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Entrepreneur Journeys

A Conversation About Sexual Harassment with Janine Yancey, CEO of Emtrain (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 19th 2018

Janine has built a $5M a year bootstrapped business in the realm of legal training for employment and workplace issues. A core part of her expertise is in sexual harassment and related concerns that are currently hot topics in the industry. This is a must-read interview for those following the discussion in the media.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Janine Yancey: I’m from Los Angeles, but then I was educated in Berkeley and then at Hastings College of Law, which is in >>>

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Bootstrapping with Sophisticated Strategy: Rob Douglas, CEO of BioConnect (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 5th 2018

Rob has built a thriving founder-financed business from Toronto using very sophisticated strategic maneuvering. I just loved discussing the strategic nuances of this business. You’ll learn a LOT from reading this story.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Rob Douglas: I’m a Canadian. I was born just outside of Toronto. I have grown up in and around the city of Toronto. I’m >>>

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Leveraging Domain Knowledge and Network: Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jan 31st 2018

If you have great domain knowledge and a domain-specific network, both of those can be leveraged to build excellent companies with reasonable amounts of capital and minimum friction. Beeswax is an excellent case in point.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Ari Paparo: I’m a lifelong New Yorker. I’ve lived here most of my life. I went to college in Washington DC and pretty quickly >>>

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$200 Million in Revenue Catering to the Bottom of the Pyramid: Issa Asad, CEO of Q Link Wireless (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jan 29th 2018

This is a fascinating journey of an entrepreneur who has bootstrapped a $200 million business catering to poor people in the United States selling cellular phones and connections, and monetizing the data through advertising. In India, Reliance Jio has a similar strategy, by the way, for those interested in bottom-of-the-pyramid businesses.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Issa Asad: I was born and raised in the United States. I am of Palestinian descent. I am one of 12 brothers and sisters. My >>>

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Bootstrapping From Romania: Marius Hanganu, CEO of Tremend (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jan 15th 2018

Marius has built a services company from Romania to over $5 million in revenue. Now, he is trying to bootstrap a product using the services business.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Marius Hanganu: I’m from Romania. I was born near the seaside. At an early age, we moved to the capital city of >>>

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Genesis to Acquisition: Mike Morris, CEO of Topcoder (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2nd 2018

Mike founded Topcoder, then left and joined Appirio. Appirio acquired Topcoder. Wipro then acquired both Appirio and Topcoder. Very interesting storyline.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Mike Morris: I was born in a town outside of Boston and grew up in a fairly large family. I’m the youngest of seven and went to Catholic schools for the majority of my life. I went to Boston College High School and I continued on into Boston College. I played sports >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services to $40 Million: ActiveCampaign CEO Jason VandeBoom (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Dec 18th 2017


Jason has built a disciplined, profitable business and scaled it to $40 million in 2017 revenue. The company was first bootstrapped using services, and later raised ~$20 million in funding.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Jason VandeBoom: I was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin about an hour out of Milwaukee, and started in >>>

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Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Ranker CEO Clark Benson (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Dec 11th 2017

“I hate raising money and I am not good at it…” – says Clark Benson, with a laugh. The company is growing nicely and profitably. Read on!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Clark Benson: I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. I spent most of my life in Illinois. I went to college at the University of Illinois. I graduated college in 1990 with a degree in Finance. I was very business-focused. One interesting tidbit is that the undergraduate program at the University of Illinois is a pretty highly-rated business program. >>>

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Bootstrapping to $10 Million: Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Nov 13th 2017

Jim has bootstrapped a $10M company by providing a software solution to the charity auction management problem. Interesting journey.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Jim Alvarez: I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. I went to college at the Indiana University.

Sramana Mitra: What did you study? >>>

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Scaling to Profitability with $20 Million in Venture Capital: CloudShare CEO Zvi Guterman (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Nov 13th 2017

Zvi has built a $25M a year in profitable revenue with $20M in venture capital from Sequoia and other investors.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Zvi Guterman: I was born in a small village of Israel to a family of farmers. I feel fortunate that we are changing the world in a small way. We are able to influence people today in such an easy way. Sometimes when you have a long day with funding issues and customers, I reflect back and miss the simplicity of a farm life. >>>

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