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The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

Updated about 12 hours 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

iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
2
0
0
0
0

Very informational

By Firstfret - Feb 15 2017
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Great to see this podcast discuss one of the underrated topics in startups. I'm excited to see what comes next - great listen so far!

Exciting

By shnaca - Feb 15 2017
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Both the worlds of finance and technology (especially start ups) are so exciting and to hear a fresh perspective on a mix of both is fantastic. Can't wait for the next episode!!

iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
2
0
0
0
0

Very informational

By Firstfret - Feb 15 2017
Read more
Great to see this podcast discuss one of the underrated topics in startups. I'm excited to see what comes next - great listen so far!

Exciting

By shnaca - Feb 15 2017
Read more
Both the worlds of finance and technology (especially start ups) are so exciting and to hear a fresh perspective on a mix of both is fantastic. Can't wait for the next episode!!
Cover image of The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup

Updated about 12 hours 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
---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Mar 06 2019
34 mins
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Rank #2: 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.
---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Feb 20 2019
28 mins
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Rank #3: 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 #4: Episode 21: Using Analytics and Predictive Models to Improve Budgeting + the Role of Attribution in Assessing Digital Marketing ROI with Emma Lyndon, CFO at Canopy Labs

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

Her journey into tech with stints at eBay, Kaboose, and Ariad Communications prior to her gig at Canopy Labs;
What Canopy Labs is all about;
Taking advantage of analytics and predictive models to improve the budgeting process;
The role of attribution in assessing digital marketing ROI;
The evolving role of the Finance leader within a technology company and it is much more than just making sure the books are in good order.

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Sep 12 2018
21 mins
Play

Rank #5: 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
Play

Rank #6: 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
22 mins
Play

Rank #7: #28: Scaling a Finance Function of a High Growth Company with Strategic & Institutional Investors

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featuring Tiffany Hsiao, VP Finance at Rubikloud.


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

  1. Her time with PwC Vancouver and Melbourne where she worked on mining, real estate, infrastructure and manufacturing clients, prior to taking the plunge into tech at Rubikloud and what that transition was like for her.
  2. Rubikloud and what it’s all about.
  3. The biggest changes in her role as the company went through various rounds of financing, and the processes/procedures she had to put in place for the scaling finance function. 
  4. How she managed to serve the needs of both institutional and strategic investors. 
  5. Her learnings as a finance leader for a company that sells into enterprise organizations with long sales cycles.
  6. 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


--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jan 23 2019
21 mins
Play

Rank #8: Ep. 29: The First 100 Days as a Finance Leader of a Venture-Backed Startup w/ Bryn Knox @ BenchSci

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

  1. His journey into tech including stints at Walt Disney Studios, Century Fox and Wave Financial, prior to his current role at BenchSci.
  2. Benchsci and what is it all about.
  3. His first 100 days and what he prioritized as a set up the finance function as the first finance hire at BenchSci, after the company had raised $8M Series A round.
  4. Effectively fulfilling a finance leader’s role as the “gatekeeper”, while optimizing for ROI. 
  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
---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Feb 06 2019
26 mins
Play

Rank #9: 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 17 2017
19 mins
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Rank #10: 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.

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jul 12 2017
29 mins
Play

Rank #11: 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 19 2017
25 mins
Play

Rank #12: 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 30 2018
23 mins
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Rank #13: 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
May 09 2018
32 mins
Play

Rank #14: 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jun 07 2017
21 mins
Play

Rank #15: Ep. 25: Correlating Non-Financial Metrics into Financial Outcomes + More w/ Trisha Egberts @ Figure1

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

- Her path into health and technology after starting her career at PwC, and moving to CAMH - the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before jumping into tech and at her current role as Finance Manager at Figure1.
- Figure1 and what it's all about.
- The most important metrics to track for the largest crowd-sourced medical platform and how to correlate non-financial metrics into financial outcomes.
- The challenges of balancing ad-load and monetizing through sponsored content.
- 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

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Nov 14 2018
22 mins
Play

Rank #16: Ep. 27: Raising a $27M Financing Round & Managing the Ever-Changing Priorities as CFO w/ Dave Pooley

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

  1. His journey into technology with stints at Miovision, Fibernetrics and Kitchener-Waterloo based accelerator, Communitech, prior to joining Axonify.
  2. Axonify and what its all about.
  3. Serving the enterprise market and what that means what considerations the finance leader has to make, including the size of investment round and choosing the right investor.
  4. Managing the ever-changing priorities as the CFO, and how priorities change in a smaller organization to a larger one.
  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
---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Jan 09 2019
34 mins
Play

Rank #17: Episode 24: Learnings from Starting and Shutting Down a Startup + Balancing Multiple Product Stakeholders with Mark Jarvie, VP Finance at Drop

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

His journey into tech after being an auditor and investment banker at EY, then moving leading finance at Shomi, prior to joining Drop;
What Drop is all about;
Balancing Drop's various stakeholders including consumers and brands and how Mark thinks about those that generate revenue for Drop (brands) versus consumers who use Drop for free;
The valuable lessons from Shomi as one of its earliest employees on the project to shutting it down;
The importance of the finance function at a technology company.

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Oct 30 2018
28 mins
Play

Rank #18: Episode 20: Considerations for CAC and Churn in a Self-Serve Pricing Model with Matt Dove, VP FInance at Celtx

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On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Matt about:
His move into tech after stints in PwC Nova Scotia and Australia;
What Celtx is all about;
The biggest challenge for you moving from a professional services firm to a growing technology company like Celtx;
How to think about customer acquisition and churn at a company with a self service pricing model;
The importance of the finance function at a technology company

---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Aug 01 2018
26 mins
Play

Rank #19: 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
22 mins
Play

Rank #20: Ep. 33: Behind the Scenes of SnapTravel's $21m Slam Dunk Series A from Steph Curry with Ankur Bansal, Head of Finance + Business Development

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Ankur Bansal, Head of Finance and Business Development at SnapTravel

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

  1. His journey into tech after completing the trifecta of management consulting, investment banking and private equity, as well as being a co-founder with an exit to Groupon.
  2. SnapTravel — what the company does and what is it all about.
  3. Raising a debt round in conjunction with an equity round. What Steph Curry looks for in his investments.
  4. How his diverse background of investment banking, consulting and private equity, not to mention being a founder, helped him think about the finance at operations role at SnapTravel.
  5. The importance of the finance function at a technology company.
---

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support
Apr 03 2019
26 mins
Play

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