Bootstrapping seems to be the newest, most rewarding way to gain success for start-up companies around the world. One company that is
particularly feeling the benefits of the hard graft is London-based Laundryheap.* They have now raised £2 million in angel funding, and an
additional £1 million of equity crowdfunding via Seedrs planned for later this Autumn. The company is now valued at an impressive £17 million and is looking to become the market leader in Europe within 12 months.
Laundryheap – the express, on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service – is just one of many who have succeeded in this way. Here are another five that you may just recognise…
1. Dell Computers – Michael Dell received $1,000 from his family to drop out of college at University of Texas at Austin where he had already founded PC’s. That small family loan was soon turned into $30 million in four short years. Dell’s ‘human capital’ came in the form of his visionary understanding of the computing process that he gleaned in part from his dorm-room enterprise selling IBM PC-compatible computers made from stock parts.
2. Facebook– Before Mark Zuckerburg dropped out of Harvard, he wrote the Facemash program during his second year at the university. When Facebook took off in 2004, it was clear that Zuckerburg had created something whose potential for growth seemed unlimited and the company finally received its first major investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel later that year.
3. Apple – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built their own personal computer, with Wozniak assembling the device and Jobs taking it to a local store to sell it. Soon, they had an offer to manufacture 50 computers. Along with the help of Wozniak and a small skeleton crew of workers, Jobs and his team worked day and night to deliver the computers on time and by 1976, with the help of Mike Markkula, the three took out the bank loan needed to form Apple Computers.
4. eBay – Pierre Omidyar could be considered a pioneer of online business with the creation of AuctionWeb. Over the following years, Omidyar grew his business in alignment with the growth in internet usage and demand for such services. By June 1996, $7.2 million worth of goods had been sold on AuctionWeb, but that number would pale in comparison to the $500 million in Beanie Babies that would be sold on the site during the course of the Beanie Baby mania of the late 90’s, and which still extends to this day.
5. Coca- Cola – John Pemberton was wounded in the American Civil War, which eventually led him to develop the idea for Coca-Cola. Pemberton owned a drug store in Georgia. There he developed his French Wine Coca nerve tonic, which was meant to be a substitute for morphine, the drug he had originally taken to treat pain from his war injuries. He later changed the recipe to a non-alcoholic version after his county passed prohibition legislation. This non-alcoholic version is what eventually became Coca-Cola.