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Bootstrapping Your Business


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Greg Gianforte is a highly successful entrepreneur and bootstrapper who has built one of the fasting-growing companies in America, the Bozeman, Montana-based RightNowTechnologies. Gianforte's entrepreneurial career started in high school, when he wrote software for assembling mailing lists on a Radio Shack computer. "A lot less work than mowing lawns," he says. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with dual degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and joined Bell Laboratories as Member of Technical Staff. Then in 1986 Gianforte gave into an entrepreneurial itch and started Brightwork, an innovative network management company based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. With starting capital of just a few thousand dollars, Gianforte got his first real experience of bootstrapping. He proved so adept at building a company with little cash that eight years later computer security company McAfee Associates bought Brightwork for $10 million. In 1995 Gianforte relocated to Montana and spent three years refining his ideas on bootstrapping while he advised other entrepreneurs on starting their businesses. In 1997 he put those ideas to the ultimate test when he started RightNow. A leading customer service software company, RightNow has 1200 clients today, including British Airways, Medicare, and Proctor & Gamble, and annual sales of $60 million. Gianforte has been profiled in Inc, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.com. Gianforte regularly counsels other entrepreneurs, and he is an experienced public speaker who gives frequent presentations on bootstrapping and entrepreneurship.

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