May 19, 2023 4 MIN

Meet Theodore Aptekarev

Ever thought extreme sports, med-tech, and finance could be a good career mix? Welcome to my world.

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I’m Theodore, and I’m sharing my unconventional career path that brought me to my current role at OpenBB. It has been a far-from-ordinary journey, and I hope it serves as inspiration for those who prefer taking the scenic route.

How I Got Here

Growing up in a family of academics during the late 1980s, I developed a deep fascination with computers at a young age. However, I took a detour into the realm of extreme sports, working with Red Bull's sports marketing team. Yet, my passion for technology was stronger, leading me back to the field. I began as a 3D tech artist and later co-founded two med-tech companies specializing in digital orthopaedics and orthodontics.

Drawn to open source ideas, I found myself naturally gravitate towards open science. This inclination led me to collaborate with high-caliber international research teams. Our work ranged from machine learning models for children's asthma screening, to open-source versions of surgical navigation systems, to exploring ways to identify nanostructures using magnetic resonance. Working alongside such exceptional teams was a privilege, and to this day, we maintain close connections, frequently reuniting at conferences.

In 2019, my career took another interesting turn when I began researching finance as a personal hobby. My background in sociology and statistics, the subjects I studied at university, provided a smooth transition into this new domain. By mid-pandemic, I was fully immersed in this new pursuit, watching countless hours of webinars from the Quantopian Archive.

I was intrigued by the intricacies of the financial world, prompting me to contribute to an open-source project known as Gamestonk Terminal. The project magnetically resonated with me (medical pun intended!), and I quickly became an active contributor.

It was in September 2021, while working with a team at the Harvard Medical School on cancer research infrastructure, that I received a call from Artem, one of the founders of OpenBB. He told me that the OpenBB company was born, that it received funding to develop the Gamestonk Terminal further. I was elated to receive an invitation to join this new venture, despite initial reservations, as I recognized the tremendous potential of the team.

What I Do at OpenBB

As the Director of Engineering, I now lead a team of 11 brilliant engineers. My days are filled with ensuring everyone on the team is thriving, writing specs and code, and sometimes, as one HackerNews commenter aptly put it, "convincing people to do the right thing."

Our team is enthusiastically tackling an array of some exciting problems ranging from finance-specific complexities to broader hurdles encountered by companies utilizing the Python data stack. By solving these problems we put ourselves at the forefront of today’s investment research, fin-tech, and data science in general. Can we do it? Yes, we can!

The team is great! That’s why I’m pretty sure we can tackle any future challenge we might face while building the best investment research platform ever. Whether it involves standardizing the data streams across financial data providers or figuring out the packaging and distribution of Python environments with hundreds of dependencies, our collective expertise will prevail.

Life Outside OpenBB

"Work hard, play hard" was a mantra imparted to me during my time at Red Bull 18 years ago. So, when I'm not working, I love to play. Whether it's cherishing quality time with my daughter, practicing contact poi, or hacking into diffusion networks to explore AI's potential, I believe in the importance of “diversifying the portfolio” of my activities.

I currently live in a seaside village with few neighbours, but I love meeting people in person. Outside of work I do this through organizing an open-source medical image computing conference that brings together hundreds of participants from around the globe.


My journey to OpenBB has been full of twists and turns. And each experience has shaped me and brought me where I am today. I'm excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead in the intersection of technology and finance.

If my journey resonates with you or if you have any questions about OpenBB, I'd love to hear from you.

If you found this story inspiring or know someone who might, I encourage you to share it. Let's continue the conversation and learn from each other's experiences.

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