Ian Crosby is the CEO of fellow TechStars company 10Sheet. His startup is completely revolutionizing the book keeping experience, especially for small businesses, by moving it online and onto a beautifully designed interface. Ian and his co-founders Adam, Pavel and Jordan just moved from Canada to NY for TechStars (Pavel moved from Siberia). They are a magnetic team and the pride of Canada.
What is 10Sheet?
The idea is that right now, a lot of small business just have a bookkeeper that they send all of their book keeping stuff to – receipts, bank statements, invoices – then the bookkeeper sends back financial statements, so your income statement or balance sheet. We want to provide the same experience but do it in a much more automated and streamlined way. We do it in a much more pleasant way and we’re able to do it way cheaper – like 10 – 20 percent of the cost because we’ve got a lot of automation and smart things we’ve done with the process. So again, the user gets a way better experience at a fraction of the cost.
Where did the idea come from?
Well when I was at University, I was paying my way through school as a bookkeeper, and I realized that it was just a horribly inefficient process, and something that a lot of small businesses just don’t want to spend time on. Its just really frustrating and they need a solution. After getting exposure to that problem, its just something I really wanted to solve for small businesses. Because If I was ever going to an entrepreneur, that’s one thing I didn’t want to deal with, so why not just wipe that off the face of the planet. Then the next time I start a company thats one thing checked off the list that I don’t have to worry about.
What is your personal history with entrepreneurship?
I’ve always done little things on the side. Even just being a freelancer, hiring myself as a tutor. I had one traditional job, which was working at my dad’s law firm, which I just hated, and realized that I have issues working for somebody else. I was in the army for a few years, and I learned a lot. I felt like if I was going to work for somebody else, I better be learning a ton. Otherwise it’s just not worth my time for a paycheck. I worked for Bain & Company much for the same reason: I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but had no idea how do to it, so I just had to get the business world, figure out how it works, and then I could strike out on my own. I needed to learn how to scale the things I had done on the side and turn them into a business. Continue reading