On today’s episode, I’m joined by Olga Chin, Founder & CEO of InterPrice Technologies, Inc.
Olga and I discussed InterPrice’s founding story, her path to financial services, how InterPrice helps corporate treasury teams, the most significant problems treasury teams face, an unlikely byproduct of their platform, raising capital, and much more.
A couple of short PSAs:
We are still accepting applications for PitchIt at Fintech Nexus USA 2023, head to (https://www.fintechnexus.com/usa/2023/startups/) Fintech Nexus dot com for details. The link is in the show notes.
If you want to sponsor an episode, come on as a guest, or sponsor one of our many digital or in-person offerings, please reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without further ado, Olga Chin, Founder & CEO of InterPrice Technologies. Enjoy the show.
Episode highlights include:
- InterPrice’s founding story
- Olga’s acing of the MCATs
- Investment banking
- The funny story about their web domain
- Biggest impediments for corporate treasurers
- Relationship banking
- Dealmaking myths
- Advice from the founder of Noom
- Raising capital in good times and bad
- Recommended reading – Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna
- And much more fun along the way
Connect with Olga on LinkedIn
Connect with InterPrice Technologies, Inc. on LinkedIn
You can download a PDF Transcript of Podcast No. 83 – Olga Chin HERE, or read the full text version below.
PITCHIT FINTECH STARTUPS PODCAST NO. 83-OLGA CHIN
Thanks for coming back for another episode of PitchIt, a fintech conversation amongst founders, investors and friends. I’m your host, Todd Anderson, Chief Content Officer of Fintech Nexus.
What we do is we take a peek behind the curtain, what motivates someone to start a company, how do investors make the right bet, what do accelerators do during and help enabling the process of growing your company, how do banks think of founders. Not to mention, we try to have some fun and what you’ll see is we’ll also do some special episodes, we have some new features coming so stick with us and you’ll get all you need to know about the fintech startup landscape.
PitchIt is really a part of a larger podcast network here at Fintech Nexus, you’ve got my colleague, Peter, our Co-Founder & Chairman for Fintech One-on-One, you can subscribe to his feed or we have our newest podcast by one of our writers, Isabelle Castro, the Fintech Coffee Break. For everything produced by Fintech Nexus, you can check out Fintech Nexus Podcast which is really our content fire hose, all shows, webinar replays, even in-person event content, not to mention, our weekly new show.
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Now, let’s get on with the show.
Todd Anderson: On today’s episode I’m joined by Olga Chin, Founder & CEO of InterPrice Technologies. Olga and I discuss the founding story behind InterPrice, her path to financial services instead of say medical services as you’ll hear about in the episode, how InterPrice helps corporate treasury teams, the biggest problems that corporate treasury teams face, an unlikely by-product of the InterPrice platform, raising capital and much, much more.
A couple of short PSAs before we get started, we are still accepting application for our PitchIt at Fintech Nexus USA. Head to fintechnexus.com, the specific link will be in the show notes and it’ll take you to the application site. If you want to sponsor an episode, come on as a guest or sponsor one of our many digital or in-person offerings, please reach out anytime, it’s todd firstname.lastname@example.org
Without further ado, Olga Chin, Founder & CEO of InterPrice Technologies. Enjoy the episode.
Hi, Olga, welcome to the podcast, how are you?
Olga Chin: I’m good, Hi, Todd, nice to meet you.
Todd: Well, you know, I like to kick off the show, if you can just give us a little bit of background about yourself professionally and tell us a little bit more about who you are.
Olga: Professionally, so I’m a former investment banker, I started out my career in the hedge fund space actually, worked for an amazing person at Ellington Management Group and then got into the debt capital markets space, I buy companies, various capital raising funds and did that for a decade and then started InterPrice.
Todd: So, I believe it was on your website I read this wasn’t exactly your initial path though, right. I mean, you wanted to medical school and it was kind of the better of the two paths, but, you know, why investment banking, why finance?
Olga: Good research. So, I was a pre-med student, I took the MCAT, actually got Harvard Med School average on MCAT which I’m very proud of (laughs) and then, you know, in my journey here I made this decision, do I go to medical school, so I was an econ major as well so do I go to medical school and take out $200,000 in loans or do I try that internship at the top five investment banks, very superficial decision making, had a junior in college (both laugh). I definitely took the investment banking path, never looked back, never, ever looked back and now when I go to the doctor I can’t imagine, what was I thinking. (Todd laughs) I just got lucky, but, yeah, absolutely, it was not the plan at all.
