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Entrepreneur Case Studies

Bootstrapping in Pennsylvania: OnSIP CEO Mike Oeth (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jan 26th 2015

The theme of entrepreneurs building robust companies without outside capital continues in the story of OnSIP.

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

Mike Oeth: I was born in the MidWest, specifically in Speedway, Indiana. It’s the home of Indianapolis 500. I was very lucky in my early life to have three mentors who helped shape different parts of who I am. First, obviously, is my dad. He is a mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. He’s retired now but he had worked for General Motors. He was designing aircraft engines. He was very supportive when, in the seventh or eighth >>>

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Scaling a Cloud Telephony Company in India: Knowlarity CEO Ambarish Gupta (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 16th 2015

Selling technology to small businesses in India is hard work. Customers are uninitiated to technology’s sophistication, and have expectations of high-touch customer service even when they pay little in subscription fees. Knowlarity is succeeding in a market where many have failed. Sequoia Capital and Mayfield are backing the company.

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

Ambarish Gupta: I grew up in Kanpur. Kanpur used to be a great industrial town with a lot of government-owned industries. As a child, I watched this city go literally down the drain. I grew up in a business family. I had lots of interest in Physics and Mathematics. >>>

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From Friends and Family Funding to $30 Million Exit: Vertical Response Founder Janine Popick (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Jan 15th 2015

While we’re spending a great deal of time analyzing billion dollar Unicorn companies, it is important not to lose sight of the capital-efficient, bootstrapped or minimally capitalized companies that have achieved success, provided significant return on investment to their stakeholders, and built value for their customers. Read Janine Popick’s wonderful story!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with some of your background. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Janine Popick: I grew up in a small town called Wingdale, New York. It’s about an hour and 40 minutes north of Manhattan. It’s pretty rural. My dad was an engineer for IBM for 35 years. My mom was a nurse. I went to public school and had a great education, but I really felt the need to get closer to Manhattan. I went to Hofstra University, which is about half hour away from Manhattan. I studied Communications and frankly, >>>

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Building a Fashion Accessories Marketplace from London: Kiyan Foroughi, CEO of Boticca (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 9th 2015

I continue to be interested in how the fashion industry is slowly and surely finding innovative ways to leverage the Internet. Kiyan Foroughi has created a marketplace for fashion accessories that is scaling nicely and helping new designers find a customer base.

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

Kiyan Foroughi: I’m French-Iranian. I was born in Paris. My parents were immigrants from Iran. I grew up a little bit all over the place. I grew up in France, but I also spent a big part of my childhood in Dubai. We went out there because my father was an architect and he had >>>

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Achieving Product-Market Fit That Allows You to Build Billion Dollar Unicorns: Gaurav Dhillon, Founder of Informatica and SnapLogic (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 9th 2015

Gaurav Dhillon founded Informatica, took it public, and ran it for 12 years before handing the reins over to Sohaib Abbasi, its current CEO. Five years ago, he founded SnapLogic, a company that has raised almost $60 million in venture capital and has tripled in revenue last year. Gaurav knows a thing or two about how to identify an opportunity, validate or invalidate it, and craft a product-market fit that has significant scaling potential in the world of enterprise software. Read Gaurav’s Entrepreneurial Journey.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal story. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? What’s the backstory of your entrepreneurial journey?

Gaurav Dhillon: I was born in northern India. I grew up in an industrial town, which is well-known as a light engineering producer.  >>>

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Disinfecting Hospitals, Impacting Healthcare: Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 2nd 2015

Morris Miller was an original investor in RackSpace, and ended up running the company for almost seven years. Following RackSpace, he is now building a super interesting company in disinfecting hospitals and saving lives. Read on. Exciting stuff!

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

Morris Miller: I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. My father is a physician. My uncle is a physician and there was every expectation from the family and me that I would become a physician. I went to public school all the way through school. Then, as a sophomore, I decided to go to Felis Exeter Academy up in New Hampshire. I was the only one to go to boarding school.

Sramana Mitra: You returned to Texas though for your college or did you stay back in New England?
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Building an Internet of Things Platform Company from Zaragoza, Spain: Alicia Asin, CEO of Libelium (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Dec 27th 2014

Spain, as you know, is in a terrible economic mess. Entrepreneurs like Alicia are vital to the country’s economic future. She has built a steady, cutting edge technology company with 60+ people from Zaragoza. Impressive!

Sramana Mitra: Tell us about your beginning. Where were you born? Where did you grow up and in what kind of background?

Alicia Asin: I was born in Zaragoza, Spain. I went to the University of Zaragoza. This is where I met David Gascon my co-founder. We founded Libelium. We’ve been always tied to the same location. In fact, starting a new business gave us the motivation of staying in our city. It was like a rebel act of saying, “It has to be possible to be high tech in a city like ours.”

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Bootstrapping a $25 Million E-Commerce Company: Saatva Co-Founder Ricky Joshi (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Dec 26th 2014

I have spoken with many VCs who are looking or e-commerce companies that can scale at venture pace, which is hard to achieve. On the other side of the spectrum, however, the bootstrapped e-commerce companies are going gangbusters! Saatva is one such and a terrific company.

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

Ricky Joshi: I was born in Columbus, Ohio. I went to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. I was very involved in the entrepreneurial scene there. I actually helped start the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, which is now the flagship entrepreneurial program at Dartmouth. I started my first company at school. >>>

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