These Bootstrappers show how to build sustainable businesses without external funding

The hardest thing you have to do when you bootstrap is to work for free. There’s no income. It’s not that you have to be cutting big checks necessarily – there’s just no income. So you have to be able to adjust your lifestyle for some period of time.
- Christian Chabot, CEO Tableau

For many, in the Indian startup ecosystem, entrepreneurship has become synonymous with raising venture capital. The myth is being promulgated in the startup circles, more so due to the increased visibility that funded startups get in media and elsewhere.

FusionCharts and Zoho are two examples of bootstrapped startups that have gone on to become software companies of international repute. Heck, QuickHeal from Pune took the bootstrap route too, and could be going for an IPO in the recent future.

Related reads:

The Bootstrapped Startup Pride of India from Kolkata- Fusion Charts

What does it take to build a Global Software Product Company? Sanjay & Kailash Katkar, QuickHeal

We at YourStory have featured several stories of entrepreneurs and startups who have been successfully bootstrapping. Many of these startups are, interestingly, from the smaller towns and cities of India.

Fixnix, which is based out of Vellore, has a vision to democratize Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) solutions at affordable rates. The startup aims to provide GRC solutions to growth markets like India and Africa.

Or the story of Santhosh Govindasamy, Gopal Krishnan, Udhaya Krishna and Anil Kumar who made their dreams come true with their startup, which is based out of Coimbatore. The team helps clients with their brand and marketing messages via short explainer videos.

Then there is Get Closer from Kochi, started by Radhakrishnan Ram Manohar, Sidharth Vijayan and Praveen Paul in January this year, which works with organizations in planning, managing and implementing their CSR activities.

There are hardcore engineering products being built as well. Like Kishore’s company, KPMP Electronics, based out of Puri in Odisha, has developed a revolutionary smart meter that comprises of GPRS modem for communication to enable people to see the true value of Smart Metering Data. The e-EMB (e-Energy Metering Box) is an advanced and remodeled version of existing energy meters.

Some of the other Bootstrap heroes that we have featured:

Bootstrapping lesson from Black&White Aventura

This 2-year-old bootstrapped design startup has clients like WeChat, Line and Flipkart and is hitting 8-figure revenues

Even with all this, there are many more bootstrapped startups who are building sustainable businesses with lean methodologies. There is no dearth of innovation among them and many are building life-changing technologies as well earning them prestige in India, and abroad. All they need is support during the initial years.

Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) launched an initiative last month called BootUpINDIA awards. As per their website, they want to support companies selling to Indian SMBs.

We know that most business opportunities seeking venture capital are too small, or growth isn’t fast enough to fit the venture model. Should we be promoting and helping product startups that may not grow 300% a year or become billion dollar enterprises? The short answer is: Yes!

To the winners, iSPIRT promises "group mentoring from expert entrepreneurs, media coverage through Customer Impact Stories, access to certified performance warrants for deeper customer relationships, amongst other help."

Last date to apply: September 15, 2014

Where to apply: BootUpINDIA Awards Website

The eight winners for the first BootUpINDIA awards will be announced on October 02, 2014.

Bootstrappers, APPLY NOW!

Suggested read for all bootstrappers:

26 thumb rules for bootstrapping from a toughened entrepreneur