Carnegie Mellon University

Hooman Radfar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Collective

Equipping Self-employed Entrepreneurs

Founding a company on your own may be a challenge, but Hooman Radfar (ENG 2004) and his company Collective are here to help.

Collective is an online financial platform that handles back-office processes like accounting. For a monthly fee, self-employed entrepreneurs automate back-office systems and benefit from a network of support for issues like business incorporation, accounting advice or tax tips. The company has seen massive demand for the service with 40 to 50 times more applications than members. 

“Throughout my career, I realized that I have a strong passion for being a founder myself and for helping other founders,” Hooman says.

His own entrepreneurial successes include AddThis, a content engagement platform, bought by Oracle and being a founding partner at Expa, a venture firm. While at Expa, he realized that he could help founders at scale, by focusing on building a platform to address the needs of professionals that work for themselves.

“Freelancers, solo professionals, gig workers — the majority of founders are businesses of one,” Hooman says. “All the tools I get as a venture-backed founder aren’t available to a lot of people who are freelancing, yet they have a lot of the same CEO concerns that I do.”

Collective’s mission hits close to home for Hooman. Both of his parents led solo medical practices, but each set up their businesses differently.

“The amount of taxes that my father saved relative to my mother was staggering, and so I thought, ‘What if they could just focus on what they're good at, being great doctors.’ In the end, that’s what drives me forward every day at Collective.”

Story by Elizabeth Speed