Brian H. Axelrad

Brian H. Axelrad

BRIAN H. AXELRAD is a partner in Horwood Marcus & Berk's Business and Finance Group and one of the leaders of the firm's Venture Capital and Technology practice. Brian's client relationships typically involve working with investors, entrepreneurs and executives to solve day-to-day and operational problems. Additionally, he coaches and guides his clients through the strategic and milestone transactions representative of a business's growth and advancement, such as equity or debt financing, acquisitions and exits. One of Brian's clients recently noted on Brian's Angel List profile: "Entrepreneur. MBA. Lawyer. Advisor. Mentor. Investor. He is the first person I call when making any significant decision. Use whatever words you want to describe him, but my favorite is startup godfather."

Representative clients include: startup and early stage companies (particularly, technology driven and enabled), angel investors, venture capital funds, inbound C-suite executives, "old-line" middle market businesses, banking institutions, private equity funds and mezzanine and specialty finance (e.g., equipment lenders) companies. His clients have participated in accelerator programs, including YCombinator, TechStars and 500Startups, among others, and several of his clients have appeared on (and raised money from) the television show Shark Tank.

Brian also leads the firm's Philanthropy, Social Impact and Investment practice through which he works with family offices, investors, foundations and philanthropists on their deployment of capital with social impact or socially responsible businesses and/or outcomes in mind. In the field of social impact, Brian is also the Chief Investment Officer of Beyond Capital Fund, an impact investment fund that invests in for-profit social enterprises throughout India and East Africa that seek to improve access to basic needs and services for the bottom of the pyramid with respect to health care, sanitation, water, agriculture, food security and energy.

An active member of the community, Brian teaches a seminar on Venture Capital Investing for Social Impact at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which he developed in collaboration with the business school's Social Enterprise Initiative. He frequently publishes on the topics of venture capital, technology startups and social impact either in broader publications, such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review, or on his own via his page on LinkedIn's publishing platform.


Industries Served

  • Automotive Manufacturing & Dealerships
  • Banking
  • Broadcast Media
  • Construction
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Entrepreneur/Start-Up Companies
  • Financial Services
  • Food/Beverage Services & Hospitality
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Leasing Companies
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing & Distribution
  • Mortgage Companies
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Retail
  • Service Companies
  • Specialty Finance
  • Telecommunications
  • Trading Companies


    • Contact Information
    • Bar Admissions
      • Illinois  (2006)
    • Education
      • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, M.B.A. with honors, 2009
      • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 2006
      • University of Michigan, B.A. in Economics and History, 2003

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