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Best of Bootstrapping: Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US

Posted on Friday, Jan 24th 2020

Camilla Ley Valentin, Co-Founder of Queue-It, tells a wonderful story of capital-efficient entrepreneurship, including scaling a company born in Denmark that now has 40% of its business in the US.

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?

Camilla Ley Valentin: I come from a creative family. My father was a child TV star back in the 70’s and 80’s, which was when I was born in 1973. At that time, you can imagine that there weren’t many TV stations in Denmark where I’m from. We were part of a mini celebrity family and worked a lot in the entertainment industry.

My siblings and I would sometimes participate as performers. Both of my parents were also writers and published books. My father was also a music composer and a pianist. He was a cartoonist and did animated films as well. It was a mix of businesses that I grew up in. We lived in a small town in the northern part of Zealand, which was about an hour out of Copenhagen.

Later on, we moved to Copenhagen, which is where I spent my teenage years. Following that, I started working within the ocean shipping industry at the early age of 19. I joined the management training program in the biggest company in Denmark, Maersk Line, which is a shipping company. I worked for them internationally for about six or seven years before I moved into IT and internet.

Sramana Mitra: What did you do for Maersk?

Camilla Ley Valentin: I worked in ocean shipping. I did that as my training and also did management training. So the way that it worked at that time in the company is that you switched jobs every one or two years completely. I probably had four different jobs in that time frame. Most of them were within container ocean shipping and freight. We were moving stuff inside of containers in different parts of the world.

It was everything from managing the repair of the containers to positioning the containers around the world. I was managing a small team. For one project, I worked in the US deck porters. That team was handling freighting for ocean shipping going to South America. In the mix of many different things, this is the way that the company operated.

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. I grew up in a shipping family. My father founded one of the first continent shipping lines in India. When you said you did shipping for a few years, I was curious what you were doing. What happens after that?

Camilla Ley Valentin: At that time, I lived in the US and worked in the office over there. I wanted to go back and settle in Denmark. I made that decision and quit the job. I’d been there for six or seven years, which is a relatively long time at a young age. It was my first job. I thought I needed a change.

When I worked in the US, in addition to my main job as a team lead, I was engaged in a lot of IT and internet projects. In the late 90s, a lot of the business was moving online. We were chasing a lot of the services that people and customers would normally access by dialing into the service center. People would generally look information up at work for the company. But then we moved all these services online so that customers of the shipping company could look information up for themselves.

I was engaged in a lot of IT projects and I thought it was very interesting. I decided that I wanted to move into IT and then do something that had to do with IT and the internet. I moved back with that objective and worked temporarily for Accenture for a while where I did graphic support and a lot of the management presentations.

Our discussion continues here.

This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping

. Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Why is Bootstrapping Important?
. How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently?
. Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings
. Excess is NOT Required for Success
. Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later
. Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies
. The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping
. Bootstrapping to Unicorns
. Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million
. Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue
. Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million
. Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy
. How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million
. Bootstrapping with a Paycheck
. How CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan
. Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses
. How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million
. Bootstrapping with Services
. How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million
. How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana
. How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million
. Death by Overfunding
. How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+
. How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck
. TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage
. The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance
. BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering
. Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania
. Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million
. SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida
. Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK
. Ownership Matters
. Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland
. Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado
. Power2Motivate CEO Bootstraps to $80M from Canada
. Financial DNA CEO Bootstraps to $10M+ from Australia
. Big Barker CEO Bootstraps a Niche E-commerce Brand
. PrecisionLender CEO Bootstraps to Over $10M from North Carolina
. Master Bootstrappers with Over $1B in Exits
. Ultra Mobile Founder Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Bootstrapping a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10M
. Can You Bootstrap a Virtual Company to Over $5 Million?
. Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turn $1M into $80M
. Discussing the Journey Through Failure to Success
. From a Small Town to $12 Million
. Bootstrapping to Y Combinator and $10 Million Series A
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million
. Freightwise Bootstraps to $33 Million
. Bootstraps First to $5M ARR, Raises $10M Later
. Bootstraps in Europe, Raises Money and Goes Global in the US
. English Major Bootstraps a Tech Company
. Bootstraps with a Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee
. Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US
. Bootstrapping A Virtual Company To $25M
. ActiveCampaign CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $40M
. Alteryx Bootstrapped with Services to a Public Unicorn
. Inspyrus Bootstraps Using Services to an Awesome Business Model
. CEO Bootstraps Using Services to Millions from Russia
. Wiredrive CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $10M
. Scaling to Over $10M by Bootstrapping Using Services
. Bootstraps Using Services from Poland to a US SaaS Company
. ButcherBox CEO Bootstraps a Perishable Meat Business to Significant Scale
. Waveform CEO Bootstraps to $8M
. Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship from Estonia
. From Laid-off Engineer to Successful Startup CEO
. Imagine Easy Solutions CEO Bootstraps to Exit
. BannerBuzz CEO Bootstraps to $35M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to Scale
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Wisconsin
. Best Tactic for B2B Startups
. Bootstrapping by Piggybacking from Romania
. Bootstrap First, Then Scale with VC Funds
. Bootstrap to +$10M First, Raise Money Later
. Madwire CEO Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later to $120M

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