Best-in-Class Value Proposition: Sidewalk provides a unique set of solutions that combine to lower the cost of learning content on campus. Half of all students report either going without some of the content that is required for their courses, or switching courses all together due to the cost of content alone. Universities and governments have come to the realization that the cost of content is a true barrier to student success and career progression. Our software is an answer to this problem, and over time, will solve it forever. Specifically, our solution helps content creators get their content to market, helps college faculty find and select the best price-to-value content, helps the campus and college store then source that content (digitally or physically) at the best price, and then ultimately assists the student in acquiring that content at the lowest price. This full circle approach puts content into the hands of more students, increasing their likelihood of success and improving the institution's bottom line.
High Growth: 2016 saw 100% quarter over quarter contract close growth, now with over 220 universities signed to use our product (representing about 11% of the market as measured by student and faculty populations). This year we are in heavy implementation alongside contract growth, and expect to have 200 unique institutions live on our platform by year’s end.
Compelling Long Term Revenue Opportunity Across Multiple Stakeholders: In higher ed in the U.S. alone, students spend nearly $10 billion annually on course materials. Sidewalk will aggregate the largest audience of faculty and students onto a single content discovery, procurement, and acquisition platform, creating an opportunity to revolutionize how this audience accesses and pays for content. Our value proposition is drawing multiple stakeholders to the table, including small and large publishers, content vendors, libraries, college stores, and institutional teams focused on academic success.
Positive Industry Trends: The concerns with student success and barriers to completing an education have driven the content conversation in higher ed in our favor. Everything from student groundswell to campus driven initiatives to official state and federal legislature has created a customer base that is receptive to our solution.
IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE:
Sidewalk is looking to hire a leader for the finance organization who can help develop the financialinfrastructure needed for rapid growth.
The ideal candidate for the VP of Finance role will bring an entrepreneurial, strategic, and metrics-driven approach that can work well alongside Sidewalk’s CEO. The candidate will be responsible for creating best practices, implementing accounting technology, managing financial operations, and effectively communicating key performance metrics to both management and the Board of Directors (all with the goal of helping the team make data driven decisions). The VP of Finance must be willing to get his or her hands dirty in building the finance organization from the ground up, all while demonstrating strong financial operating acumen cultivated in an environment known for “best practices”.
Finally, the ideal candidate will appreciate the chance to grow and drive value in a promising technology business and participate in a highly collaborative and mission driven company culture.
IDEAL CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS:
Candidates for the VP of Finance role will be measured against the following primary competencies:
Process and Data-Driven Financial Leadership
- The VP of Finance will bring a skillset focused on establishing and driving process into the finance organization at Sidewalk.
- The VP will be in charge of consolidating operations into one internal financial system, managing accountants, performing monthly closes, and reporting financials monthly to the board and management.
- The VP of Finance will improve how information is gathered, tracked, and delivered, create metrics to collaborate and manage more effectively, and standardize measurements of operational performance across systems.
- The VP of Finance will translate planned actions, metrics, and timing to assist in building the annual budget and track performance compared to the budget on a monthly basis.
- The VP of Finance will interface with Sidewalk’s management team, Board, and investors to clearly articulate financial performance and further drive insight into the strategic value levers of the business that enable revenue and earnings growth.
Disciplined Operating Experience in a Software Environment
- The executive will bring a demonstrated track record of effectively managing and growing enterprises where software and services is a core element of the business model.
- The executive will have the requisite knowledge of software revenue recognition rules and regulations, including those related to professional services revenues and recurring revenue streams.
- In addition to software revenue recognition, the executive will have a broad understanding of software operations and know what operational improvements can drive EBITDA margins.
- The ability to drive efficiency and billing consistency with contracts in a software environment is preferred.
Entrepreneurial Leadership Style & Strategic Partner to Key Decision Makers
- The successful candidate for the role will be a decisive, intelligent, and a results-oriented leader who understands how to be a strategic partner and trusted adviser to the CEO.
- He/she will be an effective communicator and cogently convey deliverables to the finance organization while participating in strategic discussions with senior management.
- The ideal candidate thrives in an entrepreneurial culture and is a pre-emptive self-starter who is able to complete tasks without detailed instructions.
- The VP of Finance will be able to thrive in an informal, low-hierarchy, entrepreneurial culture where decisions are made quickly.
- Given the Company’s expectation to grow significantly in the near term, the VP of Finance must demonstrate the financial sophistication, leadership, and discipline necessary to build out and mentor a growing team.