. In my case, iu. So first we brought Zipcar at the time was new to Bloomington. That was this big win. Then we brought something called Zimride, which there’s, there’s an interesting side story as to huge mistake personally and professionally.

I made there about passing on an opportunity, but once those two were done what later became my first startup double map was what I started. And the origin there is going into the summer before my senior. We had these issues that we, as part of the transportation initiative had run on, one of which was adding something called the U route, if you’re familiar with Bloomington.

They wanted to get more attendance at football games, so they wanted to add a bus route just on Saturday mornings to bring people to the stadium. , which IU [00:11:00] football was not very good at the time. , maybe it’s gotten better, but the time’s certainly not very good. Attendance was low. Short of maybe start there.

Yeah. Short of teleporting to the game. , yeah. Getting a better football team, right? , iu. Administrators didn’t. Maybe you should have been the coach. . There you go. Could, couldn’t have done much worse. . Although we did go to a bowl game one time, so that was nice. but it, they didn’t like the idea of adding buses, which was gonna add wear tear to buses at fuel costs, at driver salaries.

So I essentially got laughed out of the room by these administrators the summer going into my senior year. And one of my just fears at the time, still to this day, it’s not even that I want to look smart, I want to avoid looking stupid. So I started pitching them ideas that. Thought up of on the spot, although I pretended that I had put in months of research and work and all this stuff, and one of them was, we had the bus that I took every single day to class.

They had a paper schedule. And we all know that weather happens, traffic happens, life happens. Buses rarely run exactly on time. So the iPhone had just come out. I said, Hey, you know, why don’t we put an iPhone in every single [00:12:00] bus and then using air quotes, you know, friend them and put them on a. , which was very naive of me to say, but I said, Hey, why don’t we do that?

Would that be something, a project that you are interested in? And they said, sure. How much would that cost? In my head, a data plan was something like 30 bucks. We had 30 buses, so I said, a thousand bucks a month. And I think they were just trying to get rid of me as this, you know, kid that was pestering them about this random project they weren’t that interested in.

So they said, sure, we’ll give you a $12,000 a year budget. And I walked away thinking, oh my God. . I have a $12,000 a year budget. This is, this is more than zero, which to me is binary. Yep. So all of a sudden it became very real. Let’s go build this thing. And throughout the course of the year, we, we built it, we launched, it wasn’t a company at the time, it was just a project and app.

I viewed it almost as my legacy. We launched it. But then going back to my roots, you know, with my parents, there was an expectation that I got a job. So I took a job instead of pursuing it as a startup. Mm-hmm. , but later came back to it. What brought you back to it? I [00:13:00] graduated, I became a consultant. I moved to DC and I had this very cool opportunity where I picked a boutique consulting firm because I knew I’d intern there.

I knew they had some overseas work, and I was obsessed and still am obsessed with traveling. Mm-hmm. . So they wanted somebody to go to Ethiopia and Nigeria and Ghana. So for about six months, I wasn’t actually in DC I was, I was abroad. Fascinating, fascinating experience. But while this is happening, I’m getting messages from the IU transportation manager saying, Hey, we need X, Y, and Z bugs fixed in this bus tracking app that you’ve released.

And again, it’s my legacy. So I wasn’t looking for money. I said, sure, you know, I’m dealing with some. Some work things and some rolling blackouts potentially, but I genuinely want to get around to it. I will do this. You don’t need to pay me. And he cut me off. His name’s Perry Mall. I still actually have a relationship with him to this day.

He is an amazing guy. I owe a lot of what we achieved to him believing in us. I, you know, I said, It’s gonna take me some time. He said, you don’t understand. We have 30,000 kids using this every single day. I’m getting more phone calls than it’s, [00:14:00] it’s worth almost at this point. If the thing doesn’t work, we need this fixed.

Now you found, you found product market fit unintentionally. Yes. . So he almost started negotiating. He said, well, what’s it gonna take for you to do this now? Is it gonna cost money? How much money? And then I almost pivoted because I, I had been entrepreneurial my whole life. I was the kid with the lemonade stand.

I was the kid selling boot like DVDs at summer camp. So I was always obsessed with, you know, some kind of, whether you call it product market fit, but some kind of building, right? I wanted to build things of value and in this case there was dollars on the table. So I think we negotiate, our first deal was an annual contract.

$18,000 a year, which is not enough to live off of, let’s put it that way. But to me it’s very binary. I still believe this to this day, that it’s just as difficult for a startup to go from making $0 to making. A dollar or two as it is to making millions of dollars. Yeah. But can you imagine how many startups would love to have someone reach out to them and say, Hey, I wanna be a customer and I’m gonna start at $18,000.

That’s massive. That’s awesome. But I think that only happened because [00:15:00] as students, a lot of times we feel powerless. We’re young, we don’t have experience. We maybe feel like we don’t know what we. In my case, I almost felt the exact opposite. I felt plenty stupid not knowing what I was doing, but I was paying tuition and I was representing students as part of student government who paid a whole hell of a lot of tuition, and all of a sudden, these IU administrators and these transportation people at iu, luckily in our case, they were supportive and genuinely interested, but even if they hadn’t been, they have an obligation to listen to us.

