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. >>>
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. >>>
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. >>>
Very few technology companies have been built from the UK. ARM and Autonomy come to mind. Here’s the story of a lesser-known company called SDL.
Sramana: Mark, let’s start with the beginning of your personal story. Where are you from? What is the backstory of the SDL story?
Mark Lancaster: I was born and raised in the UK. I studied engineering and computer science at the university. I started my career as a software design engineer at Satchwell Control Systems and Lotus Development Company. Fairly early on, one of the biggest issues I saw at companies was the need for coders or programmers to engage effectively with management. >>>
There is a huge gap between industry and academia today. Learn more about the lay of the land and identify opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with giving our audience a bit of context about Hands-On Learning (HOL). What do you do? What major online education industry trends are you aligning with?
The Force.com platform has been a great bootstrapping device for entrepreneurs. Read how Alex and Richard Britton bootstrapped CloudSense to a sizable product company on the platform.
Sramana: Alex, let’s start with your personal journey. Where were you born and raised? What are the roots of your entrepreneurial story?
Alex Fuller: I was born in Wimbledon in the UK where the tennis championship is held. My educational background was not focused on technology. I studied classics at Oxford University, which focused on Latin, Greek, and Linguistics. Before that, I had already acquired an interest in technology. I got into computing as a child when I was 12 years old. I had a keen interest in computing throughout my school years. >>>
VCs in Silicon Valley want financial levers that allow you to grow with a hockey-stick curve. Expensify doesn’t have that. In my opinion, however, they have built an excellent, profitable, steady growth subscription business that has an attractive viral characteristic. The business, at some point, may accelerate naturally, but as David notes, the levers are not financial. Very interesting case study.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with your personal background. Where were you born and raised? Tell us a little bit about your childhood.
K-12 has been a challenge for EdTech companies to build businesses in. Typically, buying cycles tend to be very long. See where Edgenuity is getting traction, and what trends are emerging in the space.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you as well as to your company.
Sari Factor: After a short career in teaching back in 1980, I joined a company to explore technology in education. It was the first electronic publishing division of a major US publisher. I thought technology was going to change the world. I was this young green thing right out of teaching. Here I am many years later and I’m still trying to get technology to change K-12 education.