The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup
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The Backbone explores the journey inside finance at high-growth technology startups. Our host Shubham Datta interviews finance leaders at various stages of emerging technology companies to find out their story, key financial and operating metrics they track, how they measure them and what their biggest challenges are. Hear directly from finance leaders at tech startups who are in there day in and day out, serving as the backbone of their company.

The Backbone is also a great resource for learning how to break into startups with an accounting or finance background with unique insights from guests.

For even more details, including show notes and blog posts by finance leaders themselves head over to www.thebackbone.xyz

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     Episode 13: Serving the SMB Market at a Publicly Traded Software Company vs a High-Growth Startup with Darren Wood, Director of Finance & Operations at Jobber

    On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Darren about: His journey from Intuit to Jobber and how he got started in finance within the software industry;  What Jobber is all about; The differences between his experience of working in finance for a large publicly traded company to leading the finance function of high growth venture backed startup; The unique opportunities and challenges he faces being the finance leader of a company serving the SMB space; and The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company.

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    Leading Finance at NPOs to High Growth Tech & Bootstrapping vs Raising Venture Capital with Anthony Scolaro, VP Finance & Operations at Lucova

    On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Anthony about: His involvement with Lucova and how he became the VP Finance & Operations; What Lucova is all about and what it does; The similarities and differences between running finance at a NPO vs a high growth tech startup; The considerations for bootstrapping vs raising venture capital; and the importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Vendor Selection Considerations & Viewing the Finance Function from an Engineering Perspective with Gerti Dervishi, VP Finance at Flybits

    On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Gerti about: His path to Flybits after roles in CIBC, IBM and the government; What Flybits does; Staying flexible with vendors and not placing heavy reliance on any particular vendor; Viewing the finance function from engineering perspective; and The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company.

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    The Process of Acquiring Companies as a Startup & Best Practices for Investor Relations with Ryan Levenberg, VP Finance  at  Q4 Systems Inc.

    On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Ryan about: His journey into tech and startups and from his university startup to PwC and now Q4 Inc.; What Q4 Inc is all about; What it’s like to make 3 acquisitions as a startup having raised $25M; Best practices for maintaining strong investor relations; and the importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Raising VC Funding to Executing an $110M Acquisition + Demystifying the Progressive Roles of the Finance Leader within a Startup with Dwayne Walker, CFO at LookbookHQ

    On this episode of The Backbone, Dwayne Walker, CFO at LookbookHQ discusses: His journey into tech and startups and his progression from Controller to CFO; What LookbookHQ does; Raising $50M in venture capital funding and orchestrating a $110M exit to a publicly traded company; Demystifying finance leader jargon: the differences between Controller, Director, VP and CFO; What makes a great finance leader; and The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Going Through an Acquisition of an eCommerce Company & Keeping Both Sides of a Marketplace Happy with Elena Armstrong, Co-Founder & VP Finance at Exact Media

    On this episode of The Backbone, Elena Armstrong, Co-Founder & VP Finance at Exact Media discusses: her journey into tech and startups and from public accounting at Ernst & Young; what Exact Media is all about; what it was like to go through an acquisition; the challenges of leading finance and keeping both sides of a marketplace company happy; and the importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    From Finance to Founding an IoT Startup & Bootstrapping vs. Raising Venture Capital with Sacha Sawaya, Co-Founder and CFO at Litmus Automation

    On this episode of The Backbone, Sacha Sawaya, Co-Founder and CFO at Litmus Automation discusses: His journey into tech and co-founding Litmus, after roles in investment banking, asset management and finance; What Litmus Automation does; The challenges of founding an IoT company with a background in finance and things he would do differently if he could do it over again; Bootstrapping vs raising venture capital funding and making the most of the funds you raise; The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Difference Between Being an Advisor vs Finance Leader for Tech Startups & When to Raise Capital with Eugene Bomba, CFO & VP Operations at ThoughtWire

    On this episode of The Backbone, Eugene Bomba, CFO and VP Operations at ThoughtWire discusses: How he got started in the tech scene and his involvement in the startup ecosystem for a long time both as an operator and and advisor; What ThoughtWire is does and is all about; How’s it being back in the CFO seat; The biggest differences between being an advisor for tech startups to being the finance leader of a fast growth tech company; Considerations you make when deciding whether to raise capital or not; The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Transitioning from Professional Services to Finance Leader of Pre-Revenue Tech Startup with Chris Parkes, CFO at NuraLogix

    On this episode of The Backbone, Chris Parkes (CFO at NuraLogix) discusses: His journey into tech and becoming CFO at NuraLogix from his role at PwC’s Emerging Company Services group; What NuraLogix does; Why a pre-revenue company requires a finance leader; The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company; The transition process Chris went through going from a professional services firm to being the finance leader of a tech startup

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    Why Finance & Operations go Together & Dealing with the Highly Regulated Financial Services Industry with Leen Li, Head of Finance at Wealthsimple

    On this episode of The Backbone, Leen Li (Head of Finance at Wealthsimple) discusses: Her journey into tech, after stints starting with Eloqua, Influitive and now leading finance at Wealthsimple ; What Wealthsimple does; The challenges she faces operating in the highly regulated financial services industry; Why Finance and Operations tend to go hand in hand at early and growth stage technology companies; The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    How Finance Scales Growing from 25 to 200+ Employees & Transfer Pricing with Les Cullen, Director of Finance & Operations at TopHat

    On this episode of The Backbone, Les Cullen (Director of Finance & Operations at TopHat) discusses: His journey to TopHat and his move to Toronto from Waterloo; What Tophat does; How a company’s finance function has to scale as it grows from 25 employees to over 200+; Unique challenges (from a finance perspective) that Les has encountered as the company start selling its products globally, such as dealing with transfer pricing; and the importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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    Introducing the Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

    The Backbone is launching soon! Each episode will feature a finance leader (Director/VP, Finance or CFO) that: shares their story of how they entered the world of startups, explains what their company does; describes unique challenges he/she faces in their role; shares expertise relating to specific topics on the mind of finance leaders, such as: preparing for board meetings, determining the key metrics to monitor, when to think about raising capital, amongst other things. Be sure to subscribe and visit www.thebackbone.xyz for more details.

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