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Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

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CHAPTER 22Ann WinbladCofounder, Open Systems,Hummer Winblad

In 1976, Ann Winblad started Open Systems, an accounting software company, with the help of $500 she borrowed from her brother. The advent of the microprocessor and the first affordable PCs created a new opportunity for programmers. Winblad was one of the first generation of entrepreneurs who figured out by trial and error what a software startup was. Six years later, she and her cofounders sold the company for over $15 million.

In 1989, she cofounded Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, the first venture firm to focus exclusively on software. In the years since, 45 of its portfolio companies have been acquired or gone public. Now Winblad is probably the most powerful woman in venture capital. ...

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