Why some accounting firm is sponsoring the Vinetta Project's $20K challenge - Technical.ly DC

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Jun. 10, 2016 10:29 am

Why some accounting firm is sponsoring the Vinetta Project’s $20K challenge

Meet GSP Financial Services, which aims to be “totally different from any other CPA firm out there.”

At the Vinetta Project's second pitch and panel showcase.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

If you’ve attended a Vinetta Project Venture Challenge pitch event over the past couple months, you may have heard the name GSP Financial Services. The company is, after all, the title sponsor of the ongoing $20K pitch competition.

But what’s the story with this small, Gaithersburg, Md.-based CPA firm and why are they so involved in supporting female founders through the Vinetta Project? Technical.ly chatted with founder Zachary Giegel to find out.

Giegel and his cofounder George Farha launched GSP just under a year ago, in August 2015. The goal, Giegel said, is to be “totally different from any other CPA firm out there.” How, you ask? Well, GSP focuses on helping startups and other early-stage companies with their finances. According to Giegel, this is an underserved niche.

Most CPA firms bill by the hour, but this model can be hard for a small company to afford. To make their services more reasonable for the average #dctech startup, GSP Financial sets a monthly fixed rate.

NKD Pizza was GSP’s first client, and since then the firm has expanded to add 11 more small companies, mostly based in D.C. But GSP wants to get more involved in the DMV tech, startup and entrepreneurship communities — and this is where a partnership with the Vinetta Project comes in.

Companies that pitch at Vinetta events “fit right into our model,” Giegel said. And whether it’s with taxes, financial modeling or accounting, GSP can provide a lot of value to a young company. Because really, no matter how great your startup idea, money, and well-managed money, will be key to your success.

And GSP is sort of a startup too. Indeed, Giegel said, “in some ways we’re going through the same issues that our clients are going though.” GSP has a small (but experienced) team, and is trying to figure out how to grow. However, despite the fact that Giegel makes less and works harder now than he has in previous jobs, he seems to love working with startups.

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His favorite part of working with founders? “Their energy and their ideas,” he answers, immediately.

We couldn’t agree more.

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Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier was the lead reporter for Technical.ly DC. The California native previously worked for NPR and the editorial board at USA Today. She can talk travel plans all day, and has strong opinions on the best doughnut in D.C.

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