Todd Dunsirn grew up in an entrepreneurial family. His grandfather, father and brothers have all started and owned their own businesses. So, it was no surprise when, two years after graduating from UWM with a mechanical engineering degree, Dunsirn decided corporate jobs weren’t for him. The fourth startup he founded, called True Process, was the one that would lead to a big payday.
Todd started True Process in 2004 and after 14 years running the business he sold it in two parts to two different global companies this year.
Todd used a tried-and-true to grow True Process. He bootstrapped the company, accumulating revenue from the consulting side of the business to build an enterprise software platform that is used by hospitals to collect data from patient monitors, infusion pumps, ventilators and other medical devices. Revenue rose as high as $10 million and True Process’ employee count peaked at 50.
The company sold its consulting arm to ICU Medical in 2018, then sold the rest of the company, including its "VINES" software platform, to Baxter Healthcare in August.
Here are some tips Todd has for other entrepreneurs:
- Know that you don't know everything: If you're the smartest one in the room, then you're in the wrong room! Surround yourself with smart, passionate people and let them do what you hired them to do. Let them fail, let them succeed and support them along the way.
- Be curious, original and push the boundaries: Don't be consumed with details of the business 24/7. Take the time to learn new things, have hobbies that are totally unrelated to your work. Don't be afraid to change your mind, but stick to your principles.
- Stay healthy: Take care of yourself, if you don't have your health then nothing really else matters.
- Use criticism, negativity and setbacks as fuel: Before we sold our ViNES platform to Baxter, I was told by a competing company that we were wasting our time. I knew they were wrong and used that as motivation.