Brian H. Axelrad Partner
  • D 312.606.3242
  • F 312.267.2227
“Entrepreneur. MBA. Lawyer. Advisor. Mentor. Investor. He is the first person I call when making any significant decision.” - Entrepreneur & Startup Advisor Client

Brian is a partner in HMB’s Business and Finance Group. He is also a leader in the firm’s Venture Capital and Technology practices, founded HMB’s Social Impact practice (philanthropy and impact investing) and serves on the firm-wide Executive Committee. In addition, Brian leads the firm’s ETA/Search Fund efforts. He serves his company clients as day-to-day general counsel and regularly advises companies, investors, acquirors and executives on strategic and milestone transactions, often including venture capital and private equity transactions and mergers & acquisitions.

Brian partners with investors, entrepreneurs and executives on the legal and business issues they face at every stage, from startup through growth to exit. He coaches and guides his clients as they explore different strategies, transactions and opportunities.

The companies Brian works with are often technology driven or enabled and connected to a host of industries. His institutional clients include venture capital funds, private equity funds, family offices, search funds and fundless sponsors.

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In a cross-practice group collaboration through HMB’s Social Impact practice, Brian helps clients deploy capital to support social impact and philanthropic outcomes. In addition to being a social impact lawyer, he is an active member of the global community and also serves as the Chief Investment Officer of Beyond Capital Fund, an impact investment fund that invests in for-profit social enterprises in East Africa and India. More locally, he served as the inaugural Impact Investor in Residence at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2015-2018.

Lawyer, Impact Investor, Tech Investor, Entrepreneur, Kitchen Sink

Brian has a reputation for pragmatic, solution-oriented outcomes, efficient and effective problem solving and technical expertise.


  • 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


University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, M.B.A. with honors

Northwestern University School of Law, J.D.

University of Michigan, B.A. in Economics and History



Community Involvement

  • Chief Investment Officer of Beyond Capital Fund
  • Teacher, Venture Capital Investing for Social Impact at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business



  • HMB Congratulates FingerprintJS on Closing Funding RoundOctober 15, 2020

    HMB congratulates FingerprintJS and its founders, Dan Pinto and Valentin Vasilyev, on closing a $4M financing round. The company, a new kind of toolkit offering a browser fingerprinting service, is based on an open-source project that already has 5 million downloads and 8,000 websites using the service. “We have a unique opportunity to disrupt the fraud technology market by enabling our…

  • HMB Congratulates AM Money on Recent Financing RoundOctober 8, 2020

    HMB congratulates AM Money, also known as Chicago Student Loans, and CEO & Founder Daniel Rogers, on closing a financing round. AM Money fights to give low-income students across the city, state and country every opportunity to graduate from college, find quality employment and build wealth. Google for Startups is one of AM Money's many supporters and has provided additional funding through…

  • HMB Congratulates AeroPay on Closing Seed RoundOctober 1, 2020

    HMB congratulates AeroPay, a Chicago-based alternative payments platform, and CEO & Founder Daniel Muller, on closing a seed round to accelerate its growth led by Continental Investors. The AeroPay platform eliminates traditional payment processing burdens and enables seamless bank-to-bank digital payments between businesses and their customers. The platform is built to work in any environment, both in-person or online. With…

  • HMB Congratulates Client Red Flag Mania on Partnership with WGU LabsAugust 21, 2020

    HMB congratulates client, Red Flag Mania, a game-based investigative experience, and founders Roni Jackson and Kelly Richmond Pope, on their recent partnership with WGU Labs, Inc. ("WGU"). Under the agreement, WGU will make both a service and capital investment in Red Flag Mania, that's innovative e-learning solution combines film, theory and "whodunit" fun to empower learners to use data to…

  • HMB Client MOCA Awarded One of First Recreational Dispensary Licenses in ChicagoApril 13, 2020

    Congratulations to MOCA-Modern Cannabis for being awarded an adult-use dispensary license to operate at 216 W Ohio St in the River North neighborhood. MOCA’s original dispensary continues to operate in Logan Square at 2847 W. Fullerton as a medical and adult-use dispensary. The IDFPR final approval was granted to MOCA on April 3, following city inspection. HMB congratulates MOCA for…


  • Cybersecurity PreparednessJanuary 29, 2020

    As 2020 kicks off, cybersecurity remains ever present in the news whether its predictions for cyberattacks in conflict between state actors, such as the United States and Iran, or the recent New York Times report regarding a possible hack at the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of the impeachment investigations.

  • SEC Proposes Changes to Accredited Investor Standard and Assesses its Impact on the MarketplaceJanuary 9, 2020

    In December 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed amendments to the definitions of “accredited investor” and “qualified institutional buyer”.

  • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, M.B.A. with honors
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in Economics and History
  • Illinois
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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