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The podcast featuring finance leaders driving change within their organizations.

Oct 27, 2019

After years of careful finance career–building within the healthcare sector, Paul Willson came upon an opportunity inside Austin’s energetic technology start-up community that he found hard to resist.

Becoming employee number 23, he was immediately dubbed “the finance guy”—a label that he would wear for only 5 days before the ambitious start-up announced that it was being acquired by BMC Software.

At the time, Willson no doubt harbored some frustration concerning the timing of his arrival in the realm of entrepreneurial tech. However, in the weeks and months to come, the conventional wisdom that had fueled the tech community’s bravado would be stood on its head as the dot-com crash of 2000 scorched the entrepreneurial landscape and ended the life of many a start-up.

Back at BMC, Willson weathered the storm and joined their finance rank-and-file, where he grew accustomed to the ebb and flow of the technology world before jumping to Convio, a small, Austin-based, technology firm with IPO ambitions. “It was a great experience to build Convio from scratch, and this being 2005 when we started—the early days of SaaS companies—we were looking for any information that we could find on the business model,” explains Willson, who today credits Convio for allowing him to open the entrepreneurial career chapter that he had needed to put on hold a few years earlier. –Jack Sweeney


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