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Entrepreneur Journeys

Bootstrapping Using Services: Manish Sood, CEO of Reltio (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 29th 2015

Here’s yet another case in point in our Bootstrapping Using Services series. Manish is scaling Reltio super fast at this point, and has raised venture capital, consistent with our theme Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later.

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?

Manish Sood: I was born in the northern part of India. I grew up and went to school there. I went to an engineering college in the southern part of India, which was a new experience for me from a location perspective and getting acclimatized to the overall culture and environment. >>>

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Building Significant Revenue with Inbound Marketing from Israel: Pepperi CEO Ofer Yourvexel (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 29th 2015

If you can build a business with inbound marketing primarily, without having to invest heavily in outbound marketing and sales, it is generally much more capital efficient. Ofer shares his experience in building Pepperi from Israel in that revenue run rate.

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

Ofer Yourvexel: I’m from Israel. I was born and raised in Israel. In terms of background, I’m from a regular family in Israel. Nothing good or bad in particular.

Sramana Mitra: What about school? Did you do school in Israel? >>>

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Bootstrapping Using Services from North Carolina: Ateb CEO Frank Sheppard (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 22nd 2015

Frank and his co-founders have built a sizeable bootstrapped business in North Carolina. Read on to learn what has worked for Ateb and what you can learn from them.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s go to the very beginning of your story. Where do you come from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?

Frank Sheppard: I was born in Florida but I was raised in Atlanta in a typical middle-class suburban environment.

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

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Bootstrapping a Billion Dollar Unicorn in Online Real Estate: Auction.com CEO Jeff Frieden (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 17th 2015

Jeff Frieden bootstrapped Auction.com to about $180 million in revenue and profitability. Thereafter, he raised private equity financing and growth capital and is currently running a private company that is more than qualified to be a public Unicorn. The company has a legitimate revenue and profitability model that is scaling phenomenally well. Unlike many ‘funny money Unicorns’, this one is real!

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

Jeff Frieden: I was born in Orange County, California and raised in Anaheim, California. It was right across the street from Disneyland. My mom and dad both worked at the Internal Revenue Service at Los Angeles after World War II. >>>

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Bootstrapping a Highly Profitable Company in Social Media Marketing: Brand Networks CEO Jamie Tedford (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 15th 2015

Jamie bootstrapped Brand Networks to a highly profitable, large business leveraging the disruption in brand marketing caused by social media. He then sold minority stake in the company to a private equity firm. Excellent execution!

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

Jamie Tedford: I was born in a town north of Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a very typical middle-class story and family. I’m third-generation Jamie Tedford. My grandfather started a family business. He was actually an MIT alumnus. He came out of MIT during the Great Depression. He went to work for a paper company and decided to start a lumber mill. He is the first of the family that I can track back who’s an entrepreneur. The business eventually turned into a commercial lumber yard. The family stayed pretty close to home. My dad went to work for him. >>>

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How to Manage A Successful Pivot: Bullhorn CEO Art Papas (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 10th 2015

When Art started Bullhorn, the first idea didn’t stick, and much of the venture capital raised during the first dotcom bubble was exhausted. Read how Art pivoted out of that bind, bootstrapping his way to success.

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

Art Papas: I grew up in the streets of Weston, Massachusetts, which is one of the most affluent suburbs. I grew up in an affluent town where the high school parking lot was filled with BMWs and Mercedes. Both my parents were doctors. From an early age, they were into teaching me to value earning money and work. They were both incredible workaholics themselves.

When I got my first guitar, they told me that if I wanted to buy an amplifier for it, I’d have to pay for it myself. I would go down to the Westin Country Club and caddy. I was a 12-year-old carrying golf bags that were almost as big as I was. Early on, if I wanted something, I had to work >>>

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Bootstrapping an Evergreen Business From Oregon: Kirstin Quinlan, CEO of Certified Languages International (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 8th 2015

There is a trend among entrepreneurs wanting to keep running companies without seeking an exit. Certified Languages International (CLI) is one such evergreen company.

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

Kristin Quinlan: I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I went to school at the University of Oregon. My children are also there. One is graduating from there now and my daughter is currently enrolled. They are fourth-generation University of Oregon attendees. I spent a year of my education in Amherst, Massachusetts. Other than that, it’s all been here.

Following graduation, I was floundering for a bit. I taught skiing and worked in a ski shop. I did that for about nine months. After that, I was hired by a distributor for Pioneer Electronics. I didn’t know a thing about consumer electronics, but I dove in. I worked in sales for that >>>

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Successful Pivot to $5M in Revenue from Chicago: Cohesive Networks CEO Patrick Kerpan (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 3rd 2015

Patrick has built an interesting company from Chicago that had to go through a significant pivot.

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

Patrick Kerpan: I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My father was a policeman. My mother raised us. He was a Chicago area farm boy. His family was Croatian immigrants. My mom was a Brooklyn girl. He met her during the war. I was born and bred Oklahoman. I get caught on words like defense and cement, but other than that, I sound more Midwestern.

I studied at Northwestern University in the Chicago area. I worked mostly full-time through university in order to be able to pay for it. I was working as a janitor at the Northwestern Student Center. I once missed a mandatory janitorial staff meeting. Apparently, it was very important because I was fired for missing that meeting. >>>

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Serial Bootstrapper: Oversee and Manage Founder Fred Hsu (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 1st 2015

Fred has bootstrapped two companies with huge amounts of revenue. The first, he sold to a private equity firm. The second, he is still running. Amazing story!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s get started at the beginning of your personal story. Where were your born, raised, and in what kind of environment?

Fred Hsu: I was born in Ohio. My parents were Chinese immigrants who came to the States for graduate school. They had moved to Taiwan during the communist takeover. I have an older sister. She’s born in Virginia. I also have a younger brother who’s born in Connecticut. We moved around a lot as kids. My dad was a defense contractor moving from one air force base to another. My mom was an accountant by trade. She fell into the insurance industry and eventually, programming. >>>

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Building a Cyber Security Company from Israel: Aki Eldar, CEO of Secure Islands (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th 2015

Security is the venture industry’s most active segment. It is also the most crowded segment, and unless you have deep domain knowledge, you cannot play in the business. Aki and his brother do have deep domain knowledge and have leveraged that to build an exciting company.

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

Aki Eldar: I was born in Israel more than 50 years ago. I’m just past 50. Like any typical Israeli, I graduated high school, moved to military and finished my military duties. I also worked for the Israeli government for a few years. Then, I graduated with a Bachelor in Management and Economics and started my journey in the high tech industry.

Sramana Mitra: What year did you finish your education and enter the industry? >>>

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