Be Your Own VC

James Benham

Half a million businesses are started every year in the US and less than 5 percent will successfully raise outside capital. Ninety-five percent of ideas will have to bootstrap to survive.

A bootstrapped entrepreneur is someone willing to build what they have to, so they can then build what they want to. It’s a powerful mindset aimed at survival above all—even if you decide to go raise money. Bootstrappers are better equipped to work within their means, maintain control of their vision, and maximize their own shareholder value.

In Be Your Own VC, serial entrepreneur and CEO James Benham shares ten business principles and the story of testing them over two decades. He describes how bootstrapping led his tech company to a multimillion-dollar exit and the freedom to build what they love. This guidebook is for innovators with a goal—and those who advise them.

Press & Praise

Guy Diedrich, SVP and Global Innovation Officer of Cisco Systems

I bootstrapped and sold my first startup, and James's principles are valuable for any company no matter the size.

Rob Galbraith, Founder and CEO of Forestview Insights, Author of The End of Insurance As We Know It

James knows firsthand that bootstrapping doesn't just apply to startups—some of the oldest industries, like insurance, have only been disrupted from within by bootstrapped efforts of corporate innovators. This book is for those visionaries, too.

Simon Bedard, Founder & CEO of Exit Advisory Group

The reality is that we all exit our business one day. James Benham is a compelling thought leader on how bootstrapping can maximize the value you exit with. Whether you're one or twenty years away from an exit, Be Your Own VC offers bootstrapping principles that every innovator can apply.

James M Benham is the co-founder and CEO of JBKnowledge, a multinational technology and consulting company he’s bootstrapped for over twenty years. From his college dorm room to over 270 employees in the USA, Argentina, and South Africa, he’s led JBKnowledge to build industry-leading software for the world’s largest insurance companies. James has served as an elected city councilman, an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University, and a Regent on the governing board of Texas Southern University. He is a sought-after keynote speaker, having presented at over four hundred industry conferences worldwide, and hosts a popular bi-weekly podcast. James lives with his family in College Station, Texas.

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