What I Learned in Two Years as a Start-up CFO
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16 October 2018

What I Learned in Two Years as a Start-up CFO

My plan was never to be a CFO. I didn’t think about it as a student or at my last job, so it’s a little surprising, even to me, that I ended up here.

Back in 2014, I invested in a company called Kalo (previously known as Lystable) because I believed the founder Pete’s idea was simple and could change the future of work. Yes, he was one of my best friends, but I objectively thought his vision had huge potential. When I wrote the investment cheque, it never occurred to me I would end up becoming an executive in the company. As the CFO of Kalo, I’ve had quite a journey and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

After I initially decided to leave my banking job for Kalo, I read a ton of books, did endless research, and spoke to anyone who could be helpful. I wanted to get a better handle on what being a CFO would actually entail before I left the bank for start-up life. I’ve often wondered whether the banking job set me up for success, and to be honest, I don’t think it did. The start-up CFO role is multifaceted, whereas the banking job prepared me to do one thing well. Start-ups are constantly evolving and changing from month-to-month, whereas banks tend to remain pretty consistent. That said, I walked into the CFO role, knowing that my most important responsibility was to make sure Kalo had enough money to keep growing.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about transitioning out of banking and into a start-up:

Leave your ego behind
I hoped that moving from investment banking to a finance role at a start-up would be a fresh start... Read the entire post 

What I Learned in Two Years as a Start-up CFO 
Courtney Grant

Courtney Grant

Courtney became Kalo's first angel investor in 2014 before joining the team as CFO in 2016. Before diving into the startup world, he spent his career in finance with a variety of corporate finance roles at leading North American and European investment banks.

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