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Entrepreneur Journeys

Competing with Box and Dropbox: Soonr Co-Founder and CTO Steven Boye (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 20th 2015

How does a little company with most of its engineering in Denmark compete with Box and Dropbox? Read the story of Soonr.

Sramana Mitra: What is the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey? Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What’s the back story of the entrepreneurship story?

Steven Boye: I’m a US-Danish citizen. I was born in 1962 in Denmark. My mother is American. I always had strong ties with Europe and America. I graduated as an engineer in electronics. I started in entrepreneurship shortly after that.

Sramana Mitra: Where did you do your studies? >>>

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Don’t Pivot Too Soon: ADARA Co-Founder and CTO Charles Mi (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 20th 2015

The Lean Startup methodology has created a frenzy to pivot. Entrepreneurs seek instant gratification, and when they don’t get it, they rush to pivot. The market is strewn with false negativities as a result, because entrepreneurs don’t have the patience to stay with a concept, develop it, and sell it.

ADARA is a counter-example that pivoted, but to an idea that took a lot of lengthy selling to gain ground.

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? >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services From Colorado: InteliSecure CEO Chuck Bloomquist (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 20th 2015

Chuck has bootstrapped a security company using services all the way up to $35 million and has recently raised private equity capital to develop a platform product.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? What kind of background leads up to this story?

Chuck Bloomquist: I was born in El Paso, Texas. I spent most of my youth living in the Pacific Basin. After we moved out of Texas, we moved to Wake Island. Then, we went to Hawaii and lived there for a year or so. Then, we moved up to Alaska and the UK. I came back to Texas for college. I then migrated to Colorado.

Sramana Mitra: After college, you graduated to Colorado? >>>

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Building an SMB SaaS Business: Stitch Labs CEO Brandon Levey (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 13th 2015

I am quite bullish on SaaS solutions for the SMB market. Here’s one that is doing well.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s go back to the very beginning. Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Brandon Levey: I was born and raised in Michigan. My family has a long history of entrepreneurship—from my great grandparents to my dad and his siblings. I started driving to work with my dad when I was five years old. He would pay me $5 a day to just sit with him on certain weekdays to visit clients. I started working in his sheet metal shop on Saturdays when I was nine. I wasn’t allowed to use all of the tools because I was only nine. I started working full-time for him over the summers between eighth grade and ninth grade. I worked as a commercial installer. Before I could drive, he would drop me off and pick me up at six at night. He made sure that others didn’t treat me like the boss’ son, which was nice. >>>

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Bootstrapping From Germany: Cleverbridge CEO Christian Blume (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 13th 2015

We’re always impressed by entrepreneurs who manage to build sizeable companies without outside capital. Read how Cleverbridge has maneuvered to $40 million in revenue and doesn’t want to deal with venture capital and private equity.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What kind of background?

Christian Blume: I was born in Cologne, Germany. I moved over to the US when I was seven years old. I stayed for two years in Detroit. Then, I moved back to Germany again for a couple of years. When I was 15, I moved to London and did my International Baccalaureate over there. Then I moved back to Germany again and did my apprenticeship as a car mechanic. I then went to study Economics and went to an asset management company based out of Frankfurt, which was addressing high net worth individuals who needed investment opportunities. >>>

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Long Journey To Realize a Vision: Limeade CEO Henry Albrecht (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 13th 2015

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint, usually! Persistence pays, as Henry’s story beautifully illustrates!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances? What is the backstory to the Limeade story?

Henry Albrecht: I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I’m the youngest of four boys. I think that probably says a lot about my personality, competitiveness, and desire to be heard. I had two wonderful parents who embodied the Midwestern work ethic. My dad was raised on a farm in Iowa. He was the man of the family at age 10 when his father passed away. He was driving a tractor before he could reach the pedals. He brought that into the way that we were raised, which was to work hard and be successful. As the youngest, I was always trying to beat my older brothers even though they beat me a lot more often than I beat them. >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services: Evariant CEO Bill Moschella (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 6th 2015

Yet another case study of a services company successfully bootstrapping a product, then raising Venture Capital!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s begin at the beginning of your personal story. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What’s the back story of your entrepreneurial story?

Bill Moschella: I was born and raised in Connecticut. I attended college at Berklee and eventually got my degree. What I was passionate about all of my life was music. I went to music school and graduated with a music degree. I left college playing music in a band and opened up a recording studio. I never really had a job. I was always playing music. I was running bands. I found that I had a passion for the engineering side of music so I opened up a recording studio. I took all the money that I saved up from gigs. >>>

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Bootstrapping a Billion Dollar Unicorn with Services from Utah: Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 6th 2015

The tried and true 1M/1M theme of Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later rings through Dave Elkington’s story. He used services to bootstrap a Unicorn that has since raised close to $140 million in VC funding. Revenue has scaled 100% year on year the last few years.

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

Dave Elkington: I grew up in Utah. I went to school here. My parents are both school teachers and worked for the state and federal government. It was a little bit atypical. My dad was a rancher growing up in Idaho. My mom is from Canada. When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell them I wanted to be a millionaire. They would ask why. I’d be like, “Not for the money, but purely for the sake of accomplishment of being able to do that.” I went to school locally. My education is a little bit eclectic. I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. I also have minors in Hebrew, Japanese History, and Business. I also studied, for about a year, in Israel. I decided I wanted to go get some >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services From Atlanta: PMG Founders Joe LeCompte and Robert Castles (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 6th 2015

Adding to our roster of Bootstrapping Using Services case studies, here’s PMG from Atlanta.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal journey. Tell us a bit about where you come from, where you were born and raised, and in what kind of background.

Robert Castles: I was born in Columbia, South Carolina. I spent the first half of my life there through to college. I have always been interested in technology as early as I can remember. When I was 11 years old, I begged my father for a Radio Shack Color Computer so that I could take it home and learn how to program. This is while all my friends were looking for baseball mitts, which I also like. I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for that computer, which I got.

My dad then helped me get a job at 15 to write software for a small insurance company. I helped them out. They had a bunch of bad data and my job was to fix their data. I enjoyed that very much. It was a great opportunity. That set my life path moving forward. >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services from London: Conversocial CEO Joshua March (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 30th 2015

Josh March first built a digital marketing agency around social media before identifying the product opportunity for Conversocial.

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

Joshua March: I grew up in a relatively small town in England, a few hours outside of London. It’s called Malvern, Worcestershire. It’s famous for classical music composer Elgar. It has beautiful hills and countryside. It’s a lovely place to grow up but not completely exciting from a business perspective or the perspective of a 16-year-old.

I studied an undergrad law degree at college. I really wanted to be a barrister, which is a type of lawyer in England. That really attracted me. My family were lawyers and I was very interested in it. I didn’t really know anything particular about business. Entrepreneurship wasn’t part of my experience growing up. I went to college at Durham University. I was thinking I was on a pretty clear career path. >>>

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