Todd: So, in terms of, you know, founding a company and being an entrepreneur, was that something that you eventually saw on the horizon or while being at the investment bank and some of the work that you were doing there this problem cropped up and you found hey, no one else is solving it, maybe I should solve it myself.
Olga: So, you know, a lot of people ask me, like what was that moment, like other people picked you for a founder so you this profound moment like do I have to do this? I’m not sure if I ever did.
Todd: I’m not sure that many founders actually have that moment either, I think they like to have that moment.
Olga: (cross talking-laughs)….but look, now I have a couple of things. So, I always thought that I was going to do something on my own, but there’s always like a personal thing to, right, frankly, I couldn’t afford to do it until a certain period of time and we can talk more about that, that’s the family story. But, at some point, I actually remember, I had this client. I’m not going to name them right now, but very, very large company, I remember going to dinner with them and it was like a bunch of banks and the CFO and treasurer of that company.
And I remember being like hey, so we come here, you know, we fly to this town every six months or so and you have 30 banks so do you have dinner with them every night. And the CFO goes, yeah, you know, Tuesdays and Thursdays are banker dinner nights, saving a lot of time on these. So, I’m also sending you a ton of information, like I’m sending you these PDF files for (garbled), again, we’ll get into that, what do you do with them, he said, well, I try to look at them but there’s just way too much.
And after a couple of drinks with him, I said, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we just like aggregated all that for you and he goes, again, keep in mind a couple of drinks (Todd laughs), let’s do it, I’ll go in 50/50. I was like, what can I say (both laugh) and then from another CFO and this was the person who used to be the CFO that time, he was actually one of our largest investors right now, David (inaudible), I remember saying hey, David, what do you think about this and he said, go on, I’ll totally back you for this. You have these moments where, whoa, if they’re going to this, they should probably try, right, and I think that was kind of the starting point, that dinner where the guy said 50/50, maybe I should do it.
Todd: At least you knew you had some merit in kind of that initial idea. So, tell us a little bit more about exactly what InterPrice does and when answering that question where did the name come from?
Olga: So, it’s funny, you know, I was talking to the team earlier today and I mentioned this question, they said, oh, we no idea where the name comes from (Todd laughs), they have to listen to this. So, we aggregate, we are a platform that aggregates information that’s being sent across to corporates, right, and it’s called “pricing,” it’s called pricing like indications or whatever so the name is Price so it has to be Price and Inter is the inter-connectivity between banks and the corporate issuers. I came up with the name, my father, you know, I didn’t want it to be like funds or any other asset class, I wanted it to involve broadly pricing and so I was like oh, InterPrice sounds good.
And then, of course, they go to interprice.com and it is a car website, but what we found as a car website is actually…. three years ago when I started this, there was a guy sitting in the Grand Cayman Island who was….. when people would miss Enterprise Shuttle Cars and go to interprice.com he would collect their credit card information as if they were renting cars and actually just take their money so I called him.
Yeah, I know. (Todd laughs) I called him up and said hey, you want to sell me the domain, of course, he didn’t want to do it, but anyway, long story short is that Enterprise Cars actually owns the domain right now, we’re hoping to get it, but that was how the name came up and, you know, sometimes you get confused with Enterprise Cara, we’re hoping to change that, but, yeah, so that name. In terms of where we are, so as I said, series of buzz words, I’ll give you a good analogy, for example, so you, Todd, I don’t know if you own a house….
Olga: …okay, so most people who own houses, they would try to take out mortgages and there’s two ways to do it. Imagine that there is way number one where you call up Citibank, you call up Chase, whatever it is, and you this 30-page document with all kinds of legal stuff and on page 32 there is going to be, you know, Todd Anderson 30-year/15-year mortgage, right. So, you can sit down, you know, at dinner, you can spread them out on the kitchen table and compare them or imagine there’s a website bankrate.com where you can go and compare all the mortgage rates for you, not for anybody out there but for you so we’re that for very large companies.
Todd: So, when going through this and, you know, kind of playing through and building out the idea, obviously, I’m assuming that you talk to many different CFOs, many different treasurers, was there a common theme as to what was the most or the biggest impediment that they faced when going through some of their processes like, you know, was it I don’t have time to go through all these papers and pricing that was sent to me. Or, it’s never a format that’s easily readable or it’s in all those these disparate systems and I can’t spend 20 hours going through these and trying to compare to something in this system? Was there kind of a handful of common themes that would come up and ultimately help you build out what the platform or dashboards are today?
