Arthur Shikhman

co-founder | co-ceo
product ops music nerd

Born in Chicago to Soviet immigrants, raised in the NY/NJ/PA tri-state area. Glued to music, video games, and books for most of my adolescent years, this insular upbringing led to college years marked by fun, rebellion, and failure. Dropped out of not one, not two, but three(!) schools of higher education (managed to snag an Associate's Degree on the way 😏).

Drifted aimlessly for some time, the guiding light being the constant discovery of music that would push me to begin experimenting with DJ equipment and throwing renegade parties in Jersey. A move to 80 square feet in Astoria, a $10/hr introduction to the ad tech industry, and the city's non-stop musical energy finally supplied me the inspiration to strive for something... anything.

After a few internships it was 33Across in 2012 that gave me my first real shot. The ad tech experience provided me with the opportunity to learn all sides of the business - data, finance, operations, product, marketing, and a newfound social awareness unique to dynamic yet professional settings.

But that was just during the day .... by night it was the New York nightlife that ruled my mind. Pacha to Webster Hall to Le Bain to Blkmarket to Resolute to Verboten to Mister Sunday to Bossa Nova to Nowadays - a history traced through hazy dance floors and wonky afterparties. As bedroom DJing turned to frequent selection across sunny rooftops and strobing clubs, the movement of the weekend fueled each following week. On and on the dizzy circus went, until a successful spell leading the 33X Operations team pivoted into a Product position, heading the build of the company's proprietary ad exchange.

April 2019 brought the seven-year itch. The time felt right to jump into a new adventure - the terrifying yet rewarding startup world - with the chance to finally connect those passions that continued to intersect - music and tech. Enter Grey Matter.

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