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Episode 23 // Financially Fierce Founder: Ryley Iverson

Championed by our friends at Community Futures Manitoba


Having known Ryley since 2012, and watching his journey unfold has been truly inspirational. I’m excited he’s agreed to share his story with us in #TheGabLab because I know there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.


In only six short years, #FinanciallyFierce co-Founders Ryley Iverson and Davie Lee were able to take their startup from ideation to exit. And although that’s a feat in and of itself, Ryley accomplished this after receiving a Stage 3, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis in the early days of his startup.


Needless to say, Ryley epitomizes what it means to be fierce—physically, emotionally, and yes, financially. We’re fortunate to be able to benefit not only from his tenacity and resilience but just as importantly, from his humility and authenticity. If you’re looking for inspiration and a path forward through fear, doubt, and uncertainty, you won’t want to miss this episode.


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// Founder's Take

Ryley offers up valuable insights from the vantage point of taking a startup from ideation to acquisition:

  • The cost of taking his health for granted, and how a cancer diagnosis realigned his goals and priorities.

  • Why bootstrapping the business made sense in the early days, and why it paid off in the end.

  • Unit Economics—the importance of knowing the real costs of customer acquisition and retention.

  • Starting with the end in mind. How having a clear vision of where you’re headed (in life and business) makes all the difference to a healthy outcome.

  • Acting on the advice of others. When to tune in and when to tune out.


// The Good. The Bad. And the Ugly.

As with every Founder’s entrepreneurial venture, there’s a lot to be learned. Here's the good, the bad ,and the ugly of Ryley's lessons learned along the way:


The Good // Tune in to learn how Ryley and his co-Founder were able to take a business from ideation to exit and how an office manager was pivotal to their progress.


The Bad // Founders' salaries, or as Ryley puts is, "financial fasting". What's considered fair, what's considered right, and what's considered necessary! [I'd love for you to weigh in below. How much do you think Founders should get paid, and why?]


The Ugly // How cancer impacted not one, not two, but seven out of ten team members. And how it continued to shape and shift the priorities of the Founders.


Don’t miss out on the valuable insight and experience shared by Ryley.

Better yet, take his experience and learn from it!



// Mic Drops


Boom! There it is! We promised you intel to blow your mind and build your bottom line. Here’s our favourite mic-drop moments from #FinanicallyFierceFounder, Ryley Iverson:

  1. Be patient. You can't build a business overnight. It takes time.

  2. If you're planning on launching a rocket ship, best to know where you intend to land.

  3. Know your motivations. Are you being pulled by a vision or pushed by fear?

  4. The cost of customer acquisition and retention was one of the most important financial lessons we learned along the way.

  5. Look beyond the bank account balance. Know your financial levers, and look at them constantly.

Drop us a comment below and let us know what landed with you!


About the Founder // Ryley Iverson

Ryley is currently a recovering tech founder charging up for his next mission. He most recently co-founded a GovTech startup which he led from idea to acquisition over a six-year journey.


He has consulted and advised 100's of companies over the years and been involved in startups ranging from light bulbs to energy futures to microloans. When he's not building companies he likes to explore cities, nature, and consciousness.







About the Champ // Community Futures Manitoba


Community Futures Manitoba is an association representing 16 Community Future organizations established throughout rural and northern Manitoba. The Community Futures Manitoba Board of Directors is comprised of one representative from each of these organizations.


Community Futures operates across rural and Northern Canada as a grassroots-driven program created to strengthen rural economies by enabling entrepreneurship and assisting in community economic development.


The goal of each Community Futures office is to assist the communities in their region to develop their economic potential.


Have an idea for a Gab Lab episode? Know of a #FinanicallyFierceFounder?

Looking for insight on a specific topic?


#GovTech #Money #Angels #Equity #Investors #Exit #Bootstrapping #Advisors #Cancer #UnitEconomics #StartUp #Acquisition #NailedIt #GabLab #FinanciallyFierce #Founders #Entrepreneurs #Finance #Money

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