I’m a huge proponent of bootstrapped entrepreneurship. Having worked within the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem for all these years, I’ve observed with interest the development of different ecosystems in different parts of the world. Bootstrapping happens to be one of the really important ways that startup ecosystems come up. You get a few startups that become successful in a bootstrapped manner and then the investments start.
In particular, one method that we are seeing a lot of first-time entrepreneurs using to successfully manage the capital gap in early stage startups is bootstrapping using services. The entrepreneurs will do contract software development, achieve that level of customer intimacy and really get to understand the problem, develop the domain knowledge, and then bootstrap a product company based on services, revenues, and that customer understanding.
The tough reality is that many investors want entrepreneurs to do the bootstrapping and validation and get to significant MRR before they’re willing to write any check. Many of the over 100 seed investors, VCs, and Angels discuss this point during our 1Mby1M Entrepreneurship Podcasts. Have a listen to my most recent conversations with investors, shared as 30-minute podcast interviews.
Tim Guleri, Managing Director at Sierra Ventures, discusses at length his firm’s investment thesis, unique relationships with CIOs, and some of the industry trends he sees.
Vivek Ladsariya, Partner at SineWave Ventures, talks about the firm’s investment thesis, as well as trends in the industry.
Curtis Feeny, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Data Capital, talks about his firm’s investment thesis around Big Data and Machine Learning.
Suresh Shanmugham, Managing Partner at Saama Capital, talks about the Indian venture capital eco-system, trends, exits, and his firm’s investment strategy.
SC Moatti, Managing Partner at Mighty Capital, discusses Whales, Dolphins and more. A wonderful conversation full of wisdom and pragmatism.
Ravi Mohan is Managing Director at Shasta Ventures, a firm that has invested in three SaaS Unicorns. Ravi discusses these investments: Apptio, Anaplan, and Zuora.