Corporate Collateral

On the Inside

There's a lot to be said for simply picking up the phone, calling a corporation and persuading them to invest in you. And that's exactly what Doron Aspitz, co-founder and CEO of Blue Pumpkin Software in Sunnyvale, California, did to get backing from Siemens Mustang Ventures. "I called them out of the blue and kept dialing until somebody listened," says Aspitz, 42.

Blue Pumpkin's software helps companies schedule their customer-service employees, whether they're helping by phone, e-mail or online. Aspitz targeted Siemens because of the corporation's routing engine.

According to Aspitz, talks of investment which helped Blue Pumpkin fund marketing, product development and more, evolved naturally-and came from both Blue Pumpkin and Siemens. But having someone at Siemens who believed in the product helped, too. Says Aspitz, "You usually [need] a champion on the other side who believes in your vision. We did, and he helped jumpstart the talks." It also helped that internally, Siemens was committed to supporting smaller firms that could strategically enhance its businesses.

Aspitz knows firsthand that success in securing corporate funding requires not only commitment to the idea of having a corporate investor, but also patience, persistence, passion and the ability to prove you can add value to their business.

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This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Corporate Collateral.

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