When Janine Popick founded VerticalResponse Inc. in 2001, she sought out venture funds, but those were scarce at the time.
The venture community continuously told her no and that her idea of starting a company centered around e-mail marketing was ridiculous because of spam issues. She also wanted to target smaller businesses, and they told her that she would spend too much money trying to market to that segment.
Despite the negativity, she knew she had a great idea, so she and her husband funded the company out of their own pockets. She also convinced eight of her friends and family to invest.
She came up with some of her own money as well as the money from those other investors, and she spent that money hiring just two key people. She didn’t even see a paycheck herself for a year and a half to ensure that her employees and rent would get paid.
While this CEO faced many adversities, VerticalResponse has grown, ending last year with 50 employees and more than 70 times as much revenue as its first year. Additionally, her business ranked No. 22 on the San Francisco Business Times’ Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area list. On top of that, the company also ranked No. 1,113 on the 2007 Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies, proving you can succeed when people tell you that you won’t.
HOW TO REACH: VerticalResponse Inc., (415) 905-6880 or www.verticalresponse.com