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From farm life to startup success with Coconut Software founder Katherine Regnier 

Photo-Katherine Regnier
Katherine Regnier

Episode Summary

Katherine Regnier is the CEO and founder of Coconut Software, a customer engagement platform for financial institutions. She launched the company in 2011 after recognizing the need for improved scheduling software while struggling to book a massage appointment. Since then, Katherine has led the company through venture capital funding, strategic partnerships, and the rapid growth that makes it the envy of its industry. In this episode, we hear Katherine’s inspiring story of launching Coconut a decade ago, and how she found the courage to risk it all from the beginning. We also learn what post-pandemic life looks like for the company, and how they stepped up to be there for their customers throughout the crisis.

Episode Notes

Growing up on a farm proved to be the perfect training for startup life
Katherine credits her farm upbringing as part and parcel to her success in the startup world. Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, she learned crucial skills and lessons early on like the value of hard work, strength and perseverance, and viewing life as a marathon not a sprint. Outside-the-box thinking, pride in her work and a healthy dose of dedication are some of the other qualities she developed from an early age. Katherine’s background has also contributed to the humility and kindness she’s been able to maintain throughout her journey.She’s quick to point out these qualities shouldn’t be mistaken for weaknesses. 

Sometimes, a great idea is enough to keep you going
Despite having limited background in software development, Katherine was committed to her vision for Coconut Software from the beginning. She had identified a pain point while struggling to book a massage appointment, knowing intuitively there had to be a way to improve and streamline the process. Katherine spent three years looking for the right partnership to execute on her idea, all the while holding strong to her vision and never compromising on her boundaries. By remaining patient and steadfast throughout the process, Katherine was finally able to bring her idea to life, despite the odds being stacked against her.

A strong focus on people, passion, and performance will go far
Coconut Software is laser focused on people, passion, and performance — in that order. Early on, the company landed Jackson Hewitt and Capital One as clients that helped to build their credibility as an organization. Katherine says that as a rule, Coconut treats its customers like trusted partners.. She makes a point of asking customers questions about their work and family lives to help the team at Coconut gain a better understanding of the challenges they’re working through on a personal and professional level. 

CIBC Innovation Banking is a trusted financial partner to entrepreneurs and investors. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Michael Hainsworth


Katherine Regnier

Coconut Software