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Women Leaders

Breaking the Norm: Maxine Manafy, CEO of Bunndle (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd 2013

If you haven’t already, please study our Bootstrapping Course and Investor Introductions page. 

Maxine Manafy is the founder and CEO of Bunndle, an app distribution network. Prior to founding Bunndle she held various sales and executive positions with companies such as Viximo, Mochi Media, Yahoo, KLA-Tencor and Intel. She is a graduate of San Jose State University and Stanford.

Sramana: Maxine, where does your story begin? Where are you from?

Maxine Manafy: I was born here in the Bay Area, in San Francisco. I was raised in East Oakland. Both my parents are immigrants and entrepreneurs as well. My father is from Iran and my mother is from Samoa. My father built his own furniture business, so he had a furniture factory. My mother worked in the family business, and we all were raised around that environment. My interest in starting my own company has always been there. >>>

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Trend Spotting: Love and Startups

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 10th 2013

There was a time in Silicon Valley when VCs did not like the idea of funding couples. Nonetheless, Cisco and 3Com – two legendary Valley startups – were founded by entrepreneur couples. These days, the startup world seems to nurture a lot more romance… Sometimes he is the CEO, sometimes she. Sometimes they switch roles. To have a baby. Or a few babies. Or not. In any case, the bias against entrepreneur couples needs to be over. Entrepreneurship is a passionate affair. A powerful aphrodisiac. Better acknowledge that phenomenon.


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Who Said Women Entrepreneurs Don’t Raise Venture Capital?

Posted on Monday, Mar 11th 2013

A blog post that I wrote on the subject in October 2010 still garners readership and discussions. Meanwhile, our 1M/1M virtual incubator continues to work with women entrepreneurs actively, and I am happy to report that women ARE starting up companies, and building interesting businesses ranging from healthcare IT to e-commerce, and everything in between. >>>

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Women Entrepreneurs: May Be, Baby!

Posted on Monday, Mar 4th 2013

Over the years, I have spoken with many women entrepreneurs who had various questions around balance and flexibility. The most critical question comes up when these entrepreneurs face the have a child vs. start a company question.

One of the best conversations I ever had on the subject was with Sara Sutton Fell, founder of Flexjobs. >>>

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Five Mompreneurs Say You Can Do It All

Posted on Thursday, Feb 28th 2013

I frequently facilitate discussions about female entrepreneurs, and the company vs. children question, and I would like to do so again. We’ve seen through conversations with entrepreneurial women like Sarah Sutton Fell that not only is it possible to have both, you can also be incredibly successful.

To reinforce that point, I would like to introduce another set of “mompreneurs” who are charting their own ways in business while still raising a family. >>>

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The Best Work-from-Home Opportunity: Your Own Venture

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 27th 2013

Paris-born Valerie Holstein had a difficult time finding a place where she felt she belonged from the time she first came to the U.S. to attend college in 1993. Though she settled domestically in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and married her fiancé, she continuously searched for the professional opportunity that would allow her to travel home for a month at a time each year, and for a place that would provide her with comfortable work despite the fact that English was her second language. >>>

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Women ARE Running Startups

Posted on Monday, Feb 25th 2013

There has been tremendous sensationalizing of the women and entrepreneurship issue. Self-proclaimed (male) pundits pontificate on how women entrepreneurs face tremendous obstacles and huge prejudice.

I disagree.

A blog post that I wrote on the subject in October 2010 still garners readership and discussions. Meanwhile, our 1M/1M virtual incubator continues to work with women entrepreneurs actively, and I am happy to report that women are starting up companies, and building interesting businesses ranging from healthcare IT to e-commerce, and everything in between. >>>

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Fashion Forward Maternity Founder Erin Lewis Makes Life Easier for Expecting Moms

Posted on Monday, Jan 7th 2013

Pregnant women struggle with clothing over the term of their pregnancy, with some spending a fortune on new maternity clothes, others borrowing a friend’s maternity clothes, and a few buying cheaper, larger clothes that barely fit. >>>

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Bootstrapping a $10M Creative Marketplace: Envato Founder Couple Collis and Cyan Ta’eed (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Nov 15th 2012

Collis and Cyan Ta’eed are the founders of Envato, an online creative marketplace. They founded Envato together after having ran a freelance design agency together out of Australia. Collis studied math and science while Cyan earned her degree in design.

Sramana: Let’s start at the beginning of your personal stories. What leads up to Envato?

Collis Ta’eed: I am half Iranian and half English. My father is from Iran and my mother is from Yorkshire. I grew up in Papua New Guinea, which was one of the last places to be reached by the outside world. >>>

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A $14M Bootstrapped Family Business in Eugene, Oregon: Palo Alto Software Founder Tim Berry and CEO Sabrina Parsons (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Jul 19th 2012

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software, and he is also the originator of plan-as-you-go business planning. He writes at Planning, Startups, Stories, one of the most popular small business blogs.

Sabrina Parsons has served as the CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007. Prior to this role she co-founded a software company with her husband in 2001, a company that was purchased by Palo Alto Software in 2002. She is the president of the Princeton Entrepreneurs Network and a significant supporter of entrepreneurs. She blogs as

Sramana: Tim, let’s start at the beginning of your story. Where are you from?

Tim Berry: I started adult life with a masters in journalism. My goal was to have a great journalism career. I started with United Press International, which was very well known back in the 1970s. It was wire service journalism, and I was in Mexico City covering hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, kidnappings, and so on. I was young and it was a fun job. It did not pay anything, but I loved it. >>>

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