At which point, if you build something of value and it’s. Today, and that was, you know, 2009, 2010. When we built it, they, they have to follow through on it. So all of a sudden it wasn’t. You know, we were pushing them. We found product market fit, like you said. So for all the students that are right now, as we record this, using the bus mapping on campus at iu, think Ilia only if it works,

If not, it doesn’t work. It’s their fault. Yeah, exactly. . Well, yeah. Nate already teased this talk to talk to Ford. Ford ultimately [00:16:00] acquired this company. A lot of things happen in between. Yes. What were some of those kind of like pivotal moments? Matt, I might back you up. Yeah. Right. So you talk about your parents giving you this kind of like report card grades of go get your master’s, go get your PhD.

How did the conversation go when you said, I’m actually going to go work on a startup that makes $18,000 a year and quit my lucrative job abroad in consulting? I think not only at that moment. Genuinely, if you ask my parents now, for the first five years of the company, I think they thought that I’d lied to them and I’d actually been fired because in their head, you know, who quits a job?

Any job, much less a, a good job that I enjoyed that was letting me travel to go do, and I, again, air quotes, but this is what they called it, this quote bus thing, for, for what ended up being 10 years. But for the first five years, who knew what it was gonna become? Wow. So I guess if you, if you, were they supportive or was it kind of like a fight there?

[00:17:00] So that’s where I credit a lot to them. Right. They did not get it. Up until the day we sold the Ford and solely because I think they knew what Ford was. They, they got it. But they were always supportive and that, that I’m forever grateful. Right. Yeah. They, that’s I think the ultimate role of a parent is you might not get what your kids are doing, but it’s your job to be supportive.

And they were. Yeah. I love that. That’s amazing. Okay. I have, I have this a map too, right? So You sign your first customer with IU, you’re now working on Double Map. Mm-hmm. , what do you do next? . So life came at me very quickly. So going back, I was, I was living in DC and as a consultant, you’re taking prime time, flights, wherever you want, booking ’em.

Last minute I was living in a hotel room, so my room was cleaned every day. I, I wasn’t spending any money on food, all of this stuff. All of a sudden, one of the first clients we ended up pitching that just became, came up for bid was Georgetown. . University So I’m back in DC but I’m living in Indiana and all of a sudden I’m not flying to Dulles on a direct flight in the middle of the day.

I, I remember this very well because [00:18:00] it, it was stark over the course of two, three weeks of, of a gap . I’m flying from Indy to Baltimore on Southwest, taking the 36 bus from BWI to the Green line on the, the metro in dc. Taking that to a buddy of mine who lived in Arlington and sleeping on his air. mattress To go pitch Georgetown.

Yes. Which did that for a while to build a relationship to show them we were committed to them. That was part of our pitch because we’re a young startup. So they’re buying, I think us as much as they’re buying the product and belief in us. But eventually we won the deal and that was, that was a big pivotal moment for us because that’s the university, like a brand that people know.

How old were you at the time? a year out of college. So yeah, I’m 21, 22. That’s amazing. Yep. Then fast forward, right? Mm-hmm. , I, I, I did some research and you were pitching the Mayor of Columbia, Missouri. Sure. Yeah. And tell me about that story. . So e even after we’d gotten Georgetown and you know, we got University of Michigan, which Nice had brought me back to Ann Arbor and some of these other schools, we started pivoting more [00:19:00] into municipalities and cities.

Eventually we ended up doing corporate fleets and airports and hospitals, but Columbia, Missouri was both right. It’s a college town, but also a larger city in Missouri. So we’re pitching them and even though we have a product and we’re making, you know, seven figures as a company, we’re still not, you know, the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

We still have a lot to. So our pitch was that we’re this nimble product. We can install it really fast. We’re not like this old tech where we have to tear apart a bus and do all this crazy stuff. We were using, not iPhones as I had originally pitched, but you know, something similar like a, a tablet infrastructure, more ruggedized.

So we pitch and when you do these requester proposals, RFPs, you, you submit this a hundred page document, which. Story of itself about creating that content and staying up nights. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into that. But if you make it through the initial process where dozens of companies are can submit, they usually whittle it down to three or four finalists and you go and pitch in person.

So in our case, we, we drive out there. and you have no idea who is gonna be in the room. Sometimes it’s just the transportation manager maybe, and a few more [00:20:00] people. In this case, it was a big project for them. So the mayor of the city is there and there’s probably like 30, 40 people. We’re presenting all of this too.

And again, our pitch was under 30 minutes. We’ll install this in a bus. Here’s our installer. Mind you, our installer is my college roommate and one of my best friends, . He’s not, not like a professional installer. We hadn’t timed him as to how long this was gonna take. I just. Relatively confident. Was he wearing penny loafers as well?

We actually played it up right? ? It’s amazing. It’s fun. No, it’s a, it’s a good point, right? Because we all had to play our role. Yeah. And we usually did installs. I’m getting my hands dirty. All of us are doing everything right, but in this case, I’m wearing a suit and he’s, he’s the installer. So they, they said, oh, that’s, that’s really interesting.

