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Entrepreneur Journeys

A Serial Bootstrapper’s Journey: Beyond Security CEO Aviram Jenik (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Oct 2nd 2017

Going against the grain of Venture Capital mania, in 1999, Aviram started his second bootstrapped venture. 18 years later, he is still running it. Happily!

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?

Aviram Jenik: I was born and raised in Israel. I moved to California about 10 years ago. I spent most of my adult life in >>>

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Bootstrapping to $30 Million from Florida: SproutLoud CEO Jared Shusterman (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Sep 28th 2017

Jared bootstrapped his company with his Barmitzvah money. Read his 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?

Jared Shusterman: I was born in Miami, Florida. I’m one of the few South Florida natives. I grew up in a middle class family that had a very heavy focus on education. After I graduated high school, I went to the University of Virginia. I got a Bachelors degree with a Finance and Marketing concentration. Shortly after that, I moved out to San Francisco and worked for an >>>

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Building a Two-Sided Marketplace: LawnStarter CRO Ryan Farley (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Sep 25th 2017

As you know from our prior coverage, we like niche two-sided marketplaces a lot. Here’s another one to study. Please note, this company went through TechStars, and had a validated business before getting into TechStars, as we have seen in several other case studies.

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

Ryan Farley: I grew up in Washington DC metro area. I went to school at Virginia Tech for Mechanical Engineering. I >>>

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From Australia to Silicon Valley: Anthony Smith’s Journey with Insightly (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Sep 18th 2017

Anthony started a CRM app in Australia that became the No. 1 on the Google App Store. VCs started calling. Anthony moved to San Francisco and has built a robust company with funding from Emergence Capital. Very cool story!

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

Anthony Smith: I was born in a very small town of Hamilton in the northern part of New Zealand. It’s famous for its cows and

>>>

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Bootstrapping to $100M+ from Arizona: JT Marino, CEO of Tuft & Needle (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Sep 15th 2017

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

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?

JT Marino: I was born in Phoenix, but I grew up in Pennsylvania. I went to Penn State. That’s where I met my co-founder, Daehee Park. From there, my career took me to Silicon Valley working for several startups. That’s where my co-founder and I stuck together. We were >>>

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Bootstrapping with Services: 2600Hz CEO Patrick Sullivan (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Sep 1st 2017

Here’s yet another great case study of a successful bootstrapping whereby the entrepreneurs developed a solid product business eventually.

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

Patrick Sullivan: I was born in California. I eventually went to school at Santa Barbara and got a degree in Computer Science. I graduated in 1999. I moved back to Tahoe to be a ski bum for a year to get that out of my system. Then I moved to San Francisco right before the dot-com crash happened. It was a pretty awful thing from a career standpoint.

Sramana Mitra: What brought you to San Francisco? >>>

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Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Ephesoft Founder Ike Kavas (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 28th 2017

Ike has bootstrapped Ephesoft and turned a relatively small $3.2 million investment into $12 million in 2016 revenue. Excellent execution.

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

Ike Kavas: I was born and raised in Turkey. I’m from a very small village. My dad was a math teacher at the same school that I went to. Right after high school, I left to study Electronics Engineering. After graduating, I worked for a few companies and I got introduced >>>

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Navigating Through Multiple Pivots: Convercent CEO Patrick Quinlan (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 28th 2017

You learn from successes. You learn a lot more from mistakes and failures. Patrick freely discusses various missteps in his journey and how he managed to pivot out of various corners. Excellent discussion.

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?

Patrick Quinlan: I was born in Germany to a German mother and an American father. I spent most of my formative years in Germany and growing up very much in a German family. I moved to the States in my junior high years. I ended >>>

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Building a Fast-growth SaaS HR Technology Company: Justworks CEO Isaac Oates (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 21st 2017

Justworks is a fast-growth VC-funded startup in New York in the Human Capital Management space, catering to small businesses.

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

Isaac Oates: I grew up in New Jersey. I was actually born in California and moved around a lot with my mom. I grew up with a single mom. We moved around the country as she went to different jobs, but I spent most of my childhood in central New Jersey >>>

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An Animal Lover’s Beautiful Journey: Elephant Pants CEO Nathan Coleman (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 17th 2017

Nathan is a true animal lover, and has built a wonderful niche e-commerce company with the mission of helping elephants. Beautiful story.

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

Nathan Coleman: I grew up in Westchester County, which is right outside New York City. I am 29 years >>>

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