Five Reasons You Should Bootstrap Your Startup

brett fox
5 min readJun 18, 2024

One of the most successful companies I’ve worked with, Gateway Genomics, started with an initial investment of just $80,000. They then bootstrapped themselves from there to a $110 million exit.

My point is this: You don’t have to raise venture capital to have a successful startup. In fact, you might be better off not raising venture capital.

I want to make sure that you understand this key point:

Every startup has investors.

“But not if we bootstrap,” you say. Well, that’s not true. Let me explain. Even if you want to raise venture capital, you will start out bootstrapping.

In other words, some combination of you, your co-founders, your friends, and your family will be the initial investors in your company. And guess what? You’d better be in alignment with your investors.

Alignment means that you and your investors share the same vision and goals for the company. It means that your friends and family understand how much money your company will need. And they understand how you will pay them back.

Finally, they understand when you will pay them back. This leads to number one on our list:

1. You have no choice but to bootstrap.



brett fox

I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I built several businesses from $0 to >$100M. Learn more at