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After receiving pre-seed funding, a Head of Product was needed to stand up an MVP

The Search

Our client had just received $1.5M in pre-seed funding and needed to hire their first-ever Head of Product to stand up an MVP in an aggressive timeline. As employee number 4 and a 1-person Product Management team, they would be required to establish the Product Management function and team post launch.

The ability to sell, run meetings (with potential investors and clients by themselves), and pitch the value proposition appropriately was paramount for success in this role. 

 

The Client 

Uplinq is a pre-Series A start-up based in Toronto. The Founder’s track record includes four previous start-ups and two successful exits.

Our client is determined to provide small business owners with every opportunity for success by disrupting how lenders make credit decisions. Once completed, this product will be a B2B SaaS platform for banks and financial institutions to evaluate the creditworthiness and predict the financial performance of SMBs based on Machine Learning models.

 

Search Requirements 

For this hire to be successful, previous experience as a Product Manager who had developed and shipped a finance data product, that is in market today, was essential. They also needed ample industry knowledge of tech categories such as fintech, data, alternative data, credit risk, credit scores, accounting systems, lending systems, and decisioning systems.

As with all Pre-Series A, Founder led organizations, the chosen hire needed to be comfortable in a start-up environment and dedicated to being hands-on as well as applying a strategic lens to everything they do. Outstanding verbal communication skills with the ability to sell without intentionally selling were considered strong assets.

 

The Hire

This candidate has over 15 years of Fintech experience, 8 years as a small business lender as well as 6 years as a Product Management leader for 2 Fortune500 financial institutions/lenders (both were target companies for the client).

Prior to joining Uplinq, they were focused on Open Banking, affordability and inclusion, and Consent Management solutions. They also had worked on advisory projects for Buy Now Pay Later FinTechs. Additionally, they served as an advisor/consultant for North Americans FinTech startups.

Previously, they had worked on New Product Initiatives where their time was primarily spent on owning the development of Machine Learning-based solutions for lenders to identify propensity of default, digital analytics tools to optimize their targeting and marketing, and Open Banking systems for smarter routing.

Their experience also included 6 years at a Big Five which gave them insight into lending, commercial account management, and dealing primarily with SMBs.

 

"I enjoyed working with Martyn Bassett Associates. They were knowledgeable and understood our requirements right from the outset. They got results and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future." 

–– Ron Benegbi - Founder & CEO

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When hiring our first CPO, we were looking to branch out beyond our network. The Martyn Bassett Associates team was able to source candidates that we were wanting, but unable to get on our own. We were presented with a wide range of fantastic candidates.

Robert Chen
Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Almi

What I love about working with this team is they’re there to help. I have weird requests, they jump on the phone and we figure it out. I need someone in a hurry, they hustle. I maybe need someone ages from now, they keep an eye out. I have a question about a salary, or am unsure about how to approach something – they know. We’ve used them for a few years, and we’ve had nothing but great experience working together. Wish I had found them a few years sooner.

Alan Smith
Co-Founder/CEO, Strategyzer

We were impressed with both the speed and the high-calibre of candidates we had to choose from. Martyn Bassett Associates really listen to what you’re looking for and the entire process is very smooth and stress-free.

Roger Barlow
CEO & Co-Founder, Diversys

The entire Martyn Bassett team was easy to work with and we were able to quickly develop an open and transparent partnership. Leveraging their strong expertise and extensive talent network, they helped us find the technology sales leaders and management services experts we needed.

Erin McLean
SVP, Marketing & Human Resources, Herjavec Group

A true value-adding partner in identifying talent. The team at Martyn Bassett Associates were quick to zero-in on our requirements and rigorous in pre-qualifying candidates for consideration. They are focused and fast! Their expertise and experience added value throughout the process and resulted in an outstanding final outcome for Roadpost. This is a team that will strive to exceed expectations.

Kim Layne
VP Marketing, Roadpost