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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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Self-Financing an Artificial Intelligence Software Company: John Rauscher, CEO of Yseop (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 9th 2015

John has self-financed and scaled an interesting AI software company built on French technology, and would like to take it public. Very impressive execution!

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

John Rauscher: I was born and raised in France. I did a few jobs as a student. Then, I became a Mathematics teacher. It was important for me to learn how to set goals and understand how language is important for human beings. That was the first step. I came to the US to study English and Marketing at Berkeley. I learned so much in my experience at California that I promised myself to come back and live in the US, and start my company as an entrepreneur. >>>

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Bootstrap First, Raise Money from Kleiner Perkins Later: William King, CEO of Zephyr Health (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 9th 2015

Continuing on our theme of ‘Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later’, here’s William King’s story of building a robust company in the healthcare industry, now funded by Kleiner Perkins.

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?

William King: I was born in Princeton, New Jersey. I lived in Princeton until I was 18. I’m the oldest of six children. That’s a little bit unique in that we had a lot of action in the house. The age span was actually a difference of 10 years, which was pretty interesting and pretty heroic, now that I’m a parent myself. As a child, part of my experience in growing up was leading my siblings and helping them to participate. Kids look up to their older brothers and sisters. A lot of what was instilled in me at a very young age is this notion of making good choices, collaboration, and the idea that people are paying attention to the things that you’re doing. >>>

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Building a Cool Technology Company from Chicago: Narrative Science CEO Stuart Frankel (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 2nd 2015

Some of what you’ll read in this interview will seem like science fiction. But please read on!

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

Stuart Frankel: I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was the middle kid with a sister on each side. I went to public high schools and ultimately to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, which is about an hour from Cincinnati. I started as an Economics major but ended up being an accounting major. Then, I moved to Chicago and became a CPA and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for the first few years of my career.

Sramana Mitra: In terms of chronology, what years are we talking?
>>>

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Unicorn in the Making: Avi Steinlauf, CEO of Edmunds.com (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 2nd 2015

As you may know, we just launched a book called Billion Dollar Companies profiling the journeys of entrepreneurs building massive businesses. Edmunds.com may just be another unicorn.

Sramana Mitra: Where does your journey begin? Where are you from? Where were you raised and in what kind of circumstances?

Avi Steinlauf: Originally, I was born in London, England. For those folks from the UK or familiar with the UK, I’m a cockney by right given the fact that I was born within the sound of the Bow Bells, even though the accent that you hear is nothing like an English accent. I really grew up here in Southern California and spent most of my schooling here in the United States. >>>

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Concept-Financing $8.5 Million: Gaurav Rewari, CEO of Numerify (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 23rd 2015

Gaurav has deep domain expertise in the BI space, something he has leveraged to concept-finance a new venture to the tune of $8.5 million. Read how he is building the company, especially how he has positioned the company. Fast growth businesses only happen if you can position them right to begin with.

Sramana Mitra: Where are you from? Where did you grow up? What’s the beginning of the story?

Gaurav Rewari: I was born in Bombay, India, as it was called then. I grew up and did my schooling in Bombay. I then moved to the US after high school. I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship to MIT. I went there for undergraduate work and stayed on to do graduate work as well. I was there from ’80s to mid-’90s. After that, I joined a startup called MicroStrategy based out of Delaware. It was a company started by an MIT graduate senior to me. It had about 13 to 14 people. I was thinking of doing a Ph.D. so I interrupted that to join a startup just to get a feel for what it was like. I’d initially thought that I would do that for one year. That one year never ended. >>>

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Bootstrapping in Minnesota: Praful Saklani, CEO of Pramata (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 23rd 2015

Minnesota seems to be developing well as a hub for tech startups. With a strong culture of bootstrapping, we’re seeing a lot of entrepreneurs building high growth businesses.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your personal journey. Tell me a bit about where you were born and raised and in what kind of circumstances.

Praful Saklani: I was actually born in the United Kingdom. My family is from North India. When I was four years old, we moved from the UK to Minneapolis. Throughout that whole process of growing up in Minnesota, I also traveled back to India, at least, once every two years. We’d spend a lot of time with my family there. I would say that I actually grew up both in the US and India. Even when I visit India, I would actually spend time in villages and up in the mountain. It’s a nice broad perspective of a good mid-western upbringing and a good north Indian upbringing too. That’s a bit of a cultural context.

Sramana Mitra: I spoke to somebody else who’s from rural Minnesota who has built a $5 million company with no outside financing just before you. >>>

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Bootstrapping to $55 Million from Rural Minnesota: Tom Fallenstein, CEO of Fun.com (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 23rd 2015

Tom has built a kick-ass e-commerce company out of rural Minnesota that he hopes to build up into a billion dollar business.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with your personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised, in what kind of environment?

Tom Fallenstein: I was born in Minnesota in a small town about an hour and a half south of Minneapolis. I’ve lived here all my life. I grew up just outside of the city. I went to school in Mankato for Computer Science and Graphic Design. Our mom was a seamstress. We loved Halloween. We always had the best costumes when we were little. When we got older, all of our friends wanted to borrow those costumes, so my sister decided to rent them out. That’s how the business started. >>>

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