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Entreprenerd: presenting the book

Slides for the book presentation of "Entreprenerd: Building a Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Open Source Software" in which Bruno Lowagie tells the story about how he developed the open source PDF library iText, how he created an international group of companies for the project, and how he grew the business from start-up to exit.

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Entreprenerd: presenting the book

  1. 1. Entreprenerd Building a Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Open Source Software
  2. 2. Hello! I am Bruno Lowagie And I am an Entreprenerd 2
  3. 3. That is: My wife and I founded iText Group (2008), a company with subsidiaries in Belgium (2010), the US (2009), and Singapore (2015) Together, we grew the business from the pre-revenue startup phase to an eight-figure exit (2015 – 2018 -2020) I developed Free and Open Source Software: iText, a FOSS PDF library (2000) 3
  4. 4. Entreprenerd Building a Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Open Source Software
  5. 5. FAILING FORWARD iText, the Origin Story 1 5
  6. 6. FIRST COMPUTERS — FIRST BUSINESS 1982: TI-99/4A 1984: TRS-80 4P First business: address labels 6
  7. 7. September 1 1995 7
  8. 8. Early Career 8 March 1997 November 1997 TRASYS November 1997 February 1998 The Reference February 1998 November 1998 TRASYS 1997 The Belgium Applet Bad Timing 1998 Perl Server Pages No Market 2000 Not Original November 1998 September 2010 Ghent University April 1996 Unpaid intern TRASYS
  9. 9. RUG PDF PDF Library In 1998, I promised my employer that I would enhance an intranet application with on-the-fly PDF creation 9
  10. 10. February 14, 2000 iText’s Birthday 10
  11. 11. BUILDING FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE The History of Free and Open Source Software Creating a Business for iText 2 11
  12. 12. Free Software Richard Stallman and the GNU Manifesto, the GPL, and the Free Software Foundation. HISTORY OF FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE Open Source Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens and the Open Source Initiative. 12 Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) 1999: rugPdf (LGPL): Usenet / hosted on University website 2000: iText (MPL/LGPL): SourceForge /
  14. 14. MY ANSWER TO THE FUD Documentation Writing a book is good marketing for your product. IP Rights Review the IP of your software and fix every possible issue. Commercialization Create a company for your product, and generate revenue. 14 2004-2006 2008-2012 2006-2007
  15. 15. “ Commercial open source software is the best guarantee for the production of software that is useful, innovative, and of high quality, and at the same time sustainable, accessible, and affordable. 15
  16. 16. 2012 Revenue: €3.1M EBITDA: €1.4M 16
  17. 17. FROM START-UP TO EXIT Strategies to Grow the Business and Prepare for an Exit 3 17
  18. 18. THE FOUNDER’S DILEMMAS CONTROL DECISIONS Ingeborg and I owned 100% of the shares, and we were making a nice revenue. We had full control over the companies, but we noticed that this was reducing our chances to grow. WEALTH DECISIONS In 2012, we started an M&A project to find out what we needed to do to make our company “investor-ready” and maybe sell the business. This was a very interesting exercise that resulted in a business plan with a clear strategy for iText. 18
  19. 19. Belgium’s Fastest Growing Technology Company BelCham Entrepreneurship Award, American Business Awards, International Business Awards, European Business Awards,… 19
  20. 20. 2014: Second M&A Project Wall Street 20
  21. 21. 2015: Partial Exit 21
  22. 22. AFTER THE PARTIAL EXIT Three-Year Commitment: ◦ Year 1—A Search for Synergies ◦ Year 2—A Change of Strategy ◦ Year 3—A Change in Management Eventually: Exit Through the Courtroom. 22
  23. 23. My Goal I wanted to write the book that I wish I could have read at the start of my career as a technical founder. 23
  24. 24. Know what to expect when starting a company to generate the revenue necessary to further develop your technology. Learn from someone who shows you what he did and how he did it, rather than from someone merely telling you what to do. Get acquanted with the terminology that is needed to understand customers, sales people, accountants, investors, lawyers… 24
  25. 25. Entreprenerd Twitter handle: @entreprenerd21 LinkedIn: Website: 25
  26. 26. CREDITS Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free: ◦ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival 26