Ilia has a strong science and technology background, more than 25 years of experience in building high-tech businesses and venture investing on both sides of Atlantic ocean. After receiving MSc from Moscow Fizteh and a PhD from MIT, Ilia left science for technological and strategic consulting, entrepreneurship and venture investing. As a consultant, he provided technological, strategic and investment advice to major corporate clients in retail, banking, manufacturing, telecommunications and venture and private equity funds. His clients included US and Canadian telecom operators (AT&T, SBC, Qwest, Bell Canada), VC/PE funds (MSDW, Blackstone Group, Battery Ventures), telecom equipment providers (Lucent, Cisco, Phillips, Juniper, EMC2), major retail and investment banks (MSDW, Bank of Boston, Bank of America), and high-tech startups. At the beginning of the 2000s, Ilia built and operated successful consulting and high-tech businesses in the USA.