CFO Systems, LLC provides financial leadership to middle-market entities and small business across the United States. It serves clients as interim and timeshare CFOs and Controllers, providing practical, experienced financial leadership on the clients’ schedule.  John Gustafson is the Managing Director of CFO Capital, a new division of CFO Systems formed by their partnership with Ideation Ventures.

Tell us a little about your business. – I formed Ideation Ventures in 2005 to assist early stage and high growth businesses in preparing for strategic transactions, such as capital raises, mergers and acquisitions.  Earlier this year, we formed a strategic relationship with CFO Systems, which provides interim and timeshare CFOs and Controllers to middle market companies through the Midwest.  Through CFO Capital, we offer investment banking services to high growth and middle market companies in a variety of industries – including technology, manufacturing, biofuels, agribusiness, healthcare and business services.  We help these companies evaluate their strategic alternatives and then assist in arranging debt or equity capital, bank debt or equipment leasing, other companies to acquire, or a partner to buy them.

How did you get started in the business? – While studying accounting at UNL, I interned for a summer with an early stage technology-focused venture capital firm. That summer turned into eight years.  I was able to gain some hands-on experience with companies in multiple ideas and with varying degrees of success at a very young age.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Keeping up with continually evolving markets and technologies, but that is also the most interesting component for me.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Seeing someone achieve their goals that they’ve dreamed of and strove for over a long road, whether it be an entrepreneur obtaining their needed capital or a long-time business owner successfully selling a business that they’ve spent years building.  Being a small part of that is very rewarding.

Tell us a little about your family. – My high school sweetheart, Deb, and I have been married for nearly 18 years.  We have three children, ranging from 3rd grade to 9th grade.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Spending time with family, possibly watching Husker football, Creighton basketball, or UNO hockey.

What are you the most proud of? – Definitely my family.

If you could have a super power, what would it be? – The ability to see into the future or into the past.

Which talent would you most like to have? – Speed-reading!

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – If I wouldn’t have studied business, I would have gone into computer science.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – I recently read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber again.

What is your favorite movie? – I enjoy comedies but can’t pass up the Godfather series, Goodfellas, or Shawshank Redemption when they are on TV.

What is your favorite TV show? – Breaking Bad, which I watched in record time on Netflix.  Our family enjoys watching Shark Tank, even though I have to get past how unrealistic it is.

What is your favorite local restaurant? – Blue Sushi

If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Benjamin Franklin.  The multitude of facets of life, science, politics, literature, etc. that he influenced is amazing.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – I can be reached at and more information can be found on and