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Entrepreneur Journeys

Bootstrapping Using Services: InRule COO Rick Chomko (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 1st 2014

Rick and his team had to navigate a long journey, including a recession that disrupted one of their key customer segments dramatically. Read how they survived.

Sramana: Rick, let’s start with the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you raised? What kind of circumstances? Give us some of the back story.

Rick Chomko: I was born in the Chicago land suburbs and grew up there. My dad introduced me to computers at a very early age, which was way back in the 70′s, mostly because that’s what he did for a living. He’s one of the first people, I think, that jumped on to the information technology bandwagon. >>>

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Building a Global Software Company From Australia: Bigcommerce Co-Founder Mitch Harper (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 30th 2014

We seldom see global software companies emerge out of Australia. Bigcommerce is a rare exception.

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

Mitch Harper: I was born and raised in Sydney in Australia. Bigcommerce was also born in Sydney five years back in 2009 when I was about 27 years old.

>>>

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Student Entrepreneurs Bootstrapping a Zero-Logistics E-Commerce Company to $19 Million: Wrist-Band.com CEO Azim Maknojia (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Sep 26th 2014

We’re seeing a real trend of zero-logistics e-commerce businesses scaling phenomenally well. Read Azim’s experience!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with the beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What kind of educational path did you follow?

Azim Maknojia:I am from India. My parents shifted from a village to Mumbai city for better opportunities. That’s where I was born. My father came to the US around 1984. My mom was still back there in India. Within two years, we came to Houston and settled down here. I was about a year old then. >>>

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Building a Successful Social Media Business from Germany: Moviepilot CEO Tobias Bauckhage (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 24th 2014

This discussion contains an extensive review of film recommendation systems that would be extremely interesting for folks engaged in building Web 3.0 systems. All in all, the story is quite fascinating!

Sramana: Tobias, let’s start with the beginning of your personal story. Where are you from? What is the background that gave roots to your entrepreneurial journey?

Tobias Bauckhage: I was born and raised in Central Germany. I grew up in a town close to Hamburg where my father was a professor of mechanical engineering. I focused on Math and Physics in my late high school years. I also played a lot of role playing games when I was younger. At one time, I wanted to become a journalist. I wrote for many magazines including student and youth magazines. >>>

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Bootstrapping to Inc. 500: Tallie CEO Chris Farrell (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 23rd 2014

Chris and his co-founder bootstrapped Tallie to a high growth Inc. 500 company in four years. After that, the product had to be re-architected, and slowed down for a couple of years, before picking up again. Read how they have competed in a crowded marketplace and built a robust position.

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

>>>

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Building a Cloud-Based Property Management Platform, Ric Leutwyler, President of SkyTouch (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Sep 20th 2014

Everything is moving to the cloud and hotels are no exception. Read on!

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

Ric Leutwyler: I was born in Austin, Texas. I have moved 18 times in my life and career in the US. I have a double degree in both Marketing and Human Resources as I had interest in both areas. I started my career with AT&T before the divestiture. It was one of the largest companies in the world. I was involved with different parts of the organization during my time there. I think I was in eight different roles in eight and a half years. >>>

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Building a Global Enterprise Software Company from Portugal: Paulo Rosado, CEO of OutSystems (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 17th 2014

We’ve looked at a few case studies of European companies successfully turning themselves into global ones. SDL, Mendix, and Sitecore are just a few examples. In that select club, OutSystems is a key player.

Sramana: Paulo, let’s start out at the beginning of your story. Where were you born and raised? What was your journey like leading up to the OutSystems story?

Paulo Rosado: I was born in Portugal. I attended the Universidade Nova in Lisbon and I graduated with a computer science degree in 1988. In 1992 I went to Stanford University where I received my masters degree in computer science. I then worked in Silicon Valley until 1997. After that I returned to Portugal to start my own company. >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services, Scaling Using Content Marketing: John Sundberg, CEO of Kinetic Data (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Sep 13th 2014

You have heard me discuss bootstrapping using services quite a lot. Here, we also take on another important key strategy for customer acquisition: content marketing.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with some background. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised and in what kind of circumstances?

John Sundberg: I’m currently in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is where our office is. I was born in Minneapolis. I’ve been in Minnesota all of my life. My wife is from Connecticut. My upbringing was very open-minded. My dad taught positive attitude and sales training and indirectly, I’ve had that positive attitude all my life. He ran his own company. It was a small company. As a result of watching that while growing up, I thought I wanted to work in a big company. >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services from Montreal, Canada: Silanis CEO Tommy Petrogiannis (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 10th 2014

If you haven’t read my Bootstrapping Using Services book, you must. Here’s yet another case study following the same methodology.

Sramana: Tommy, let’s start with your backstory. Where are you from?

Tommy Petrogiannis: I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and I still live there. Both of my parents are first generation immigrants. Watching them as I grew up, I learned to value the work that goes into earning a buck. The difficulty of earning cash for your business really made an impression on me. I learned that you need to watch cash very carefully when you are building a business. I am an electrical engineer by education. I was always excited by how technology changes every day. >>>

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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Mall for Africa CEO Chris Folayan (Part 1)

Posted on Sunday, Sep 7th 2014

E-Commerce is blossoming all over the world. In this story, we take a close look at what is happening in Africa, especially Nigeria.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as Mall For Africa. Tell us about what you do and what’s happening in your world.

Chris Folayan: I’m the Founder and CEO of Mall for Africa. Mall for Africa is an online application both for PC and mobile that allows people in Africa to purchase items from US and UK sites. Most companies currently do not ship directly to any country in Africa, but Africa is a thriving continent and people there want to purchase items from the US and UK. Since many sites in the US and UK don’t do that, we’ve created a platform that, in essence, opens up  true global e-commerce to the people of Africa. >>>

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