Olga: Yeah, 100%. So, I think, you know, in answer to that question we’ve got to go to the psychology of this a little bit. So, if you’re the treasurer, right, or we’ll take it from a banker’s perspective, so when I was banker I would sit there and watch the market all day long because it was my job. I knew exactly who was doing deals, who was placing papers where, who the investors were, all kinds of stuff, but that was my job and I only covered bonds. Now, as you think about the CFO or a treasurer, they have to fund their businesses, they have to raise capital, they have to raise capital across the fund markets so you have to talk to many of me, even at one bank, never mind the fact that they have all kinds of other responsibilities.
Olga: So, they’re not sitting there watching the market all day long and unfortunately when bankers come to visit them there’s a little bit of information and symmetry, right, because it ultimately to themit matters a lot more, every single basis point or every single percent in terms of the capital, it’s actually incredibly expensive, it really drives the bottom line. And so, that’s why we have the bankers coming to visit them, pitching the best ideas, but if you think about something like McDonalds, right, they have I think over 30 different banks and they come to visit them in teams pitching all these ideas.
And yet they come in different formats and treasury teams are incredibly small, there’s also a rotation concept in many treasury teams so information gets lost, you know, honestly, they’re just stretched incredibly thin. I think that’s probably the biggest theme as you think about kind of what we’re facing and that’s what we work with them, we provide essentially, let’s say a single source of truth, we aggregate all of them, it’s available to anybody on my team, we provide a lot of training when the team rotates, that’s been a consistent contact as well like we talked about.
Todd: I mean, in terms of, you know, working with the banks, do the banks also have to be an InterPrice customer, you know, how do some of the mechanics work, say if I’m a McDonalds or another big corporate, I’m a customer of yours, do the corresponding banks also have to be customers?
Olga: Not necessarily. We have no processes such as data gets in seamlessly anyway, but at the same time, we actually partner with a lot of the banks. There is going to be an official announcement next week about the top five banks who are actually partners with us, but at the same time, we have about 15 of them already on the platform. Having said that, McDonalds can get any of the data from any of the banks automatically from themselves as well, but having said that, you know, look, on the banks’ side there’s also a pain point.
So, think about it again, me as a former banker, I used to produce these nice little PDFs, like I have to pay for the company logo and you know how that’s found, it’s actually……this is how I did it. You know, if you will take an Excel, you will take a screenshot, you will paste it into PowerPoint, you PDF the PowerPoint and back because there’s a wrong company name or something that happened to me (both laugh) so there are pain points there they will try to solve. So, we actually have a banker platforms, we also have an API connection to banks that have their own platforms so if you’re a company and don’t want to receive these emails there is a solution. But from the bankers’ side, we think of them as sure partnerships so we differentiate there a little bit.
Todd: How much, you know, today and I think it’s true across different capital markets and fundraising activities, is still a lot of it done in a way in which you described earlier which is, you know, the dinner and kind of smoothing the relationship. I mean, some of what you’re providing is moving more into the future which is making the part of raising money, however you’re doing that, and a lot more of an automated, seamless, transparent way versus like a back room deal after a few drinks and a dinner. It seems like the old way was what got us to a certain point, but now, scaling through technology allows you just to get so much more out of it and it sounds like that’s what you are trying to provide to a lot of these corporates.
Olga: Well, of course, there are movies about Wall Street where you these like back room deals, I think that’s mostly in the movies stuff. (laughs) I must say a lot of the people on Wall Street actually are incredibly sophisticated and the ideas they pitch are pretty, you know, has a lot of merit to a lot of companies from that perspective. Having said that, there are two components to it. Why does McDonald’s deal with 30 different banks, they’re called relationships, there’s actually that concept in the corporate finance called “relationship banks.” Why? Because these relationship banks provide what’s called revolving credit facilities and other credit facilities to essentially help McDonald’s if it ever runs into, you know, a bad situation, think of it as almost like a credit card.
Now, these things are truly supportive of these corporate treasury teams. There’s usually in a bank somebody who’s called a “relationship manager” that actually manages, like all these different groups pitching ideas to the corporate treasury teams, that is really important. I would say that despite the fact what we bring to banks, and we aggregate all these information, that is why we do it because we want the relationship to actually get, you know, not even better, but we want people to spend more time in the relationship and the data’s there for a reason for data-driven organizations. I wouldn’t take that relationship aspect other than…having said that, don’t think of it as from the movies, it’s not like that at all. I’ve never seen any of that (laughs) personally to be honest, but the relationship manager usually controls the discussion, I think especially in credit is important.
