Hi, I'm Alexis.

I've co-founded one billion dollar company (Reddit) and the VC fund I co-founded, Initialized, has seed invested in six others. I'm out here, worldwide, looking for more. 🚀

I write things about entrepreneurship, investing, style, health, and family. 

Shakmat: Bringing Armenian Brandy to the World

Shakmat: Bringing Armenian Brandy to the World

Hurry & get a bottle of this 23 Year Old premium brandy I've created with the team at Flaviar (who I met as a partner at Y Combinator 4 years ago) and Elisabeth Garvin who's shepherded this project.

Keep an eye out for an AdQuick powered billboard or two...

What is Shakmat?

Shakmat (or shakhmat) is the Armenian word for Chess. But our Shakmat is so much more than a game. It is a symbol. A symbol of life, persistence, patience, and wisdom of a people that do not fall, even when held in check.

Shakmat is a premium brandy originating from the birthplace of winemaking. It is an embodiment of Armenia’s two national treasures – Chess and Konyak.

A few minutes to learn, a lifetime to master.

Buy Shakmat, Plant Trees

Armenia was heavily deforested during the Soviet years and immediately after, throughout cold winters and economic hardship—leaving the country with less than 10% tree cover.

We're partnering with the Armenia Tree Project to help reforest the country with every bottle of Shakmat we sell. The Armenia Tree Project has already planted and restored over 5,500,000 trees, creating hundreds of jobs for Armenians through seasonal tree-related programs.

A portion of the proceeds from every sale will be donated to help this Armenian reforestation project continue.


I'm excited to share the story behind all the tactics and tools Flaviar has used in creating this direct-to-consumer liquor brand. Plenty of SaaS companies in the Initialized portfolio helped make this all possible.

Enjoy your Shakmat responsibly and, whenever possible, with loved ones.

Named a WIRED Icon for 25th Anniversary Issue & Nominated Jewel Burks

Named a WIRED Icon for 25th Anniversary Issue & Nominated Jewel Burks