TechFlash Cup: Small business finance software startup Finagraph

If James Walter could go back in time, he would tell his 12-year-old self to relax and slow down.

“I had pretty lofty goals when I was 12. They are taking a lot longer than my 12-year-old self would’ve figured,” Walter said.

Walter is the co-founder and CEO of Finagraph, a company that fills the void between small business owners and lenders. Finagraph grinds the numbers to help small businesses operate as efficiently and profitably as possible.

Team Finagraph finalists in the Puget Sound Business Journal TechFlash Cup 2014.

Team Finagraph finalists in the Puget Sound Business Journal TechFlash Cup 2014.

Before starting Finagraph, Walter’s cofounder, Corey Ross, worked at Bank of America and Walter worked for Microsoft.

He expressed his frustration at sitting by and seeing small businesses not run to their full potential.

“He was quite verbal in his complaining about all of the problems with lenders not understanding businesses,” Walters said.

The two came together with their different areas of expertise and began Finagraph to help those small businesses better organize their financial information. The system works with popular business management software like QuickBooks, and can convert it into graphs and other visuals that help businesses present that data to potential investors and lenders.

The company currently has 26 investors, and Walter said finding angels wasn’t really a big problem for them.

Walter said the easiest part of founding a startup is coming up with an idea. The hardest is making that idea into a business and getting paid for it.

Unlike many startups, Walter has a clear exit strategy: to be acquired in the next five or six years.

“Someone will want to buy us if we are doing our job right,” he said.

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