At Bootstrappers, we value the business ethic right there in our name. Our goal is to empower founders to build a profitable business using their own talents and resources. 


However, we recognize that not all organizations or founders can pull themselves up to the table by their bootstraps or run a marathon in heels. So, where we can, we partner with founders to fuel their hard work and great ideas with capital and coaching.

We like an organization that’s at the beginning of a big market. Handrail is a product that helps standardize, share and derive insights from user experience research. Every product or service being developed today should have a fundamentally awesome UX Research team, which is why UX Research is such a growing field of expertise with broad applications across all types of software. The Handrail team has been developing both expertise and a toolset to bring this function into the mainstream and give it form. This is gonna be big!

We like organizations that work at cross currents with the status quo and  mainstream thinking. Honing in on an opportunity that’s not widely recognized and being able to synthesize a unique solution demonstrates an entrepreneurial quality in our partner organizations that’s as rare as it is valuable.

We like operators who have experience in running a P & L. That is to say – it’s not their first rodeo.  When we learned Sean Higgins, co-founder at Ilos Video,  was starting a new company with Better You, we were interested in how we could support his efforts and see the opportunity he was seeing. Founders who know what it’s like to make payroll, get to market and work with customers also know what they’re getting into with a startup and have a more realistic vision of the future.

We like operators that built a solution for a problem they've experienced so they understand the impact their solution can have for users. When the UX researchers at Connect5 were running an ongoing research project for a client, they found there was no tool to standardize, share and store research across their team. They found that without such a tool they were repeating research, questioning insights and wasting time and money. So they built Handrail. That’s a solution we know will meet the needs of end users and their organizations.

We like founders who share our values in business – to do work that benefits your customers and to act with integrity. This  benefits your customers, your employees, and your community. Founders who believe it is possible to build a sustainable and profitable organization in amazing ways are founders we want to work with.


Where we've invested so far

At Bootstrappers, we are putting our money where our mouths are. We are making strategic investments to further the technology landscape in Minnesota and the Midwest. The organizations we’ve partnered with reflect our approach to business and creating organizations with impact.