Todd: So, in terms of what you guys have provided to your clients, thus far, is there something that has come back to you through clients that, you know, has been either the biggest benefit of the platform or kind of what has been their feedback to InterPrice that hey, you’ve saved us time, you’ve saved us money, you’ve saved as X, is there something that you’re hearing from clients that is kind of most popular or most prevalent?
Olga: So, a couple of ways, you know, not so interesting is exactly what you mentioned, right, so saving time, saving money, right, like that’s always been the theme and we always want to do that. Obviously, we save time, especially the team channel, we’re in the team rotation that’s there, we have a case study where we’re actually saving basis points on issuance like providing a lot of these information so that’s there.
The most fascinating piece to me, oh, there are actually two, so it’s about best practices. So, if you think about somebody, you know, like IBM or Amazon on waste management, hypersonic large companies, they’re pretty spread out geographically and can’t interact with each other, but these are huge organizations and they have some of the best practices, right, but they each differ. And when you think what you can actually bring into this, like almost community aspect of it and have them share the best practices amongst themselves totally, like that’s not a business model in any kind of way, but (garbled) not this December but the last December, the entire team was sitting there saying hey, so what do we do now this December, nobody wants to talk sales with us, right?
Olga: We said, well, why don’t we get a whole bunch of these treasury teams on the phone and just do like a holiday type thing, talk about commercial paper strategies, if they want to, but really keep it very personal so we did that. (garbled) December 17th, like when everybody should be on vacation there were 40 people and you have people from like Compass or some of these organizations and they’re working each other, be like oh my God, I’m not the only one using this startup (both laugh) so that’s number one for me.
You start sharing ideas that are actually really unique and I’m sitting there being completely in awe, Iike I can build so much based on this feedback, so we’ve been doing all kinds of community events. We actually have one coming up next week about women in treasury, we have about 25 of women from some of the largest treasury organizations in the world like in Europe and I think that’s pretty huge, the sharing of best practices. I don’t want to underestimate that and I think that’s actually what makes InterPrice so successful, like this community aspect of it.
Todd: Fascinating, fascinating. In terms of another topic that’s been very much in the news right now and I’m curious if there’s been an appetite, you know, through what you do in terms of digital assets space and crypto space, let’s say save maybe the last six months when things kind of probably fell off a cliff, but before that had you seen interest in, you know, treasuries and CFOs in wanting to learn more about or whether or not your platform would be able to handle digital assets and has it come up, is it a popular topic?
Olga: I wish (both laugh), the true answer is like, you know, I see like all these startups talking, the digital assets statement all sounds so sexy and I wish that I did that. We work with some of the most conservative organizations in the world.
Todd: I figured as much, but, you know, you do hear that there are some corporates that are beginning to look at the space but it’s probably more in the sense of what this might mean and not actually holding any of that on their balance sheet or anything today.
Olga: I think you’re absolutely right, people are curious, we heard that come up a couple of times, I would say more in the exploratory sense. We do have one client within the payments space that’s looking into it, that’s about it to be completely honest, I hope that changes. If anybody wants to pay us in crypto, I’m fine accepting that but, otherwise, that’s about as far as that goes.
Todd: Yeah, in these days you figure with the last six months and how much regulators are starting to crack down on the space, it probably will be shelved for the time being. Yeah, I’d be curious, you’ve been around for, you know, I think it’s a little over three years or just coming up on three years, what’s the either biggest or one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about your company, InterPrice, since you’ve started?
Olga: So, for me, the best thing about finance and everything else, like I…those are kind of the biggest ones. I spent enough time on Wall Street to understand what these companies are doing. I think to me the biggest lesson as far as dealing with people and emotions when dealing with people, I got a crash course in some of that stuff, you know, during the history of InterPrice and I’m sure so has any other founder, but you’re emotionally invested, you’re spending so much time with these people. You are very, very close and, you know, we’ve had situations where some them received medical diagnosis that was absolutely terrible, right.
