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The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

Updated 10 days ago

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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. For more information, check out the www.thebackbone.co Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support

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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. For more information, check out the www.thebackbone.co Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support

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iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Cover image of The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

Updated 10 days ago

Read more

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. For more information, check out the www.thebackbone.co Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support

Rank #1: Ep. 31: A Former Banker + Growth Investor Turned Operator on the Consequences of Raising Too Much Capital with Steve Isom, VP Finance at Flywheel

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Steve about:

  1. His journey into tech with stints in investment banking at Lazard, TD and Jeffries, buyside at North Bridge Growth Equity prior to making the jump to the operating side.
  2. Flywheel and what it’s all about.
  3. Transitioning between a sell side investment banker, to the buyside investing in growth stage tech companies and then operating.
  4. Considerations when determining the amount of capital to raise?(At Cybereason, Steve helped the company raise $100M from Softbank Flywheel raised $9M this year.)
  5. The importance of the finance function at a technology company.

We close things off with a quickfire round:

  • Your go to online resource for all things startup finance related
  • Your favourite productivity hack
  • Tech jargon that makes you cringe
  • The best advise you’ve received
  • One thing you don’t leave the office before finishing
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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 06 2019
34 mins
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Rank #2: Episode 15: Serving the Restaurant Industry & Breaking Into Tech in a Finance Capacity with Rob Curcio, Director of Finance at TouchBistro

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Rob about: His journey to TouchBistro and how he got started in finance within the software industry; What TouchBistro is all about; Unique opportunities and challenges you face being the finance leader of a company serving the restaurant space; Breaking into the tech industry in a finance capacity; and the importance of the finance function at a technology company

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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 11 2018
29 mins
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Rank #3: 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

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 12 2017
31 mins
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Rank #4: 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

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 05 2017
21 mins
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Rank #5: Raising $17M Series A Round & What it Means to be ‘Venture-Backed’ with Frank Jessop, Director of Finance at Sensibill

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Frank about: His path to Sensibill; What Sensibill does; What it takes to put together a large $17M Series A round for a FinTech startup; The meaning of being ‘venture-backed’ beyond having money in the bank; and The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 17 2017
19 mins
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Rank #6: Why Finance & Operations go Together & Dealing with the Highly Regulated Financial Services Industry with Leen Li, Head of Finance at Wealthsimple

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 01 2017
23 mins
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Rank #7: 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

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jul 12 2017
29 mins
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Rank #8: The Process of Acquiring Companies as a Startup & Best Practices for Investor Relations with Ryan Levenberg, VP Finance  at  Q4 Systems Inc.

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 19 2017
24 mins
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Rank #9: Leading Finance at NPOs to High Growth Tech & Bootstrapping vs Raising Venture Capital with Anthony Scolaro, VP Finance & Operations at Lucova

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jun 07 2017
21 mins
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Rank #10: Episode 17: The Added Complexities of Hardware Tech Companies & How to Price a New Medical Device with Travis Phung, Director of Finance & Administration at Exact Imaging

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Travis about:

His unique journey to Exact Imaging from KPMG and how he got started in finance within the technology industry;
What Exact Imaging is all about;
The challenges of leading finance for a hardware technology company vs software;
The pricing considerations for a new MedTech hardware device;
The importance of the finance function at a technology company

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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 09 2018
31 mins
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Rank #11: Episode 18: Bootstrapped to $12M Series A & What it Means for the Finance Function with Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Jennifer about:

Her move into tech from EY and concurrently managing various brands at Ratehub;
What Ratehub is all about;
The learnings from raising a $12M Series A round;
The biggest change as a finance leader of venture-funded company
The importance of the finance function at a technology company

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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 30 2018
22 mins
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Rank #12: Episode 14: Scaling the Finance Function, Fundraising, Making Acquisitions & Operationalizing Metrics with Ryan Magee, CFO at Cority

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Ryan about: His journey to Cority and how he got started in finance within the software industry;  What Cority (formerly Medgate) is all about; Scaling the finance function as the company grows from 80 employees to 300+ employees; Raising a large round of capital and making 2 acquisitions; Operationalizing metrics within the organization and The importance of the finance function at a technology company.

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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 28 2018
32 mins
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Rank #13: Difference Between Being an Advisor vs Finance Leader for Tech Startups & When to Raise Capital with Eugene Bomba, CFO & VP Operations at ThoughtWire

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 22 2017
21 mins
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Rank #14: Ep. 30: Customer + Revenue Churn at a SaaS Company with Recurring + Services Revenue w/ Cory Michalyshyn, CFO/COO at Solink

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Cory about:

  1. His journey into tech from audit at Deloitte to a Controller at Optelian, before making the switch to his current role at Solink.
  2. Solink and what its all about.
  3. Thinking through both revenue and customer churn at a company that generates revenue based on the number of locations; and if services revenue impacts pricing considerations. 
  4. The most challenging aspects of Cory’s role going from a full team of 13 to 55 in the last few years.
  5. His learnings from Solink’s most recent $5M equity raise and words of advice for finance leaders going through a raise process for the first time.
  6. The importance of the finance function at a technology company.
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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Feb 20 2019
28 mins
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Rank #15: Transitioning from Professional Services to Finance Leader of Pre-Revenue Tech Startup with Chris Parkes, CFO at NuraLogix

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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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Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 15 2017
27 mins
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