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Igor Tutelman's Journey

Humble Beginnings

I was born in a small village called Mohyliv-Podilskyi Raion of the Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. A tiny town, once a part of the Soviet Union, and now an unassuming burrow on the border with Moldova with a large Jewish history. Our family emigrated in 2000 and started a fresh life in the states, with the clothes on our backs and a couple hundred dollars to cover first months' rent.


My entrepreneurial journey sprouted out of a combination of ADHD and curiosity. After failing to find a case for my iPhone that was high quality and stylish at a reasonable price point, I decided to make my own out of leather. Eventually, this turned into a $2.000 investment into a full leathercraft toolset and several hides and I started creating and selling leather goods on Etsy. I closed my shop before going to college as I had recouped my initial investment and made some return, but my entrepreneurial spirit was awoken, and it could not be silenced. 

Although I came into Case Western Reserve University as a Pre-Med Biomedical Engineer, I left as a Pre-law Accountant and Data Analyst. Early on, I realized that I was not pursuing medicine for the right reasons, and there were better ways for me to use my skills to help the world around me. I decided that entrepreneurship would be the journey I would embark to make my lasting impression on this planet.


In school I founded my first company, a late-night snack delivery service that turned into a restaurant procurement software company. I exited after 4 years but it wasn't a grandiose multi-million dollar exit with partying and bottle service like all the movies show. It was quite the opposite but it taught me so much. You have to believe in your vision so much that you can't think about anything else while "off work," and I stopped believing in my own vision. I couldn't let this poison everything my co-founder and I had built and I had to leave.

My next startup was in advanced materials and we rose out of the pandemic. We were a high-tech advanced space-age tire company with a NASA license looking to reinvent the wheel. It was delightfully short-lived. Shortly after we won our first pitch competition, I hopped on a call with my two co-founders and was notified that I was being Zuckerberg'd out of the company. After this, my ex co-founders went to raise a multimillion dollar round and even pitched on Shark Tank. I wouldn't call this one an exit, it was more of a learning lesson. Co-founders are critical, and I never trusted these guys and I could never put my finger on why. Now, more than ever, I trust my gut feeling. It hasn't failed me since.

After this I took some time off and backpacked Italy. It is a beautiful country and people. I was hoping my escapade would give me some eureka moment and I would return as the next Howard Schultz but alas I could not find that inspiration. I was too burnt out and I focused on sleeping, exploring, and reading during my trip.

I returned and went full-fledge into the world of tax. I got my CPA license after getting back from Italy and continued with some of the tax work I had done over the years and built a book of business. I decided I wanted to give corporate America a shot too. So I took a position in financial reporting at one of the world's biggest healthcare systems. Working these 'jobs' helped me become more mindful of my own energy and helped me recover from my startup ventures, which took a massive toll on my body and mind.

Now I continue to help startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses manage their tax and finances. I like to be humble, but I am damn good at what I do too. And, most importantly, I like it. It's different from running high-tech startups, but different is nice. Different is another learning experience. I continue to work on passion projects on the side, but for now, I have found my ikigai

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