And what I always say, there is no textbook answer to that at all. And so, you learn how to deal with emotions, you learn how to almost like grow up emotionally. To me, I’m sure any other founder would say, you know, a very similar thing from an HR perspective, definitely get better at it. I’m not sure if it’s ever going to get easier emotionally with the highs and highs and the woes of woes when it comes to people, but that’s probably the biggest one, I’ve never anticipated that to be the case. I thought we were going to have issues, but, you know, the banks and the corporates and the platform breaking, you know, all kinds of stuff. But now, it’s really been (garbled) in the future that we all grow in the same direction.
Todd: Do you have a regret that you can share with the audience?
Olga: I probably do. You know, early on we kind of thought treasury teams are all the same, right, so, you know, you look at data, you analyze data, you make a decision, you fund your business, that’s about it, right. Let’s go back to my bankrate.com analogy, so, you know, for example, you get proposals from JP Morgan and you get proposals from Bank of America and Citi, say your brother works at Citi, you’re no longer driven maybe by that percentage number on page 32, you’re driven by something else.
Unfortunately, corporate treasury teams that that’s happened, it doesn’t happen very often, but there were a couple of situations where early on we send a hundred people who are not that data driven, they probably aren’t the right first customer fits and we try to adopt to them quite a bit. And in the end, at some point we just said well, we just got to figure out like where the usage is and we’ve got to throw it in that direction and spend more time there. That’s probably the biggest regret not recognizing that there is this possibility, that you are not driven by data in any way. Again, very seldom does this happen, but we’ve encountered that.
Todd: The best piece of advice that you’ve gotten so far since starting the company.
Olga: Somebody told me that, you know, managing a startup is like managing a sports team, right. I don’t know much about sports, so I do not know what does that mean. They said look, you know, when you watch Super Bowl, you have this coach, you have a quarterback and do they know where the ball is going to go, absolutely not, they don’t even know what’s going to happen the next second. It’s not that they can stand like the quarterback team just standing there, what’s the probability of doing that is like (both laugh), doesn’t work, right, they have to throw the ball somewhere and he just has to be fast and has to own it.
The same thing, so I’m sitting here, I never have enough perfect information at all, I wish I did. We have different customers, you know, different personalities, different contracts, different big partnerships, at some point you just got to make the decision, stick with it and unfortunately, the responsibility’s on me, right. It’s the same thing as in sports, you just have to approach it and understand that that’s the case, I think to me that makes it sound….like when somebody told me that, I totally got it, I could see myself as like this a quarterback coach like person.
Todd: You have mentioned team a few times, tell us a little bit more about those around you, how big is the team today, what does the team look like in terms of makeup, you know, technology people, sales people, kind of what does the entire team look like?
Olga: Early on, I had a partner who joined me in this journey, his name is Dylan Bargar, he was actually my analyst when I was very early on in banking, so I trained him and joined me right out of school and then I convinced him to join, somehow I have no idea how I did that. I still remember that conversation now, took him one month when he actually agreed to do it. So, Dylan is the Chief Product Officer, he oversees everything on the technology side and the product side.
I hate to say this and I hope to change this, but most of our company is actually packed so we have about 30 of us and, unfortunately, I’m having the hardest time hiring account executives so it’s really me and two other people on the business side, the rest is all packed. Most of us are in New York, we actually opened an office recently, it’s tiny, it’s absolute tiny. People look at me and say, that’s you office, that is a conference room, it’s on 50th and I’m very proud of it.(laughs)
Todd: Alright. An office in New York City is a big deal.
Olga: It is.
Todd: It’s a good marker for a company, especially early stage company as they’re continuing to grow. I saw that you had raised a round in I think it was early November, somewhere around that time frame, how was raising capital, you know, for the business and what you learned about either yourself or the company going through those pitches, talking to investors and, you know, what can you tell us about the fundraising process.
Olga: Last year was tough. I’m sure that you have heard obviously what was happening in the market. We actually back checked all of it, we raised a seed round the year prior to that, a much easier process.
Todd: Oh, yeah.
Olga: Significantly easier, we got a term sheet right away from somebody that we had known for a while who was almost like an advisor to me and from Silicon Valley Capital and then we tried to raise almost five to six months before we closed. We had different conversations, but ultimately goal posts were moving and last year was also the first year that we started making money. And so think about the pitching to investors and like we are trying to get these contracts and every week we would get some information, we were pitching and it was very disjointed in terms of what the goal posts were.
