Finance Leaders in Chicago Tech

Reviewing a tenure sheet, locking down an bureau franchise and environment new business milestones are usually a few of a bullet points on a to-do list of a head of financial during a flourishing tech company.

Finance leaders and their teams play an outsized purpose in a scaling of a tech company, generally a immature one that’s going by flourishing pains. They’re mostly a initial chairman a owner turns to with questions about expansion and goals. But what happens when a financial personality has questions of their own? Where can they spin for help?

While Chicago’s tech village is close-knit, it didn’t have a veteran classification for financial and accounting professionals in a try village until Dan Gloede founded a Next Series Club in 2016. The classification brings financial and accounting professionals of all backgrounds together to share their common believe and experience. In a 3 years given it launched, a Next Series Club has grown to some-more than 100 members between a Chicago and Seattle chapters.

We sat down with 3 members of a Next Series Club to learn some-more about a organization, along with a hurdles their teams face and a many critical aspects of a fundraising process.

Built In would like to thank Dan Gloede (CFO and boss of Codeverse) and Tom Kirby (founder of PrepDD and a member of a Next Series Club) for organizing these interviews. Built In VP of Finance Tim Collman is a member of a Next Series Club.



Threekit VP of Finance Nancy Rizkallah knows a impact a financial organisation can have on a company. Shortly after she assimilated Threekit, a cloud-based software maker that enables online retailers to showcase their products in photorealistic 2D, 3D and protracted reality, a association tore off a bootstraps with a $10 million appropriation round. Threekit has given raised an additional $20 million, though Rizkallah pronounced a impact her organisation creates goes distant over a purpose in a appropriation process.


The impact a financial organisation has on a association can infrequently go unnoticed. How do we safeguard your organisation is running a business instead of usually stating on it?

We demeanour during financial stating as a starting indicate for running a business. Our initial step is to safeguard a reports are presented in a transparent and obvious manner. Then we start a analysis, including looking during pivotal metrics to beam us on where we need to puncture deeper. That becomes a starting indicate for conversations with any business section to know what indeed happened. Together we’ll plead how to get these metrics to trend toward where we wish to see them.

We demeanour during financial stating as a starting indicate for running a business.

You assimilated Threekit in Nov 2018, and a association announced a $10 million appropriation turn dual months later, followed by a $20 million turn in Nov 2019. When it comes to a appropriation process, how do we prepared your team?

From my team’s perspective, their many impactful work occurs during due diligence. Because we’re in a fast-paced expansion stage, a ask for attention and ad hoc reports comes from mixed groups for several functions and with tiny notice. We say certain reports as a best practice, as good as to stay prepared. As a vast partial of financial attention requests revolve around sales and revenue, so do these reports.


Chicago’s tech village is famous for being close-knit and supportive. How has your network impacted your work during Threekit?

My network, privately a Next Series Club, has truly been invaluable. The knowledge-sharing is endless and I’ve been means to save time and income by reaching out to a organisation for opinions on issues vast and small. What’s many valuable, however, is conference a issues others in a organisation move adult that we haven’t nonetheless encountered. This has helped me stay ahead of situations to come.



BenchPrep has been bustling given George Nissan assimilated a edtech association as executive of financial in late 2017. Since Nissan came aboard, a association has scarcely doubled a headcount, changed into a new bureau in a Willis Tower and lifted a $20 million Series C. Nissan common usually how many work goes into lifting such a vast turn of funding. 

Can we speak about a biggest plea BenchPrep faced when lifting a Series C?

One of a largest was ensuring we brought in a right partners who truly accepted a company, business indication and attention to assistance us get to that subsequent level. Ultimately, we wound adult with dual good new investors, though it was a prolonged tour to get there. When it comes to pivotal takeaways, a biggest thing is to make certain we prioritize spending a required time upfront to pre-screen intensity partners so that we can get down to your final possibilities as quick as possible.

Find networking groups and events where we can accommodate people to share ideas with, speak by common hurdles and learn from.

When it comes to fundraising, what are a many critical factors a financial organisation should cruise before starting a process?

Make certain you’ve allocated a required bandwidth for a process. Identify a pivotal resources that will be indispensable and what stipulations exist on your team. Then, emanate a devise for stuffing any gaps that competence impede your ability to have as well-spoken and fit a routine as possible. Also, make certain everybody is aligned on a preferred finish result, and that a government organisation and other pivotal stakeholders know all a routine entails and what’s approaching of them.


When it comes to building a network in Chicago’s tech community, what’s your approach? 

It’s critical to lift yourself to be amicable and get out of your comfort zone. Find networking groups and events where we can accommodate people to share ideas with, speak by common hurdles and learn from. My knowledge with a Next Series Club has been intensely beneficial, not usually for expanding my network within a Chicago tech community, though also for anticipating people in identical stages of their careers who have uninformed and opposite perspectives about both day-to-day operations and big-picture items.



Ted Weitzel knows a appropriation routine intensely well. Since he assimilated G2 in 2014, a business and program reviews site has lifted roughly $100 million from try collateral firms. While Weitzel has endless knowledge shutting deals, his team’s stream priorities are some-more tellurian in scope.


Besides a dollar amounts, what was a biggest disproportion between G2’s Series B and Series C rounds?

The biggest difference between a rounds wasn’t a time to close, as both sealed really swiftly. It wasn’t anticipating a right investors, either. Our investors are good and we had before relations with all of them. Coming to an agreement on a tenure piece and due attention also weren’t issues. The biggest disproportion was a increasing importance put on deploying a collateral from a Series C turn while also staying within a “metric guardrails” of a top-tier expansion company. 

I have my possess personal attention lists and ask my organisation to do annual ridicule attention run-throughs.

Once a tenure piece is signed, you’re obliged for shutting a turn as quick as possible. How do we prepared for this moment, and who is concerned in this process?

Once a tenure piece is signed, it’s attention time! we have my possess personal attention lists and ask my organisation to do annual ridicule attention run-throughs. This keeps us orderly and prepared to go in a eventuality of a fundraising turn or sale. Due to a trusted inlet of fundraising and sales, it isn’t always easy or right to lift a lot of people into a process. By utilizing a ridicule attention run-throughs, we possibly have or can self-service many of what needs to be delivered. This approach we can extent a people concerned to “need to know.”


What is a biggest plea your organisation is elucidate during a moment?

Going global: We have left from a singular entity in a United States to six: two in a U.S. and 4 abroad. Four of those entities were combined by acquisitions. This tellurian expansion has been felt by all of a teams that we lead. 

Our financial and accounting teams are tough during work rolling out a multi-entity and multi-currency ERP system, as good as perplexing to confederate and connect all of a subsidiaries in time for a annual review deadline. Our authorised organisation is digesting all of a employment, regulatory, correspondence and information remoteness issues that go along with handling in several geographies. Our record organisation is elucidate a plea of confidence and record enablement, and a comforts organisation has rolled out 5 new offices.

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