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10 Women Leaders Running Bootstrapped Companies

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 2nd 2016

As I was writing the previous post, 10 Women Leaders Of VC-Funded Companies, I noticed that six out of the 10 companies I included on the list followed aBootstrap First, Raise Money Later strategy.

My point of view is that as long as you follow this strategy, your chances of raising money is always going to be higher, whether you are a man or a woman.

So let me introduce you to a set of women most of whom are running successful bootstrapped businesses, and have not raised money yet. Some may never choose to raise money. Some have raised a bit of angel money. Some have exited their businesses without raising any money at all.

  1. Jana Francis, CEO of – Jana is based in Utah.
  2. Amber Schaub, CEO of Rufflebutts – Amber is based in South Florida.
  3. Amy Laws and Nicole Brewer, Co-founders of Smocked Auction – Amy and Nicole are based in Dallas.
  4. Robin Smith, CEO of WeGoLook – Robin is based in Oklahoma.
  5. Vicki Raport, CEO of Quantum Retail – Vicki is based in Minesotta.
  6. Michelle Munson, CEO of Aspera – Michelle has sold her company to IBM.
  7. Janine Popick, CEO of Vertical Response – Janine has sold her company to Deluxe Corporation for $27 million.
  8. Valerie Holstein, CEO of Cableorganizer – Valerie works out of Florida.
  9. Sangeeta Banerjee, CEO of ApartmentADDA – Sangeeta works out of India and caters to the domestic Indian market.
  10. Radhika Subramanium, CEO of Emcien – Radhika runs her Big Data company from Atlanta.

Please note, particularly for women trying to juggle children and careers, bootstrapped entrepreneurship remains a good option. VCs put a lot of pressure on the CEOs of the companies they’ve funded. But if you are your own boss, you do have more control over your time, your pace of growth, and your definition of success. [Related reading: Billion Dollar Unicorns: Reconsider Your Aspirations]


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