Let’s pull up a bus and, and test this. So they, they immediately pull up a bus, they pull out an actual stop. , and I want to help. His name’s Reid. He’s, he’s still in town here. I’m still very good friends with him. I wanna help him. We usually would tag team these installs, and we had a few more people with us, but I can’t, because the role that I’m playing is the [00:21:00] presenter, the CEO of the company.

I’m wearing a suit, so I’m, I’m in the bus with the mayor sitting next to me. Just sweating, watching, Reid, you know, straddle the driver’s seat of the bus and open up all these electrical compartments and wires But to his credit 26 minutes and I think like 10 seconds is what it took. So by the skin of our teeth, he got it done all, all credit to him.

We won the bid and moved. That is awesome. Yes. That’s amazing. Well, and you mentioned Reid is one of those early characters on your team. Tell me a little bit about your co-founder Peters. . So Peter and I met, so going back to student government election, he, I didn’t know him at the time. Yeah. I knew Jack McCarthy, his vice president, my fraternity brother Peter was ultimately the president that we essentially helped get elect election.

He was good at rock, paper, scissors. Well, he didn’t have to, he was the president. Right. Five other people, . So I didn’t know Peter, he didn’t know who I was. But I think over time he saw that I, I cared. And in this case, I think whether it’s finding co-founders, . You know, [00:22:00] getting ahead in any career, just caring and giving a damn, I think goes a long way over time at.

So in his case, he was like, wow, this is actually turning into something. Him and I started talking. He, he was going into investment banking and ultimately did, but we bonded over the fact that we both liked startups, we liked tech. We wanted to, frankly, we didn’t want a real job. Yeah. We wanted to create our own jobs and ultimately became business partners that way.

That’s amazing. Mm-hmm. , how do you think you guys complimented each other? Because some, sometimes it feels almost like alchemy how these co-founding teams get put together. And, and while a lot of times co-founder relationships are complimentary, a lot of times they’re not gone into consciously mm-hmm.

being like, Hey, you do all the things that I’m bad at and I do all the things that you’re bad at. Mm-hmm. How did that kind of play in the relationship between you and. I think so we had a third co-founder as well, and there’s probably a cleaner example with him. His name’s Eric. Sure. Peter and I, just being young and naturally, you have different skillsets, right?

Even if you take what our professions were, he was an investment banker, I was a consultant. [00:23:00] There’s different skillsets, right? So naturally a lot of the finances fell on him. A lot of the operational efficiencies fell on me. So we had natural deviations that way. Eric, I think is, is a funnier story. We weren’t technical.

So Peter, with his pull as being student body president I still dunno how he did this. He convinced the School of Informatics to give us a capstone team to Oh, that’s awesome. Build this project. Love that. And again, it wasn’t a startup at the time. Yeah, it was a project. Yeah. So that, there was merit there, but they treated it like a class.

Mm-hmm. . So I, I wanted, you know, the, the finished product. I was ready to, you know, work day and night to get this done. I was gonna graduate. There was a taking clock there, going about this, you know, week at a time, a semester break. They’re taking vacations. All this. And I’m still friends with some of the people on that team.

So they were very talented, but it was just different for them. Mm-hmm. . So after their capstone finished, we said, Hey, we need some technical help. So through a friend of ours that we met, he said, Hey, I’ve got this smart guy, he’s younger, his name’s Eric. And I remember I was somewhat cocky at the time, right?

We had a dot moving on a map as we thought it was a bus. We thought we’d invented [00:24:00] fire. So inbox this guy, I’m a senior, I think he was a freshman or sophomore at the time. And you know, I said, Hey, here’s, here’s what we have built so far. If you start by doing some of these low level bug fixes, maybe you can work your way up to do this.

And then eventually this, this, and this. That’s amazing. And he’s super humble to this day. He listened to me rant for 15 minutes. Our mutual friend had told him maybe a week or two in advance what we’d been working on for six months. He just casually turns his computer around. Oh, this is awesome. And he had built exactly what we had spent six months building in, in under a week.

Wow. So I just backed and I was like, listen, , what can I do to just get you to join our team? We’ll do whatever you say. And it, it goes to show he ended up interning at Google. Fascinating, brilliant guy. But he became our CTL and co-founder. That’s amazing. How did you convince him? Quit the Google route and go in on a startup.

Honestly, I’m not sure to this day must have been in his DNA too. So I remember, I’ll, I’ll answer it a little bit differently. He, he was pitched by a lot of, as he [00:25:00] called it, you know, businessy people at IU about doing this startup or that startup. And he said what differentiated, and Peter and I to other people who were presenting this to him was that we actually followed through and had an mvp, a minimum viable product, and it showed follow through and we’re taking it very seriously.

Ended up getting paying clients, all of that. Most people. They’re just talking and have pretty slides and pontificating. Exactly. Right. So I don’t know exactly if that convinced him to leave Google. Maybe by that point we’d gotten a little bit more traction. I mean, he saw, you know, that it was a legitimate startup that was gonna be high growth, but getting him to buy in early on, that’s, that’s what it took for sure.

