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When to Say No to Venture Capital

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This story appears in the December 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ryan Smith knew he wanted to build a company he could grow over the long haul. So rather than race to find financiers in 2002, the co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics spent four years bootstrapping his enterprise survey provider from his dad's basement.

That low overhead helped the Provo, Utah, startup reach profitability almost immediately. As the company grew year by year, venture capitalists started circling, reaching a critical mass during year five. Smith says he fielded roughly 100 calls from venture capitalists and investment groups before he finally agreed to a deal in 2012.

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