goTenna Employee of the Month Spotlight: Charles

May 19, 2020

About goTenna

goTenna is advancing universal access to connectivity by building the world's most intelligent and scalable mobile mesh networks. goTenna is the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, providing off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices, as well as augmenting traditional communications networks. This technology enables mobile, long-range connectivity even without cell, wifi or satellite connectivity. goTenna's drive to create resilient connectivity began during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas failed. Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is backed by investors including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta.

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goTenna Employee of the Month Spotlight: April 2020

Name: Charles Bocquentin

April’s shoutout of the month went to Charles Bocquentin, FP&A Manager. The award recognizes Charles’ tireless commitment to goTenna’s growth, financial planning, and overall business operations. He talked to us about how goTenna has helped him continue to grow professionally. 


What is your position and what does that entail?

I manage Financial Planning and Analysis, and recently picked up a number of Business Operations responsibilities. Some of them include:

  • Putting together the company’s budget by working with each department lead to understand their projected needs and spending for the year.
  • Running performance and profitability analysis of various initiatives. This typically starts with a high-level financial modeling analysis and certain key assumptions. Then we set up processes enabling the data collection and analysis of actual performance after launch.
  • Improving our systems and processes to better serve our customers or report to our various stakeholders, such as the board of directors and our executive team.

Tell me about your career before joining goTenna and how you ended up here.

I started as an investment banker doing M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions), and also spent some time in financial modeling and data analytics at PwC. I really loved these years in the beginning as I learned a ton, but over time I felt like I was well paid to do a job I was good at but didn’t enjoy as much anymore. It felt more and more repetitive and unexciting.

So I started looking for a new challenge. I thought about what I was best at, what I enjoyed, and where I’d be able to have the greatest impact. I figured that a fairly early-stage startup (Series B/C funding) would likely be the best fit for the breadth of my financial modeling and data analytics skills. I was looking for a place where I could put all these investment banking and consulting skills to good use by making an impact while working on a pretty wide range of things. I didn’t want to be overly specialized in an organization that’s already too large. I preferred to join early and grow with the firm. And I feel very lucky as I feel that’s exactly what I got, and it has been an amazing journey!


What is an exciting project you have been working on recently? What is your proudest professional accomplishment at goTenna?

Pretty much anything I’ve worked on!

  • One of my first big projects after joining was resetting our company’s budget. I built all the supporting infrastructure to make the process as seamless and collaborative as possible and worked with each department to put it together. It was a great way to learn about the business and get to know the team. The technical challenge was really fun, and the insights were tremendously helpful in providing visibility on our financial runway and guiding investment decisions.
  • More recently, we just implemented our first proper ERP system and integrated our main third-party software into it. I was responsible for the data migration and it was a pretty titanic task — really challenging but also super exciting.
  • In the near future, I’ll be working with our software engineering team and developers to integrate our client app with our CRM tool to improve our customer experience and business intelligence.
  • Other than that, I can think of various cross-team analyses to determine whether we should make certain strategic decisions and under which conditions — things like launching new products, commercial partnerships, or marketing investments.


What is your favorite part of working at goTenna?

Having an impact working collaboratively with awesome folks on a pretty cool business venture where the products ultimately save lives.

More precisely, what I love the most is simply feeling useful. I love how I can tell I’m making a difference working on projects that improve the business. It’s pretty rewarding to feel like a valuable employee. It also gives meaning to all the years I’ve spent working hard to learn financial modeling and data analytics.

I also love that feeling of growing with the company and contributing to its DNA, both as an employee and through the legacy of the decisions we’ve made to-date. The business is growing fast and we’ve built so many things from scratch — it’s really cool.

 

What is something you would want others to know about goTenna?

After working at roughly half a dozen organizations, It’s honestly been my favorite professional adventure: lots of growth opportunities and I’ve felt like my skills have been put to good use thanks to awesome colleagues.

That’s also because we operate as a fairly lean team with nowhere to hide. It’s fair to say that it may not be suitable for everybody. On a different note, I love how diverse the teams are with folks from so many different backgrounds. A very welcoming culture. 


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Sailing, skiing, racing, eating popcorn.