Stephany Kirkpatrick has built a career out of fintech and transforming legacy businesses and infrastructure into modern platforms that can support a new generation of business and products. All while helping millions to enjoy instant payments.
During her guest appearance on the Dealmakers Podcast Kirkpatrick shared her love for building things, digital innovations, and creating better, faster, smarter outcomes for financial services.
Plus, we talk about her experiences in M&A, startup fundraising, the secret to game changing products, and building a business that can withstand down turns, with fully remote teams.
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Planting The Seeds Of A Flourishing Fintech Career
Stephany Kirkpatrick was born in Oregon. Her father had immigrated to the US from Yugoslavia when he was seven years old. This fact, ended up ultimately being the genesis for the incredible impact she is having on millions of lives.
Stephany says that growing up in an immigrant household meant seeing finances from a different perspective. Her father was a small business owner. Yet, he wasn’t a part of the traditional banking system, didn’t have a credit score, and so on.
This got Stephany thinking about how to help others with financial services, and set her on the path to become a certified financial planner.
His work also inspired her to embrace her own side hustle, and then have the courage to turn that into a business.
Although her most recent business is a part of the New York tech scene, it was going to college in California that really exposed her to Silicon Valley, startups, and technology.
Right out of school Kirkpatrick found herself working for a tech company that showed her the ability to use software to achieve leverage to impact hundreds of thousands of people, and to create new user experiences.
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The Full Cycle Experience
Her first venture was an early dive into SaaS in the financial services space. She joined LearnVest during the early days. It was her first real journey of experiencing finding product market fit, building and securing IP, and then going through a $350M acquisition.
In this process, and post-merger they went from touching hundreds of thousands of people to millions. While transforming a 150 year old business into a new digital power player.
Stephany says that once you taste that experience of taking a company through the full cycle you’ll never want to go back. While it may never be easy, and it will always take a lot of work, you can create massive value and outcomes.
Next Stephany continued building out her experience and network by working with Soulcycle and Equinox.
Building a team, and finding the right timing, and leveraging her years of experience she struck on the idea and found the momentum for her next venture, Orum.
It all really boils down to enabling instant payments. Bringing our financial services inline with the real time needs and lifestyles we are enjoying in every other area today. Orum decided to tackle this by focusing on building the infrastructure to enable this. Which means they now boast the simplest API integration for instant payouts.
Looking forward they envision the time when this will fuel many new products and services we haven’t even considered yet.
Building A Company That Can Withstand Tougher Economic Times
There is clearly a lot of uncertainty about the near term performance of the economy. So, how do you enjoy a company that is built to survive that?
To date Orum has already raised $85M in capital. Much of that was done in her socks, from her child’s bedroom, before she got her real home office. They have a fully remote team spread across 23 different states, and only recently held their first in person board meeting.
Stephany says that they have been very focused on their product as a painkiller, not being just a vitamin. It is something needed, that meets a current pain point. In fact, in tougher economic times, we can certainly imagine that getting paid faster will be more important.
Storytelling is everything which is something that Stephany Kirkpatrick was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.
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Looking forward and addressing your go to market is also just smart. How might you diversify the industries you serve, the size or avatar of your customers? Who you are selling to within those organizations, and your go to market strategies, tools, and marketing messages?
For example, you might now want to have been all in on just serving crypto companies lately. However, you may also find that if your service helps other businesses cut costs and improve their revenues, your sales pitch may be a hit with many CFOs today.
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- Post merger integration experience
- Stephany Kirkpatrick’s top advice when launching a business
- Startup fundraising