Ian Crosby

Ian Crosby

Co-founder and CEO

AGE: 28

COMPANY: Bench Accounting Inc.

“I thought, I’m just going to try and build this better”

The story: As a 19-year-old UBC business student looking for a route into the video game industry, bookkeeping wasn’t Ian Crosby’s ambition. “I didn’t have any useful skills, or at least I didn’t feel I did,” says the now 28-year-old CEO and co-founder of Bench Accounting. But at a job fair in third year, after pitching himself to about a dozen companies, “lo and behold one of the companies liked my attitude.” He ended up working at Threewave Software as a bookkeeper through to graduation. As it turns out, balancing the books struck a chord: “I thought, I’m just going to try and build this better.” After graduation, he spent two years at Bain & Company’s Toronto office before quitting to launch his own firm. Bench Accounting builds and sells bookkeeping software for small businesses and provides a support team of accountants to help its clients navigate the intricacies of bookkeeping. His biggest problem these days? Finding employees for his fast-growing firm: “It’s hard to find executive sales talent in Vancouver.”

Markers of Success: Bench—which now has 110 employees (up from just 10 employees 18 months ago)—has secured $9 million in venture capital funding from investors in Vancouver, New York and San Francisco. Revenues are increasing 15 per cent month-over-month. —Jacob Parry

Meet Ian Crosby and the rest of the 2015 30 Under 30 winners at this year’s celebration event!