So talking about getting that traction mm-hmm. again, did my research here. You guys topped off at what, 93 on the Inc 5,000 list. So we made it. maybe five years in a row, but that was the highest. 93. Yeah. So what, what attributed to that growth? Like how do you go from, you know, you’re got a couple customers here, you’re on an air mattress in mm-hmm.

the DC area and out [00:26:00] sweating while someone’s installing on a bus to 93 on the Ink 5,000. So, I don’t know if there’s one single thing, but using double Map and I’ll dive a little bit into the details of what we did, what our products did, right? So the story of, you have a static schedule, you want to know where your bus is in real time.

Think Uber for buses. That’s how it started. But if you think about transit, right? So we’re sitting here in Indianapolis. If you need to ride the bus, meaning you don’t have a car you, you don’t have a bike and you need to get across town, you have exactly one. choice And that’s the bus system. IndyGo So there’s almost this natural monopoly for transit organizations and they have a budget to where ultimately they want to do the best for their riders, but there’s only certain amount of dollars to go around to where a, an app to track the bus by itself.

Oftentimes doesn’t move the needle for them. Right? Is that going to increase ridership? Is that gonna decrease cost? Is that gonna increase operational efficiency? Maybe. But there’s not a scientific way to prove that. Mm-hmm. So we launched this and you know, we thought we were, again, geniuses, right? We had a dot moving on a map, multiple dots by [00:27:00] this point in time, but it didn’t sell.

So we started talking to real world customers And what we realized was there’s other budgets and other projects they’re pursuing, but our technology, we’re putting brains inside of the bus. And if you walk into a bus, even today, oftentimes you’re walking back into the 1970s as far as you know, tech. Yeah.

Systems aren’t talking to each other, all of that. So in our case, we realized there was a bid coming up where they had a, a sizable budget to do to help visually impaired riders. So imagine now if you’re visually impaired, you’re blind, you’re relying on a bus driver to announce when the next bus stop.

is bus drivers are human right . They, they might do it a little bit later. They might do it a little bit earlier. They might forget they’re driving a bus at, at the end of the day. There’s all sorts of variables. So again, Siri was coming out around this time, so we had voice synthesis technology. We already had this tablet infrastructure in the bus.

We realized we could actually leverage the exact same hardware we had plug into the speaker system on the. bus And actually help visually impaired riders. And oh, by the way, there’s a budget for that. And oh, by the way, we have this cherry on [00:28:00] top now, this app to track the bus, that was our differentiator away from other companies.

That we were competing against. So it became this ecosystem where we did a lot of things inside of the bus to integrate these siloed systems, help route optimization, help count passengers so that you knew where and when people got on and off, so that you could optimize your routes. And that ultimately led to the company taking off and us winning bigger contracts.

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Tell me about how you ended up getting acquired by Ford. Was that something that was always kind of a north star for you or did that kind of happen through some serendipity as well? I think hindsight’s 2020. Right? Sure. At, at the time you’re just trying to grow and stay alive. Yeah. And, you know, pay your bills.

But starting [00:29:00] out, I very much, I wanted to be a true entrepreneur. And, you know, you, you have this checklist where you wanna sell a company, you’re gonna grow it to where it’s valuable to somebody else. So that, that was a goal. Now. it took way longer, , and it was way harder than I thought to where if that’s the pure goal that somebody has, I would advise them to go maybe do something else.

And we never expected to sell the Ford, but ultimately we got big enough to where one of our competitors was actually acquired by them. Out of curiosity, we, we called the ceo, we were at CS one year, and we called the CEO and said, Hey, how’s life at, at. And ultimately he introduced us and we ran a process to where we had I think four or five other offers and we ended up picking Ford.

That’s amazing. Did you have like VC or investors that were like kind of maybe pushing you towards an exit? So we were bootstrapped, we raised $0 throughout the, the history of the company. That’s amazing. And there’s nuance there, right? It’s not that we were against raising money, it’s that going back to these requests for proposal, like we talked to about Columbia.

Right. A lot of these RFPs, they have grant funding to where they [00:30:00] have, let’s say four or $500,000. You win a bid, it’s, it’s a five year bid, but a good chunk of it is actually allocated up upfront. So where you still have to deliver on the product and you still have to, from an accounting standpoint, recognize the revenue over 60 months, but cash is king.

Yeah. Yeah. And when we were actually raising our initial run, which we had a million dollar term sheet originally that we had raised throughout that process, it took six months. We won our first RFP and said, Hey, We don’t have to give any equity here. Why? Yeah. Your customer is your, is your vc in essence.

Yeah. Why don’t we just do this model? Yep. Yeah. That’s great. I love that. Well, I, I, I would would love to understand what you were thinking after that exit. I know a lot of times founders can kind of feel a little bit lost mm-hmm. after they’ve put so many years and so much of their life into something.

But I also know you have a lot of different passions and you’ve gotten involved with a number of different startups here in Indiana. I’m sure you traveled a little bit as well. Tell me a little bit about that time period after you sold double map. Yeah, I, I’m a pretty candid guy, so I’ll give the, the good with the bad, right?

