About The Founder

I am the Cofounder and Managing Partner of One Way Ventures, as well as a former serial entrepreneur and angel investor (If you want to learn more about what I’m currently working on, visit semyon.com).

Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, I came to the U.S. with my family as a 10-year-old kid in 1979. I have always had an interest in technology, so I studied computer science at Columbia University and co-authored work on virtual worlds at IBM Research in 1988. After taking a year to hitchhike through Southeast Asia, I went on to grad school at MIT, where in 1992 I authored the Simple Network Payment Protocol, which was one of the earliest ways to transfer money on the Internet. Shortly after, I joined the MIT blackjack team which is the subject of this book and spent several years with my teammates feeling smug about being able to beat casinos around the world out of a few million dollars before finally realizing that it’s not as much of a challenge as it might seem.

Since then I have played key roles in several startups, learning a great deal from the successful ones and even more from the ones that failed.

In 2014 I became the Managing Director of Techstars (Boston), where I sourced, invested, and nurtured over 50 startups. Alumni from my time there include LovePop, Fam, RocketBook, Mavrck, ThriveHive, AdmitHub, Spoiler Alert, and Tive.

It was during my time at Techstars that I met my current Managing Partner, Eveline Buchatskiy, who is an immigrant from Brazil and a former Director of the Techstars Boston program. We decided that we wanted to start a venture fund with a mission, and supporting immigrant founders was one we were both eager to get behind.

In 2017 we left Techstars and founded One Way Ventures, and we are currently investing our first fund.

In my free time, I love to spend time with my wife, Natasha, and my six kids (Dagny, Miranda, Zoe, Uliana, Elio, and Milan). I kitesurf and run whenever possible, but I sold my helicopter to quit while I’m ahead.