Mira-Mini | LiftBridge CXO: Service Partner of the Year
Gerry Dick: This year's Service Partner of the Year Award winner is LiftBridge CXO. Pleased to be joined backstage at the Mira Awards by Ashley Vukovits. She's the managing director at LiftBridge. Ashley, first of all, congratulations.
Ashley Vukovits: Thank you.
Gerry Dick: Give us a thumbnail description because you're a company providing strategic financial services in particular to startups and early stage companies, right?
Ashley Vukovits: Exactly. So myself and my partners, Kay Whitaker and Kathy Kinder, we are all former CFOs of anywhere from small companies to public companies. We saw a niche that we felt needed addressed, which is companies, as they form, they have a go- to- market strategy, they have a development strategy. They don't always think about finance. They've got bookkeeping, they have somebody that does their taxes, but they don't necessarily have that strategic finance in their organization, particularly when they're young and they're just forming. So we saw a niche that we thought we could provide with our experience. And so we've served over 40 Central Indiana companies since we formed in June of 2020.
Gerry Dick: Yeah. I will just say, your growth has been phenomenal given the fact you're basically two years old and you formed during the pandemic. So was that a strategic decision to do it then? Or some people might say, " Boy, that might have been scary."
Ashley Vukovits: Yeah. We actually started talking right before the pandemic, and then the pandemic hit. And as we chatted, well, companies are going to need even more financial help now because their whole product could not even be as marketable as it was. A lot of companies were pivoting. They were doing things like work at home. And so they needed even more strategic financial help at that, we felt at that point. And I think we saw that.
Gerry Dick: One of the other byproducts of your company, three female- owned, as a female- owned business, three women. So you're literally bringing diversity to the boardroom in many respects.
Ashley Vukovits: Yeah. Throughout all of our careers, we've been in many rooms where we're the only woman, the only diverse candidate in the room. A lot of the boardrooms are filled with white males. Frankly, in the tech community, we see that a lot. So we're comfortable with that. We love going in and just providing diversity, not only in the boardroom talking to investors, but also on the leadership team sometimes. I'm excited that I work with several women- led startups here in Central Indiana, but then there are a couple others that we are the only diverse candidate in the room. So that's exciting.
Gerry Dick: As you look at the future, look to the future and growth opportunities, it would seem to me that the technology, the ecosystem here in Central Indiana and statewide with more and more startups and early stage companies really beginning to form would potentially be good for your business.
Ashley Vukovits: Yeah. We have a model where we provide a niche for a period of time. And we love it when our companies outgrow us because that means they're succeeding. They need to hire a full- time CFO. So we help them with recruiting, we train the new person, and then we go out and we find the next startup to help.
Gerry Dick: Very good. Service Partner of the Year this year is LiftBridge CXO. Ashley Vukovits, the managing director. Ashley, congratulations on the award and good luck going forward.
Ashley Vukovits: Thank you.
The Fishers woman-owned company fills a critically important gap for early-stage tech companies that can be long on innovation, product and markets but short on financial acuity. LiftBridge CXO created a customizable package of services derived from a comprehensive financial roadmap that all businesses need to succeed. Veteran LiftBridge CXO’s professionals embed in their clients’ business, work on an “as-needed ‘ basis, and become a seamless part of the executive team. Just six months after launching in 2021, LiftBridge CXO grew revenues more than 500%, helping 40 Indiana tech companies achieve success while also bringing greater diversity to boardroom and leadership meetings.