Yeah. Because everybody has this image, right? You sell, I [00:31:00] had this image of other entrepreneurs you sell and you’re like on a beach somewhere, right? Yep. Right. In our case, I actually think our work ramped up. After we sold, there was more meetings, there was a lot of red tape and a lot of things we had to learn.

Now, being part of a, a huge, huge international company that we as a little startup weren’t necessarily paying attention to at the time, so there’s a lot more work. I got married at the time. I, I had my daughter at the time. This was August of 2019. So little did I know Covid was right around the corner.

So a lot of things happened there. But I, I signed and non-compete for, didn’t particularly want me. , you know, start the next version of Double Map to compete with the one they bought fair, or at least that’s what I assume. And I had some time I had to stick around at that company. But one, once I left, it’s more, Hey, I spent the last decade of my life in transit and I, I can’t start another company in transit.

So what is it that I do? And in my head, again, there’s this playbook. I don’t know if it’s just in my head or if this is reality, but if you, if you’re fortunate enough to sell a. Then you’d start doing some angel investing. So that’s what I did just to [00:32:00] stay plugged into the tech community. And I had some connections of people who I knew were raising money, who I’d worked with in the past that I was passionate about helping and participating in.

So I thought that I would try that as like a real job. Going back to, I only do things if I can go all the way in. Yep. So I, I suck dozens if not hundreds, if not, you know, probably a thousand plus pitches and slide decks. I picked five deals that I did equity investments on. Of very, very sizes. But what I realized through that process, there’s some people, and I admire them, they wake up in the morning hungry to chase deals and meet these.

I, I admire that, but that’s not me. Mm-hmm. , I realized through that process that I am who I am. I, I like building stuff. I like when it’s a pirate ship mentality. When it’s a small team, we’re all very much pulling in the same direction. We’re gonna make mistakes, but, you know, we control our own destiny.

So I did that for probably about a year, and then I said, okay, I need to think of what I’m gonna do next. And I spent about a year meeting with potential co-founders just ideating, coming up with ideas in all sorts of, in. And it was a very difficult time because it’s not like [00:33:00] an idea just pops into your head and you just run with that.

Yep. So ultimately, maybe not quite fully depressed, but I, I was not sure what I was gonna do the rest of my life, and that was actually a very difficult time. How did you get interested in Bitcoin? So right around 2016 I got interested in Bitcoin and I wanted to have some skin in the game, so just like, I’m sure a lot of people who got interested in that stuff.

I bought some on Coinbase and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole, researched. It felt smart in 2016, maybe 2017 felt stupid. 20 18, 20 19. Smart Again, 2020, you know, the whole roller coaster. Sure. Throughout that journey I learned about bitcoin mining, which that’s probably a longer conversation if we ever want to get into what that is and how it works.

But ultimately, what I was interested in going back to doing angel investing is a passive form of income. Mm-hmm. , right? In theory, you plug in a very noisy computer and it just prints you Bitcoin every single. Right. Imagine a rental property, but you don’t have to deal with tenants, you don’t have to deal with broken plumbing, all of that.

So I wanted to do that as [00:34:00] part of a passive investment. Yeah. It’s noisy and power hungry, and I had a newborn at home, so that wasn’t gonna fly in my basement. . Yeah. So I set out and I found some hosting companies across the country. I found four different ones. I think one was in Colorado, one was in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Kentucky.

The assumption was that two weren’t gonna be very good. The hope was that one would be okay and one would be excellent, and I would consolidate my operation. , what I learned is that they’re all genuinely run by good people. I still am friends with a lot of the founders of those companies, but they either didn’t own their own land, didn’t own their own buildings in some cases, didn’t know how to run a business or wouldn’t pay their bills on time.

And then I had this, you know, six figure personal investment of these weird computers that were homeless, collecting dust . And I, I didn’t feel good about it, much less explaining that to my wife. So I hadn’t set out to start a Bitcoin mining company, but I said, Hey, I, I’ve run a business. There’s clearly a need here and a demand.

Why don’t I actually try my hand at this? And I hired a consulting company to do a nationwide search. The goal was to find affordable, available, and sustainable energy. We [00:35:00] looked at Wyoming, we looked at Texas. I, I happened to be passionate about Indiana, so I started looking at all of our local utilities in Indiana, and I found one that’s actually 85% carbon emission free.

I worked with some local economic development corporations to find some land. Outside of just being passionate about Bitcoin and bitcoin mining, which we launched and now is seven figure business of its own in megawatt. I’m obsessed with bringing more of that to Indiana. Yeah, that’s incredible. I I I love that.

One, you have the passion to go deep on something when you’re interested in it. Mm-hmm. and like really figure out where’s the need, where’s the, the kind of, , breaking the chain of, of operations and then say, okay, there’s gotta be a, a better way to do it. Mm-hmm. , and I also love that you kind of looked in your own backyard and said, what does Indiana have that I could use, knowing that you’ve got all of these relationships in Indiana to, to lean on and then, then you made it happen.

Well, and that’s, I think a lot of people, they, they talk about Silicon Valley and they talk about New York and, you know, we’re here, [00:36:00] you know, in a flyover state at some would call. I, I’ve. looked at wherever it is that I am. In this case, I’m in Indiana and I’m here for the long run, so I’m very passionate about Indiana.

