Why the end of bootstrapping can be life or death for a startup

ORIGINAL ARTICLE, Jared Lindzon, theglobeandmail.com, October 26, 2021

Rich Emrich successfully avoided selling any equity in his EQ-assessment company, Altus Assessments Inc., for seven years.

Instead, the Toronto-based company took advantage of a range of government grant programs, took on debt financing and secured loans. In that time, it grew from a single client – McMaster University’s faculty of health and sciences – to becoming the go-to applicant screening software for 90 per cent of all American medical programs, as well as many other professional faculties on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Mr. Emrich, the chief executive officer who founded the company in 2015, suggests avoiding venture capital in the early years, if possible. That way you have “flexibility to pivot your company and really establish what’s working before you try to scale it,” he says.

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