Paul Shapiro

Mentor Spotlight

Paul Shapiro

Start-up CFO

Paul has worked with startups and technology companies throughout his entire career.

Paul has been interim CFO & controller for early stage venture backed companies as well as projects for established companies with short-term needs. Paul has worked with over 50 companies since 1994 on short and long-term engagements. His focus is on start-ups and companies in transition, particularly in the tech and internet space.

He is comfortable dropping in and out of companies seamlessly, and has the ability and preparation to make each company better. Paul values relationships and appreciates referrals from clients and other service providers. After spending the last three years working full-time for Verizon after their purchase of his long-time client EdgeCast Networks, Paul has resumed his consulting practice and looks forward to helping early growth companies once again.

Outside of the office, Paul is on the board of JDRF – Los Angeles, and has personally raised over $500,000 in the last 14 years for Type 1 Diabetes research. Additionally, he is an active member of the Advisory Committee to the Santa Monica College Business Department. He also spent almost 20 years as a volunteer with KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic show.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about several things, and it seems as I get older, my passions have evolved. I’m passionate about baseball and have been a Dodger fan since I was a young boy admiring Sandy Koufax from afar in New Jersey. I’m passionate about JDRF – their mission is to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), and improve the lives of those with T1D. My daughter was diagnosed in 2002 and I do all that I can to support this great cause in her honor – she is now 25 and healthy. I’m passionate about the work I do…I’ve had the pleasure of working with start-up companies in Los Angeles for most of my career. The work I do is not core to their business, so earning the respect of the entrepreneurs and my peers makes the work very rewarding. Oh yeah, I also love music and had the privilege of volunteering at KCRW on Morning Becomes Eclectic for almost 20 years.

What one piece of advice would you give to an early stage startup regarding your area of expertise?

Well as the finance guy on the team, it’s of course “watch your cash flow”. Getting a handle on your burn rate is key as you build your business and raise money from outsiders. Until you have a stable, profitable business, managing expenses and keeping an eye on your forecast is key. Meeting financial goals is so uncertain, I would also suggest that early stage companies under-promise and over-perform to build credibility.

What do you like best about mentoring at the Preccelerator?

The Preccelerator is its own startup eco-system. I found out about the Preccelerator at a networking event and after looking over the list of mentors, I thought it would be an honor to be included among them. Not only am I able to work with an ever-changing group of bright, energetic entrepreneurs, but I also have a chance to meet and get to know 50 other mentors in a variety of fields and professions.  I’ve also seen the value of an affiliation with Stubbs Alderton, and how that will benefit the entrepreneurs throughout their lifecycle.   And as I’ve relaxed my consulting commitments, the Preccelerator provides me a great opportunity to give back to the startup community with no quid pro quo.  I’m interested to see how the Classes that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with grow as they leave the nest.



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