From that perspective and having said that, the NASDAQ team was actually there very early on, they understand the business so that was the key, we pitched to some traditional Silicon Valley investors who, you know, ultimately, the market is great, you know, this is a cool fintech company, if the market’s not so great, it’s like what are you talking about treasury and then like nobody understands treasury, like what does that mean.
The NASDAQ team understood it, they actually have their own treasury team that’s a user. You can arrive at that point, potential user of InterPrice, that’s how it went, and they were incredibly supportive during the entire journey so we got a term sheet from them back in May, I want to say, and then we went through the investment process and got co-investors so it took a while to close because of the market, but I’m just grateful that……I remember the days when in the summer the market was falling apart and they were so incredibly supportive, I’m truly grateful for that.
Todd: When comparing two rounds, I mean, how along the way when you’re getting either the goal post moving or you’re getting a lot of no’s even though you have this you have this good signal from NASDAQ Ventures, I mean, what does that do to the psychology? Does it ever make you doubt yourself, I mean, I’m sure you go through all these different waves of emotions of alright, we’re going to raise money or alright, are the lights going to go on the next month and, you know, it’s a lot of strain on teams.
Olga: It is a lot of strain on teams, but, you know what, I actually subscribe to this radical kinder theory so my team understands that, you know, outside of anything like compensation or things related to that, they very well understand what’s going on. We have a really good cause of the entire team where we share customer contacts, what’s working, what’s not working, practically getting them sugarcoated, like what’s the point, right, it makes no sense.
And so, yeah, there were tough days, for sure, but as a team, somehow, I don’t know, we have this like core group of almost like partners of the company and nobody having a bad day at the same time. So, when would talk about it, oh my God, the market is falling apart, I don’t know how we are going to keep the right fund, one of us will be optimistic and it’s all (laughs)……
Todd: Sometimes it’s all you need.
Olga: I know, and one of us will be like okay, guys, let’s just keep it real, it’s okay, we have this term sheet and, you know, they have this term sheet, but, no, it’s tough, it’s a hurdle, you know, when we say like if you do any…..there is a phrase we use early on so it’s like eating glass every day until you get used to it and it gets better and better, you get used to eating glass every day. (Todd laughs)
Todd: That’s right, you never get used to eating glass, but if another founder picked up the episode, what piece of advice would you want to give to them?
Olga: It’ll pass and don’t be afraid of the stakes because if you’re looking like, for example, early on I was like oh. this customer doesn’t like this feature, that actually is a good thing that you know that they don’t like this feature because if you’re looking for affirmation, fine, you can build stories for yourself. But, ultimately, if you can feel that and know what’s not working, you’re so much closer to what is working.
Todd: Do you think sometimes founders get in trouble and, you know, you hinted at your answer earlier when you talked about not all treasury teams are the same, like do founders and entrepreneurs, maybe they get in trouble, to try to build everything for everyone when in reality not every feature is going to be there right away, not everyone’s going to like the product, but, ultimately, you need to know who you’re building for and then iterate on that over time.
Olga: No, 100% because I think……..so the founder, the startup is your baby and all the time you are saying that somebody tells your baby is not cute, I mean, that hurts. (Both laugh)
Todd: I have two kids so yeah, that will hurt. (laugh)
Olga: I am at fault for doing that. I actually had somebody on the team, Dave, who heads all of the customer relationships and sometimes like somebody introduces me to a customer who is maybe like high-heeled, you know, we’ll approach them later but they’re not the perfect customer for us right now, I’m like oh my God, I got to leave and David’s like, yeah, not the right one, not the right one. So, I am at fault because again, that’s my baby and I have people who continue to say, but no, 100%, it is your baby
Todd: So, we have just a few minutes left, I’d like to end a little bit lighter. Do you have a favorite book or the last book that you read.
Olga: I have two sets of books that I read, one of them is a business book, right, and one of them is, like I hate to admit I read like a lot of weird romance novels to just take my mind off things.
Todd: Well, whatever works.
Olga: Oh, we can talk about that too, but no, I like the book recently, it’s called “Reboot,” about leadership, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. It’s like about the art of growing up and it’s about radical counter for teams like it inspires CEOs to kind of work within themselves and within their teams and be accountable for their choices and a lot of things that we talked about. I think it’s called, yeah, “Reboot.”
Todd: What do you do, all founders need to step away, keep their minds clear and not run themselves into the ground, so what do you do to unwind, how do you kind of keep your brain and yourself fresh for the team?
