Dare to Venture: Serial Entrepreneurs Show Strong Performance

Dare to Venture: Serial Entrepreneurs Show Strong Performance

Since Springboard Enterprises launched in 2000, 250 women CEOs and founders have participated in the non-profit organization?s pioneering venture programs for women entrepreneurs. A recent survey of Springboard alumnae, conducted by Springboard Enterprises and McKinsey and Co., showed that 69% of Springboard alumnae are serial entrepreneurs, with 35 percent having three or more entrepreneurial experiences.

Fourteen percent of Springboard alumnae have broken out of the pack to grow much more rapidly. Not surprisingly, these breakout companies generally demonstrate longer operating histories than their sisters. Of eleven companies with annual revenues above $5 million, all but one have experienced five or more years of operations and most were founded by serial entrepreneurs.

SatisFusion founder and chairman, Fay Wood, raised over $15 million in equity and led her four-year-old Long Beach, CA, aftermarket sales and support infrastructure company to profitability. SatisFusion experienced double digit revenue growth in 2002. Marquee customers, more than 100 employees and rapid revenue growth resulted in a recent successful strategic merger with a subsidiary of Warranty Corporation of America (WaCA), the largest independent extended service contract administrator in the U.S.

Springboard alumna Fran Bartlett of Dallas is leading her third successful venture, Federal Liaison Services, Inc. (FLS). This profitable compliance services company was founded 15 years ago, with current revenues in the range of $10 to $20 million. Bartlett raised $1 million in equity following the Springboard experience and presently is seeking an additional $5 to $10 million to take the company more rapidly to the next level of growth.

With profitability on the horizon as it pushes out of the product development stage and into operations, biophotonic imaging company Xenogen of Alameda, CA, is led by serial entrepreneur Pamela Contag Ph.D. Founded in 1995, Xenogen participated in the first Springboard Venture Forum and raised over $80 million from multiple sources. Now commercializing its technology, Xenogen employs more than 100 people and its annual revenues exceed $16 million.

Not every Springboard success story is a serial entrepreneur. Janet Kraus, the CEO of loyalty management solutions company, Circles, Boston, MA, created a now-profitable company reporting nearly $20 million in revenues and more than 100 employees. In her sixth year as an entrepreneur, this Stanford MBA has raised more than $27 million. Her top-tier backers include TL Ventures, Trident Capital and Axxon Capital.

Since the first Springboard Venture Forum in 2000, 33 percent of the women entrepreneurs have left the companies they founded. ?This is not unusual when the entrepreneurial demands shift to operational issues, and controls become as important as sparks,? comments Amy Millman, president of Springboard Enterprises. ?But Springboard?s serial entrepreneurs are a highly credentialed farm team for corporate America?s next wave of entrepreneurs.?

For more information about Springboard Enterprises, visit
www. springboardenterprises.org

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