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Spotlight on Entrepreneurship in Arizona

Posted on Monday, Nov 26th 2018

We have done several spotlight posts on entrepreneurship in different parts of the world: Colorado, Utah, Czech Republic, Florida, Illinois.

Today, we will look at Arizona’s entrepreneurship eco-system.

What I love about Arizona’s eco-system is that the entrepreneurs have a strong tradition of bootstrapping.


We first covered CRM software company Infusionsoft back in 2011.

Read: Bootstrapping From Arizona To 36 Million Dollar Series A Valuation And Silicon Valley Venture Capital: Infusionsoft CEO Clate Mask

Today, the company has over $100 million in revenue and has raised almost $150 million. It is the highest valued company from Arizona.

Online mattress is the hottest e-commerce category these days, and here is yet another one delivering venture-scale growth without venture capital.

Read: Bootstrapping to $100M+ from Arizona: JT Marino, CEO of Tuft & Needle

One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Heidi Jannenga, and her co-founder bootstrapped WebPT to significant traction, then raised a small angel round. 2016 revenue was $40 million. The company has sold 51% stake to private equity and the founders have already experienced significant liquidity. Excellent story of a female entrepreneur who doesn’t make excuses. She just executes.

Read: Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship from Arizona: Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder of WebPT

Jeremy Young is a serial bootstrapper. He has built a wonderful e-commerce business similar to Groupon, but with no outside money.

Read: Bootstrapping to $27 Million from Arizona: Jeremy Young, CEO of Tanga

A smaller company, Axosoft, is led by Hamid Shojaee, who wrote a provocative blog post titled: ARIZONA MAKES WORKHORSES—NOT UNICORNS—AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

His journey is at: Bootstrapping with a Paycheck: Axosoft CEO Hamid Shojaee

More Arizona startup stories:

Building a Cloud-Based Property Management Platform, Ric Leutwyler, President of SkyTouch

From $3 a Day to Successful Entrepreneur: Tomas Gorny, CEO of Nextiva

Thought Leaders in Online Education: Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity

Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Marty Beard, CEO of LiveOps

As for investors, Ron Heinz, Founder and Managing Director at Signal Peak Ventures, a venture firm operating mostly in the Rocky Mountain corridor, discusses what’s happening in Utah, Colorado and Arizona. Today, there are over a thousand funded startups in those geographies.

Photo credit: Alan English CPA/Flickr.com.

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