Entrepreneurship is not equal to venture capital, although we promote the myth that it is.
iSPIRT believes that both Bootstrapping and Venture funding are viable pathways to company building. Since media and incubators in India tend to overplay the Venture funding pathway, bootstrapped companies end up being disadvantaged. Our focus on Bootstrapping is to redress this bias.
We know that most business opportunities seeking venture capital are too small, or growth isn’t fast enough to fit the venture model. Should we be promoting and helping product startups that may not grow 300% a year or become billion dollar enterprises? The short answer is: Yes!
Companies like FusionCharts, RateGain, Kayako, BrowserStack, Cosmic Circuits and HappyFox have shown that Bootstrapping can lead to successful companies. In fact, Bootstrapping can create Billion dollar companies too. Zoho is a living example of this.
With venture funding, a startup gets media validation that often translates to customer traction. In the case of a good VC, it also gets mentoring and access to expert entrepreneurs in the portfolio of the VC. BootUpINDIA provides similar benefits to the selected bootstrapped companies. The goal is to help you scale your company and become more successful.
If you are selected through the Awards process, you’ll get group mentoring from expert entrepreneurs, media coverage through Customer Impact Stories, access to certified performance warrants for deeper customer relationships, amongst other help.
We believe that the whole BootUpINDIA package will have a dramatic impact on the enterprise value of the selected companies. This, in turn, will help the Software Product Industry grow faster even in the face of limited availability of early stage capital.
To come out as a winner in the rigorous jury process will provide invaluable industry validation
iSPIRT believes in entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. BootUpINDIA has assembled some of the most successful bootstrapped entrepreneurs as jury members and group mentors. They will provide structured group mentoring using the process developed for iSPIRT’s successful Roundtable Peer Groups.
While just winning the Bootstrap Award will provide media visibility, the focus is really on year-long promotion of Customer Impact Stories.
Performance warrants when deployed properly can deepen key customer relationships. This is new tool for Indian startups. BootUpINDIA will provide education to you and your customers along with all the needed paperwork to drive implementation.
You’ll get privileged access to other iSPIRT Programs like M&A Connect, Software Adoption Initiative and CIO Connect/InTech50. In addition, you get access to co-working space and discounts from partners including Amazon Web Services, FreshDesk and Zoho CRM.
Bootstrapping embraces the notion that to the extent that the future is shaped by human action, it is not much use trying to predict it–it is much more useful to understand and work with the people who are engaged in the decisions and actions that bring it into existence.
Whether or not you eventually raise funding, you HAVE to bootstrap your company to a certain level of validation. Investors fund validated businesses, not concepts. My advice: Bootstrap first, raise money later.
Bootstrapping has enabled us to maintain strong fiscal discipline and ensured that we have build a company that drives maximum value for our customers and maximum ROI from each of our initiatives and investments. In addition, the flexibility to pivot has enabled multiple experiments with a greater control on our destiny.
Bootstrapping constantly hammers a single truth - customer’s money is the best and cheapest money!
I think for Internet based businesses bootstrapping is easiest way to kickstart. Getting your idea validated directly from the customers by having them pay is way better than trying to raise funding.
My bias is always to bootstrap. Bootstrapping helps you get creative, it forces you to validate your idea and execution plan well and it teaches you many intricacies of finance that most entrepreneurs dont bother to learn.
To my mind it is important for the entrepreneur to recognize that “The customer is the only true source of money". Organizations, which are built on the above principle are efficient and effective, and will make judicious use of their funds.
Bootstrapping is a very creative way of gathering and use of resources to build an organization and I believe that this is a better alternative for those founders who want a greater control of their initial vision.
“Successful bootstrapping is all about discipline and stamina” - Kevin Hale, Founder, WUFOO
"The hardest thing you have to do when you bootstrap is to work for free. There’s no income. It’s not that you have to be cutting big checks necessarily – there’s just no income. So you have to be able to adjust your lifestyle for some period of time” - Christian Chabot, CEO Tableau