Crash Course: How to bootstrap your company

Experienced entrepreneurs and an angel investor headline CU Law’s Silicon Flatirons Crash Course series to explore conventional and creative means for financing early stage and more established companies.

top_ramen

Are you ramen profitable? Pinprick | Flickr via Creative Commons


Crash Course: How to boostrap your company

Experienced entrepreneurs and an angel investor headline CU Law’s Silicon Flatirons Crash Course series to explore conventional and creative means for financing early stage and more established companies.

Storified by The UpstartCO· Tue, Feb 19 2013 21:38:37

Full house at #siliconflatirons #bootstrap crash course. Cool to see folk interested in build MVP > traction > scale. http://pic.twitter.com/50r52Nl4The UpstartCO
First up, @billflagg, serial entrepreneur and angel at http://www.thefelixfund.com/ for bootstrapped startups. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Great advice. @billflagg: Key is having a paying customer base before you have a product. Early investment ≠ startup truth #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Every dollar counts. @billflagg finds smart bootstrappers focus $ on customer value and ROI. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Reality check from @billflagg: Harder to bootstrap if co-founders not building tech themselves. Raise $ or offer equity. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Shout out for how @snapengage pivoted after @TechStars based on feedback, then ditched needy trial-level customers. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Smart but often ignored advice: @billflagg: Know your core customer and create a tiered, value package. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Qualities for non-commission SaaS salespeople per @billflagg: Empathetic, responsive and motivated by team incentives. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
#Siliconflatirons panel time! @billflagg, @4collegeparents, @bloomincards. Moderated by the indefatigable @BradBernthal.The UpstartCO
@4collegeparents resource guide bootstrapped via ad sales. Then, raised angel round after 6 yrs of revenue. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@bloomincards moonlighted company. Gradually scaled up with line of credit + real estate investments. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Danger of seeking early investment is focus on raising $, not building business, finding customer value, per @billflagg. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@4collegeparents used convertible note to raise $. Now, buying back debt. This arrangement forces healthy, long view. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Great question from @BradBernthal: Good angels/VCs bring more to table than cash. How do bootstrappers manage? #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@billflagg sought out mentors. Cold called people. @AllegroCoffee founder Jeff Cohn responded. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
When to take outside money? @4collegeparents sez look at investment if it will catapult you into competitive market. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@bloomincards: "I cannot be bought!" #siliconflatirons #angelinvestment #venturecapital #truthThe UpstartCO
How to find talent while #bootstrapping? Very challenging says @4collegeparents. Growth too often = staff raises. Bad idea #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@billflagg: Providing equity to compensate high skill employees is very tricky. Don’t do it upfront. Work together first. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Be very cautious about hype of secondary liquidity markets to raise funds, says @4collegeparents. They own company. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@billflagg uses gainsharing performance model to motivate employees. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gainsharing #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
@billflagg: Hire C-Level execs hoping company will turn corner. Dangerous thinking. Plough $ into customer ROI. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
Key to bootstrapping with a partner: Share common goals/values and have discrete roles, per @billflagg. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
How to protect from customer stealing your idea? @4collegeparents: Guard your secret sauce. Don’t build for 1 customer. #siliconflatironsThe UpstartCO
That’s a wrap on #siliconflatirons Crash Course on #Startup #Bootstrapping. Look for the #Storify of our tweets at theupstart.coThe UpstartCO