Ian Crosby, co-founder and CEO of Vancouver-based tech startup Bench, has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2016, holding the top spot in the enterprise technology category.
"This accolade is testament to the fact that a tech company does not have to be in California to succeed," Crosby said in a press release.
He says he’s hopeful the international attention will help Bench attract more of Vancouver’s top talent, as he plans on doubling the staff of the rapidly growing company in 2016.
Crosby, who is 29 years old, graduated from Sauder with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008, four years before founding Bench with fellow Sauder alum Jordan Menashy, along with Pavel Rodionov and Adam Saint. They were seeking to create a web-based solution to make bookkeeping easier for fledgling startups.
"I was a bookkeeper in college, and I saw the pain," Crosby told Forbes. "We solve that pain by taking everything off the entrepreneur's hands."
Crosby says his experience in Sauder’s consulting program was a key boost to his career, as a dedicated lecturer helped land him a job at top consulting firm Bain & Company. It was while working there that he and Menashy saw the major advantage large firms hold over startups: only the big players can afford high end bookkeeping services. So the Sauder grads decided to level the playing field.
Bench offers cloud-based accounting services at a low cost, supported by both a growing team of bookkeepers and a user-friendly app. Since its inception, the startup has raised $15 million in venture capital and has processed more than $850 million in bookkeeping transactions. In less than four years, it has grown to 200 employees, and remains rooted in Vancouver.
Crosby was also named to a 30 Under 30 list by BCBusiness last year alongside four other Sauder alumni.
Read more about Crosby’s success and watch a video interview on the Forbes 30 Under 30 site.