It is a fact that only 6% of tech companies have female CEO. Katherine Regnier is proud to be one of them.
Katherine is the CEO and Founder of Coconut Software, a leading Customer Engagement Platform focusing on Financial Institutions. The company was noted as one of the top 11 Companies in Tech to watch in Canada in 2020 and recently out of 800 applicants was accepted into the North American Google Accelerator.
The Coconut platform is a holistic solution that offers appointment scheduling and lobby management, tailored to tackle the challenges and pain points of banks and credit unions. A few notable customers include Capital One, Royal Bank of Canada, Arvest Bank, and Vancity Credit Union.
Katherine started her company with a $5K loan – the demand for Coconut’s solution grew and in fall of 2016, she decided it was time to raise money. Since then she has successfully raised over $11.4M, has experienced 100% growth year over year and is projecting to have 80 team members by the end of 2021.
Fun facts: she is a founding board member of Co.Labs – Saskatchewan’s first tech incubator, currently sits on the University of Washington – Foster School of Business Advisory Board, and is the President of her kids’ Ukrainian Dance Club.
If you know Katherine, she has a heart for giving back and community building.
Q&A with Katherine
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t think about becoming an entrepreneur explicitly. I just became very passionate about solving a really big problem. The problem “How do we not waste time on the phone corresponding when I know exactly what I want as a customer?” The answer was – make it straightforward to book an appointment online when I want with whomever I want — at any hour of the day. This idea transformed into Coconut Software. So, the problem came first, then that resulted in me being an entrepreneur.
What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
Lesson #1: It can be life changing to get the right Coach/Mentor. You can’t do it alone. Even the best hockey players have a coach. There is a reason for that.
Lesson #2: It’s all about People and Culture. I never understood why CEO’s talked about culture so much. I thought I had it figured out… until our team hit 35 -40ish people. Then it hit me like a brick. So now, my number one success metric is that our staff comes to work with Passion and Purpose. Culture isn’t about ping pong and beer fridges. I always ask myself: Does the team understand what success looks like at a business and individual level? And do they feel respected and accomplished at the end of the day?’
Lesson #3: Being a mom of two, a wife, a volunteer board member, and a CEO..etc… I have learned that “work-life balance” is not the road I have chosen to take. What I do know is that “boundaries” are more important than balance.