Olga: So, I need to shut my brain off and I found different ways to do it, a couple of sports exercises like I do zumba where the music is so……your brain can’t think. A couple of years ago, I graduated from yoga which 105 or whatever it is degree we’re in for 90 minutes and you think about dying the entire time so you just want to get through it. I actually did that recently with the Treasurer of NASDAQ too, it was a good bonding experience.
Todd: I bet.
Olga: Started as, you know, your brain needs to shut off, sometimes I can do it from (inaudible) so the TV shows I watch, I just need to get into it so I don’t think about like hey, did I get back to this client.
Todd: Yeah. You mentioned you don’t really watch sports, but do you have a favorite sport or an activity that you kind of enjoy doing yourself outside of the, you know, obviously, the yoga and the zumba.
Olga: You know what, I’m going to be boring with that. I really, really……. think it’s my husband who’s into sports, I try and watch that, but, unfortunately, even in college, I used to do competitive ballroom dancing out of all things, believe it or not, you know, stuff like that. I mean, now I like to teach friends and I’ll be really, really supportive but, now I can’t, sorry (laughs).
Todd: No, it’s funny because there’s two reasons why I asked the question. One is because I’m personally a very big sports fan, but the other reason I asked for it and it’s where I usually get the most interesting answers is most founders don’t watch sports, like a typical sport. Most founders either do something themselves, they do a sport, they go rock climbing or bicycling or something like that or they are not into sports because, you know, their minds work differently, they tend to work differently in how they do their jobs. And so, I always find it interesting to hear what founders find interesting in their personal lives because it tends to be a little bit different than say a typical person that might work like a normal job.
Olga: It’s very interesting that you say that. It makes me feel better so, first of all, I appreciate that, but, you know, so I imagine rock climbing. So, my Dad is actually in a rock climbing team, I have a teenage daughter and also a son and sometimes I sit there and just eventually, this summer too, I was sitting there watching their practice and I’m like, this makes me feel so inadequate so I started rock climbing myself (both laugh). They do a lot of that.
Todd: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Olga: Travel a lot, actually I got back from Morocco a couple of weeks ago, not a favorite vacation spot. Costa Rica probably, love Costa Rica, love the people, love the climate, anything warm like Turks & Caicos. (laughs)
Todd: Yeah, I went there on my honeymoon, Turks & Caicos, I think we’re planning to go back sometime soon. And the final question, biggest inspiration in life, what inspires you?
Olga: So, you know, what I thought about this when you sent this, I was going to say, you know, is it a person or something. I don’t know if I have this big agenda like oh, I want to do this and become this, there’s no variety of theme. In terms of people inspiration, I mean, I think I’m supposed to say my parents, I apologize Mom and Dad, like I’m not going to say that (laughs), I love them to death, but, you know, there is somebody who was really important to me early like in the journey, one of my husband’s closest friends and one of my closest friend too, the Founder of Noom, I don’t know if you’ve hear of them, n-o-o-m?
Todd: Yeah, it’s like the, I don’t know if they would call themselves a weight loss company, but it kind of helps you rethink on how you consume food, how you live your life.
Olga: Yes. So, Artem Petakov was one of our college friends and we are still very, very close friends to this day, I remember a few weeks before I went fulltime with InterPrice, we had dinner with him and I was happy to have like whoa, it sounds like I’m reading a banker job, oh my God, this is crazy. He likes advising, he always comes out and first of all, huge inspiration, his company is like crazy….
Todd: Oh, yeah.
Olga: ….like insane. I remember when he first started, he came over to our house and I was like, you are too crazy (laughs).
Todd: Now, there’s like four or five companies that do similar things that they do in terms of the psychology of weight loss and everything.
Olga: Yes. It’s completely inspiring how he started this huge trend, but he’s also really, really cool to meet personally as an inspiration because he would text me things, like I would text him three years ago saying I’m very scared or something like that and he would screenshot these and send it to me like three years later and, to me, like his journey is so inspiring so probably that.
Todd: That’s a perfect place to wrap up, Olga, I greatly appreciate you coming on the show, if someone wanted to reach out, if they wanted to get in touch with either you or InterPrice, how would they do that?
Olga: I’m on LinkedIn, I’m very active on LinkedIn, but also just go to the website, you know, or just email me email@example.com and I’ll respond.
Todd: Alright. Well, thanks again for coming on the show, continue success to you and the team and hopefully, we’ll get you back sometime in the future.
Olga: Thanks, Todd.
Todd: Thank you.