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Entrepreneur Journeys

Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Bongo Learning CEO Josh Kamrath (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, May 24th 2019


Bongo Learning has turned a ~$1M investment into $6M+ in annual revenue with a compelling growth projection in the next couple of years.

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? 

Josh Kamrath: I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. I lived there until I was 12. Then my family moved to Colorado, which I consider my home. I grew up there and went to college at Colorado State University where I met my wife Josie. She’s from California. I graduated a year ahead of her.

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Scaling a Robust Enterprise Software Company from Chicago: FourKites CEO Matthew Elenjickal (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, May 20th 2019

This is a terrific case study of smart execution on a complex domain by an entrepreneurial team. Read on !

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

Matthew Elenjickal: I was born in the south of India in a state called Kerala. I did my undergrad in Chennai and then moved here to Chicago for grad school. I went to Northwestern and took Industrial Engineering and Management Science. It’s a two-year program.

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Bootstrapping a Niche E-Commerce Company: Modded Euros CEO Sean Dawes (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, May 13th 2019

This conversation is a comprehensive discussion on how to bootstrap a niche e-commerce venture with a lean team and effective use of inventory financing.

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

Sean Dawes: I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I haven’t gone too far away from my hometown as my company is based out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, which is 20 or 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia.

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Building an Online Travel Company From Barcelona: Guillermo Gaspart, CEO of ByHours (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, May 2nd 2019

European startups are fast gaining maturity. ByHours is a venture-funded company growing steadily and expanding globally. Read on for a wonderful story.

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?

Guillermo Gaspart: I was born here in Barcelona, Spain 40 years ago and am married with three kids. I’m the fourth generation of a hotel family business from Spain. My great grandfather was one of the founders of the first hotel groups here in Spain.

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Building a New Insurance Company From Scratch: Clearcover CEO Kyle Nakatsuji (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Apr 25th 2019

The insurance industry is archaic and offers much room for re-engineering. Kyle discusses how he is going about it.

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?

Kyle Nakatsuji: I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was born and raised in the Midwest. I went to undergrad at a college in Wisconsin and then got a law degree and an MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Building a Virtual Company to $20 Million: Rob Cheng, CEO of PC Pitstop (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Apr 13th 2019

Rob figured out the joys of virtual companies back in 1999. Today, he runs a 65-person virtual company that makes $20 million in revenue. Wonderful story.

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

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Taking on Giants in the Contact Center Space: UJET CEO, Anand Janefalkar (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Mar 7th 2019

We’re seeing new SaaS companies emerge that are taking on giant categories. In such businesses, positioning is extremely important. Read how Anand has positioned to get to 40 customers in the contact center software category.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning. >>>

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Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million: Joshua Strebel, CEO of Pagely (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 27th 2019

We recently did a Spotlight on Entrepreneurship in Arizona. Here is one more terrific story of bootstrapping success from Arizona.

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?

Joshua Strebel: I was born in a little town in Idaho called Soda Springs. I’m the youngest of nine children. I grew up primarily in Las Vegas, Nevada and was splitting time within Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents were divorced when I was younger, so I went back and forth between households. I finished high school in Salt Lake City and ended up in Arizona where I went to college at Northern Arizona University. >>>

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Bootstrapping from Denmark: Camilla Ley Valentin, Co-Founder of Queue-It (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Feb 14th 2019

Camille 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. >>>

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A Fat Startup from Virginia: Andrew Rose, CEO of Compare.com (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 4th 2019

Andrew has raised $185 million for his insurance comparison shopping business. Read on to see how.

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?

Andrew Rose: I’m from the mountains of West Virginia. I grew up in a town that is rather famously called the Greenbrier. There’s an incredible resort facility there. I grew up on the wrong side of the fence. I didn’t grow up in the Greenbrier side of the fence, but my mother was an elementary school teacher there. It was a wonderful place to grow up and that’s where I have my foundations. >>>

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