Is Bootstrapping Right for Your Company?

5:00 pm — 6:00 pm
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Virtual Event via Zoom

Many companies choose to raise funds through venture capital, angel investors, non-dilutive grants, contract revenue, or simply by going into debt. Bootstrapping offers another avenue! When you ‘bootstrap’ your company, you build it through customer revenue, without the benefit or baggage of equity capital or debt.

In this workshop, we’ll explore when and how an entrepreneur may decide to bootstrap their business from scratch, rather than raise venture capital.

Greg Erman has been down this road before. His current company, EmpiraMed, is fully bootstrapped and profitably growing after 10 years in business. But Greg’s experience spans many types of fundraising: he’s raised venture capital for his startups, is an angel investor, and served on the boards of companies financed by every kind of method. No form of fundraising is better than any other; by learning about each approach, you can decide what’s best for you and your business.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

How do you decide whether to raise venture capital, angel financing, debt, or to bootstrap?

  • How do you build a management team prior to being able to pay them (meaning prior to financing or bootstrapped revenue)?
  • What are the mechanics of bootstrapping a company?
  • How do you close your first customer revenue contract without a product?
  • What’s the difference between being cash-flow positive and profitable?
  • How do you scale your bootstrapped business?
  • If you’ve bootstrapped, when is the right time to raise institutional financing, if at all?
  • What are the pros and cons to each method of financing, and what is the impact on the financial exit?

Speaker: Greg Erman

About the Speaker:

Greg Erman is President & CEO of EmpiraMed, Inc., a company that has created a novel virtual study software platform to generate Real World Evidence for the Life Science Industry. Greg’s career centers on entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and business leadership. He worked on commercializing about 250 medical academic research projects over a 10 year period, raised about $100M in venture capital, and successfully grew businesses to about $20M in annual revenue with 150 employees. Greg has been President & CEO of 6 companies, managed P&L operations, led multiple mergers & acquisitions, and participated in an IPO. Each of Greg’s 3 VC-backed ventures exited to large public companies and generated returns up to 12X investment.

The businesses Greg has built are diverse and cut across many industries. These companies range from a business-to-business electronic commerce technology pioneer in the 1990s called Waypoint, which was acquired by Open Market, to an implantable device for hemodynamic stability in ESRD and CHF patients called Renalworks Medical Corporation, which was sold to Fresenius Medical Care. Greg holds BSEE and Marketing MBA degrees with high honors from Rutgers University. He also works on many corporate boards of directors and is an entrepreneurship lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Greg gives back to the community by volunteering with several mentoring organizations, such as Harvard Innovation Labs, MassChallenge, and MassBio, as well as serving on non-profit boards including Life Science Cares and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Greg’s avocations include coastal sailing & racing, tennis, jazz trumpet, and skiing.


This session is targeted to Health & Life Sciences ventures teams in the i-lab’s Venture Program. For team leads in the i-lab Venture Program, it’s best to register through the i-lab portal here or through the program calendar. Otherwise you can register below.

Is Bootstrapping Right for Your Company?
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