I'm not asking for a Co-founder here, what I am asking for is what the title might be of the person I should be looking for. What might this person's job description be and where might I find them.
I am pivoting my current business from contract manufacturing/ outsourcing to inventory financing for businesses after figuring out how to offer 0% interest inventory financing. It is a Financial Technology startup. I'm not trying to promote myself so I can't explain it here due to board rules. A large part of the leg work on this startup is done or in good process including regulatory compliance. What I need is a Co-founder that has experience perhaps from working at a bank or factoring company. Someone that knows the contracts, forms, processes and applications well enough to craft all our own documents and processes. Just way too big of an opportunity to do all of it alone.
The only titles I am coming up with so far to try to find are Financial analyst, business loan underwriter. But other than randomly contacting people on Linkedin, I'm at a loss on where to find and network with these people.
Does anyone have any other titles I might search for? And possibly a suggestion where to find them? Or any other resources that might help?
If you know you’re looking for someone with specific financial operations or development experience you could look for “financial operations” or “financial development”. Even looking for someone who has worked in a large company’s finance department and has moved up in the ranks of that company, such as director and above (or has the entrepreneurial drive to “figure things out”). (There are lots of names for these positions-start in finance in LinkedIn and look around until you find the self descriptions that fit what you’re generally looking for, then move to look for others.) I would also ask if it’s more important that the person 1.) be willing to figure out your business but is already great operationally- a great operations person can figure out nearly anything (and in my experience, things I put on paper the first time nearly always end up changing as the business changes) or 2.) is it more important that the person has the financial background and experience that you’re looking for because you’ll be relying on them for a certain skill set in executing the idea (ie possibly helping to keep the company out of regulatory trouble, etc).
Well, you want to be able to move quickly, make solid decisions, and foment great partnerships. I believe you might want to look at people in the financial sector that have brokered securities. And, if you want an effective co-founder/partner, please do not assume the best use of their time is creating forms.
I understand the title search aspect. If it were me I would probably try to focus on the role and put that out there via job boards or forums. I don't even know that it is a co-founder title except that you will probably need that along with equity to attract anyone worth their weight to take the risks of joining up. I would go to the bank or financial group might be dealing with and dig there.
You want a CFO. These people have deep financial, operational, and legal backgrounds, relationships, and skills. Do not mistake this person with a Finance Director or accountant. They are levels above those.
You can try some profile like chief operating officer.
These are all good answers. I'd add risk and compliance to the mix. And also the "originations" keyword. Good luck.
Some great ideas, thank you.
To answer some direct questions.
Dan, you are exactly right. Someone with securities experience is of tremendous value. I am working closely with my securities attorney now, and even though the source of capital will be crowd funding for an ROI to them, we are both confident my specific process would not be considered a security. It’s a fine line, but my structure is built specifically around that line to be on the right side of it. We expect to secure No Action Letters from the SEC and various states commerce departments. So though it won’t be a security, having someone that knows securities well is of value. So they fully understand what side of the line the finalized structure has to be on and why. And also know the unknowns to get ahead of them. Would you have any suggestions of a place such type of people might hang out in an outsider approachable way?
Raeanna, there is value in someone who can figure it out, for sure. I’m sort of in that boat/ role already. It’s more about time at this point. However, if you are going to start a Financial technology company, there is likely more value in someone on the team having come from the financial industry if at all possible. If for no other reason than that makes the team look that much stronger in the eye’s of VC’s. But also, not have to wait for the learning curve of getting up to speed and having enough information to make the right choices. Making rookie mistakes can be significantly damaging to a lot of people relying on the structure complying with regulations.
Thanks again for the ideas.
You might get lucky, but it's not highly likely that you will find all those skills in one person. And if you did, the incentive to get them to leave where they are and work on a startup would likely have to be quite personal and rewarding. Focus on the most important function first. Someone who knows or has relationships with people who do the secondary functions will lead them down the path to develop additional skills, but also point you at other resources you can use until you can do these tasks in-house.
Many of these functions are things a bank branch manager is trained to do. So, while I can't tell you what title to put on the position so others can find you, I can suggest you search for people whose work history includes "bank branch manager." The other ancillary skills you're hoping to acquire don't lump very neatly into something that exists as a single job today.