I look at what do we have here? That’s a competitive advantage. Mm-hmm. , we have a lot of really high-end academic institutions, a lot of technical institutions. If we can keep that brain drain low and keep that talent here, I think that’s a natural competitive advantage because they have friends and family and relationships here.

The other part, Bitcoin mining and sometimes gets a bad rap because it uses a lot of. Right. Well, that’s also why it’s not gonna happen in New York City or San Francisco or Los Angeles because there’s a lot of people there Yeah. That need that energy. Yep. Whereas here we had this automotive infrastructure that was built and all these factories, some of which are, you know, now gone, but the electrical infrastructure.

Still exists. Yep. So where the city we’re in and the location specifically we’re in used to be this 700,000 square foot warehouse that an employee torched in the eighties and got upset or something tortured. There’s these newspaper [00:37:00] articles about it, so it looks like a bomb went off. It’s just a carcass.

Wow. But there’s this electrical infrastructure there from the gray that’s 85% carbon emission free. So we’re talking a lot of wind, a lot of solar, a lot of nuclear in that area. And all of a sudden we’re revitalizing this area where the down. , like there’s buildings falling since we’ve been there, there’s buildings that have just collapsed because there’s nobody in them, and all of a sudden they’re a, a high tech hub on the bleeding edge of Bitcoin mining.

Yeah. And we’re creating, you know, local jobs and working with local contractors, all of that. That’s amazing. Are there, are there states that are treating Bitcoin mining as an industry and leaning into that with, you know, tax credits or energy credits or in, in. Talk about that. Are there states you’re treating that that way?

And how does Indiana think about that? So Indiana thus far is not doing anything. And funny enough, if that we were as a state to attract do a tax credit, it’d probably be bad for my business. I mean, more competition for energy. I’m so in favor of that because I’m okay rationalizing an [00:38:00] AI startup.

Being in San Francisco, we have talent here and there’s nothing stopping in Indiana from having ai. startups But there’s just a disproportionate amount of capital out there to where it’s, it’s gonna be difficult for us to compete on a macro scale. I, I, over my dead body will Kentucky beat us . Nothing against Kentucky, but that’s, that’s where I’d kind of draw the line.

Right? So Texas has some incentives, Wyoming has some incentives, but Kentucky is a more recent example where they have this 7% tax credit where electricity that’s used in Bitcoin mining is tax exempt. So that’s attract. Publicly traded companies. There’s over 30 publicly traded companies that do just Bitcoin mining.

Wow. To set up, what are their market cap ranges? Do you know off the top of your head by any chance? Hundreds of millions. Of billions. Yeah. There’s a, there’s a wide range. Yeah. And they, they’ve, you know, market has not been doing great, so they’re not doing great. So there’s questionable portions there.

But that’s kind of my point, is that even if the companies that come go bankrupt, let’s say that I’m wrong and all these companies are wrong, what happens to the state? Well, they, they built a lot of electrical infras. and they, they put [00:39:00] transformers and a lot of this wiring down that at their expense that’s now left over at which point go build a data center.

Yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. In the meantime, they’re paying taxes and it’s taxed as ordinary income. Use that tax income to build roads, hospitals, and schools. You don’t have to be bought in on Bitcoin. To do this stuff. Right. Not to mention it can help balance the grid and all this, in my opinion, fascinating stuff that Bitcoin mining can do beyond what people view it as, which is just Bitcoin.

Yeah. Well, I, I think this might be a good opportunity to ask you your opinion just overall on Bitcoin. Obviously you’re all in mm-hmm. , but I know there’s a lot of skeptics out there. Obviously there are a lot of people who are naysayers and have kind of been down on it the entire time. And of course the market has fluctuated too.

Mm-hmm. so. No matter what you want the narrative to be, you can find the data to support it. Sure. Either way. But what’s kind of your take on it after going super deep on Bitcoin? So I’m, I’m just Bitcoin, so I don’t, nothing against all other coins, but I’m, I’m just into Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining specifically.

And nothing against all other coins. I’m just a, a Bitcoin guy. That’s, that’s [00:40:00] what I believe in. And I’m not all in like I. That’s to say running a business, right? We have a payroll, we have bills. Those bills are in US dollars. So ultimately it has to be a balance of both. I can’t just lead with my heart.

Ultimately we have a bottom line. With that said, I think that. , there’s opinions and you said there’s data to support any viewpoint. I totally agree, but I like practical, physical examples and that’s what I love about Bitcoin mining relative to any sort of coin, because you can touch it, you can see the actual impact.

So an example in 20 20, 20 21 you might remember there was a snowstorm that blew through Texas. And if you lived in, let’s say Austin for example, it just happened again like last week. Yeah. There. So last week it didn’t impact the grid as much because of bitcoin mining. And I’ll give that example.

Interesting. So back in 20 20, 20 21 if you think about how elec electrical grid grids work, and I’m not trying to get deep because heck, I’m six to eight months ahead of you guys if nothing else, right? I’m learning this myself, but you have a certain amount of power plants. that are built for the community that they support, and they assume some level of growth rate in that city.

