Entrepreneurs's Breakfast: Business Wisdom From Successful Bootstrappers

Success is a planned event.

Recently, I ventured over to Raleigh to learn from a few of NC’s successful bootstrapper entrepreneurs. The event was part of a series of breakfast panels hosted by Southern Cap Ventures to help educate potential startups on matters like fundraising, operations, marketing, and networking.

The panel consisted of  Joe Colopy from Bronto Sofware,  Kent Hudson from SchoolDude, Jesse Lipson from ShareFile (acquired recently by Citrix), and Troy McConnell from Clever On Demand. These four entrepreneurs founded and built companies without funding from VC or Angel investments. MC-ing the shindig was business reporter, David Ranii. He wrote a great article not too long ago about successful software startups in the Triangle.

Business wisdom

Each entrepreneur built their business differently. There wasn’t just a single path to success. However, I did notice two common threads between all of them.

  1. All the bootstrappers focused on creating a company culture filled with collective responsibility and growth. None of them hired contractors for anything essential to the business.  Instead, they focused on hiring people as excited about the venture as they were. This way, they could create a team atmosphere and keep the creative energy in-house.

  2. They possessed business owner mentality and were extremely organized. It wasn’t luck or by accident that they succeeded. They knew what they were trying to accomplish and executed a preconceived plan while keeping a pulse on product development, cash flow, operations, and customer satisfaction.

I am sure there are more things they had in common. Passion, grit, and hard work was surely evident in their stories. But these were the two that stood out.

If you are searching for more, here is a great website dedicated to sharing entrepreneurial wisdom.

It’s your turn

What have you learned from successful boostrappers?

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