You take [00:41:00] Austin in 2020, COVID happens. All of a sudden all these people move there. That’s gonna stress any power plants that they have. Mm-hmm. , oh, by the way, it then snows. It doesn’t snow that often there. That stresses the grid even further. Which Texas is an unregulated grid. We can talk about that some other time.

But largely that meant that if you live there, either your power costs went up 10 x, which that’s substantial, or you didn’t have power and you had a ceiling fan that had icicles going on it, and that’s very bad for a million different reasons. Right? Right. So how do you fix that? Well, you build more power plants, right?

That’s expensive. That’s slow. Or you can tell businesses to power. . Now you don’t want to tell a hospital to power down, right? They use a lot of power, but that’s probably useful. , right? You can tell a data center to power down and they could, but then you can’t watch your Netflix show and you know you’re not happy or whatever.

You can imagine, right? Gmail is down, that’s not good. Or Bitcoin mining. Again, the knock is that it uses a lot of power, but it doesn’t have, in some people’s opinion, not mine utility, beyond just Bitcoin itself that it generates. Well, great. Shut [00:42:00] us. And it releases all of this energy back into the grid. At which point, if you lived in Austin and we’re actually doing this here in Indiana, all of a sudden your power costs don’t go up.

You’re completely unaware owned, by the way, the grid is perfectly stable to where your power costs don’t go on. You still have power, you have heat, you have a AC in the summer. All these things, and it’s actually fascinating how it works. So the grid, for example, in Indiana, Indiana, it’s split in half the portion we’re in stretches all the way from.

To New Jersey. Wow. So you can have sizable impact by doing this. Wow. That’s crazy. That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. Yeah. Me neither. Mm-hmm. , what are you most excited about with what you’re doing at Megawatt? . So that’s new for us. We just started doing some of this grid balancing stuff. Mm-hmm. , I think we can do way more.

Yeah. That is something I’m obsessed with because that’s, that’s beyond just my belief in Bitcoin, as, you know, a gold replacement or, you know, substitute. Mm-hmm. . That’s something we can help people’s lives today in. , real practical dollar in cents terms. What, what do you think about the people [00:43:00] that say, well, the governments across the globe are just letting the private sector build out this infrastructure, and then they’re gonna just step in and say, okay, no more Bitcoin.

You now have a US coin. Mm-hmm. and fork it over and you can’t use it anymore, or mm-hmm. take it over to control people and shut off people’s cash. Mm-hmm. to force them to take to two behaviors that. That they want all i’ll, is that way too deep? Is that podcast two? We should do? Nah, I’m, I’m happy to, we have time.

I’m happy to, I I’d love to at least get the, the quick version. We can always go deeper on the, the future episode. Yep. Yes and yes is the answer. What I mean by that is mutual exclusive governments, and I don’t like this, but governments will do what governments do. They are actively already creating their own digital currencies.

But they’re digital currencies for the dollar or for whatever country and their local currency. That’s like saying the dollar competes with gold. They’re, they’re fundamentally different to some degree, right. Bitcoin and specifically, again, Bitcoin mining. Where I think it’s interesting [00:44:00] is that anybody can Bitcoin mine.

You don’t have to be in Indiana. You can be. You know? Yeah. Any other country in the world and the network will exist as long as there’s miners plugged in to where a government can’t just shut it off. That’s like saying you can shut off the internet. Right, right. It’s, that’s the definition of being actually distributed and not a centralized currency, which is what centralized, you know, government currencies will, will be.

Yeah. Interesting. . That’s pretty exciting. I I would love to see the facility sometime. I don’t know if you allow outside tours. We started doing tours, so you’re welcome to come. Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah. Yeah. How do people find out about it? I ping me on Twitter, find me on LinkedIn, my Twitter’s, Ilia, and then the letter X indie.

Awesome. And happy to do it. All right, well, we’ll link that all up in the show notes, so, so people can find it. Mm-hmm. Before we wrap here, we do have a lightning round. Mm-hmm. , if you’re open to it. Totally. Nate. Perfect. I, I do have, Two additional questions that we’re adding to the lightning round, but we’ll be quick on ’em.

Mm-hmm. , first, just like a personal, personal question for you. [00:45:00] Has it been difficult, right? You said you had 10 years in transportation. Has it been a difficult transition going from the transportation guy to the Bitcoin guy, Bitcoin and energy guy? It was difficult before I became the Bitcoin and energy guy because then what am.

Right. And there’s an existential crisis. I don’t mean to make it dramatic, but if I don’t have a purpose, I’m that type of guy where I actually like to work. I, I like to go build things. So my crisis was before I found what I’m doing now. Now I have a purpose and I’m, I’m forging ahead there. Perfect. I love that.

I read about this in the, I bj when you were deciding between consulting, there was another option on the table mm-hmm. , what was your, what was the option you turned down and what could of that panned out? Yeah I, I’m not complaining because I feel incredibly lucky to have the career that I’ve had and meet the people I’ve met along the way, which is to say I made a huge mistake and my career would’ve been way cooler had I taken this one opportunity.

So I mentioned when I was in student government, we brought Zipcar in. Well, one day we get an email, I’m student government [00:46:00] transportation chief, or whatever my title was, and it’s a guy named John Zimmer with Zimride, who’s partnered with zip. . I just saw a lot of Zs. . . It’s a lot of Zs. Yeah. I took the meeting.

Sure. And comes this guy who’s like 26 at the time. He’s like, Hey, I’ve got this ride share idea to where if you wanna go from the airport to IU or back, you know, we can hop in each other’s cars. It’s like a digital ride board in the union. Imagine that with some Facebook integration. It’s like we’re gonna charge like eight to 10 grand for it.

We’ve got all these other. . I saw it from a student government standpoint. It was a cool idea, don’t get me wrong, but I saw it as, again, another check win that we’re helping the community. Yeah, so he was lobbying IU admin. IU admin didn’t have the budget. , I lobbied student government to pay for it for I think two years.

And we got it done in probably two, three weeks, which later having sold to universities and student governments, that is very fast. Lucky, fast. Yeah. I just didn’t know any better. Yeah, right. I, I wanted to get something done, something to that. Yeah. So that impressed him and you know, he said, Hey, you know, Why don’t you come join our, our [00:47:00] team?

And I said that’s, that’s unkind offer. I’m really focused on this consulting thing. I had just gotten my offer there. I’m okay, but let’s keep talking. Keep start up. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I graduate, I’m like two weeks into my job and he said, Hey, we’re actually pivoting the company. So I wanted to circle back to you.

So this whole ride sharing thing, we’re no longer gonna do it just from the airport to, you know, universities. We’re gonna try to compete with taxis and we just raised $400,000. I believe the number. To go do this, come join us and be, I think it was employee like seven or eight in San Francisco. And I said, Hey, I’m actually genuinely interested because I really liked him.

I met this other guy, Curtis at the company, he was great. Still have a relationship with him to this day, but I said, $400,000 is gonna last you like a minute and a half in San Francisco. And I don’t know about this whole idea by getting into strangers cars. So I passed and I still have this email correspondence.

Of course. That’s awesome. Fast forward a few months, I think we’re pitching Stanford or something like that. So I’m back in San f. And I take a Lyft to meet John at their office, and I realize what their office [00:48:00] was and like what had become, it wasn’t in the Midwest yet. We didn’t have it here, but I realize the scale that they were already on.

Then I was like, oh, oh my gosh, I’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake. So this company is Lyft and it became Lyft? Yeah. So I, I don’t know. financially, what that means. But , when they went public, I can imagine people there did. Well, we won’t do the math on that. I, yeah, I’ve, I’ve avoided doing the math, just so I can keep my sanity.

There you go. All right. True. Great. So now to the, the true lightning round. Mm-hmm. outside of the amazing entrepreneurs, what is Indiana known for? I mean, I think hospitality, sports, marketing, tech would be kind of the things I would say we’re known for today in racing. I think that we have opportunities to expand on that a lot.

I use Bitcoin mining as an example of this infrastructure that already exists that I feel like is untapped. That’s just what I’m focused on. I’m positive that there’s dozens of other things that if people really look at it through that. That there’s opportunities for us to not only compete, but to have natural competitive advantages over the [00:49:00] coasts.

I love it. What is a hidden gem in Indiana? Hidden gem in Indiana? Megawatt. I like megawatt . It’s a good question. I, I mean, at what point will you enter the gigawatt ? That, that was our joke when we were coming up for the company name and people asked that, and I said, We’ll rebrand. That’ll become a good, good problem if that happens.

I love, I was in Bloomington yesterday and I, I love there, it’s called DATs here. It’s called Yats I think they had a falling out. I love that. . Yes, they renamed it. I love that too. Yep. I like Nick’s English hut. So went there and then Buff Louis Those are, those are great. Mm-hmm. . I’m just thinking of back to the future now in one point 21 gigawatts.

Yep. Yep. Yes. 80 miles an hour. I love it. All right. Who is someone that we need to keep on our radar? Someone who’s doing some big things. So I talked about angel investing and the first company I invest in is called Malomo. So they’re run by Anthony Smith and Yao Ying. I know nothing about e-commerce.

I [00:50:00] just believe blindly in those guys’, ambition and intellect. So I think those guys are awesome and crush. . Amazing stuff. This, this was a great episode. Mm-hmm. , I agree. Is that it? That’s all I have. You have completed the lightning round. Awesome, awesome. In a very energy efficient way. Perfect. Not surprisingly, Elliot, thanks for being on the show, man.

This was great. Thanks, man. Thanks, Celia. It was amazing. Appreciate This has been Get in a Powder kick production in partnership with Elevate Venture. And we wanna hear from you. If you have suggestions for a guest or a segment, reach out to Matt or Nate on LinkedIn or on email to discover top tier tech companies outside of Silicon Valley in hubs like Indiana.

Check out our Slash newsletter and to apply for membership to the powder cake executive community, check out powder We’ll catch you next time and next week as we continue to help the world get in. Since you just listened to this podcast, you might be [00:51:00] thinking about starting one for your company.

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