Eloise Bune: Finding Success After Being Rejected…50 Times

You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t take no for an answer,” but what if you heard the word “no” 50 times from 50 different venture capitalists? Would you have the inner drive to keep moving forward? Today’s guest puts a new spin on perseverance with her story of how grit and grace led to her eventual success – and a Harvard Business School case study!

Eloise Bune is the founder and CEO of Handwriting.io. Since founding the technology startup in 2011, she has guided the development of Handwriting.io’s groundbreaking handwriting replication software. Under her leadership, the company has established partnerships with major players in the print space, including Hallmark, Xerox and 1-800-Flowers, and secured its Series A funding to continue her vision to enrich a digital world with personal messages. Bune has also played a leading role in the launch of Handwriting.io’s new app, ScribbleChat, which functions to personalize text messages via “handwritten” text, emojis and animation.

Bune is also committed to educating aspiring entrepreneurs and new business owners. As such, she is active in several leadership organizations like Springboard Enterprises, Golden Seeds, Million Dollar Women and WeCN. Today she coaches you to learn from every “no” and seek out mentors who can help you secure a “yes.”


Key Interview Takeaways

Be coachable. Bune presented to 50 venture capitalists and heard “no” 50 times. She had the strength to persist because she learned from their feedback, applied that information and kept moving to the next level.

Find your Janet. Bune attributes her perseverance to mentor Janet Kraus, CEO of peach, inc. The presence of a sounding board who could help Bune supply a next step inspired her to continue moving forward.

Create a list of ten people who can help you. Reach out and invite those ten individuals out for coffee by picking up the phone to leave a voicemail or to make an appointment with an assistant. Bune has discovered that people want to help, and if they can’t, they will put you in touch with someone who can.

Don’t entertain the monsters in your head. Women tend to listen to the destructive voices that make us feel unworthy and fear we might be wasting someone’s time. But we must look past that apprehension and ask for help to reap the rewards.

Only 4% of venture capital goes to women. Venture capitalists are looking for a great idea in a big market, pitched by a confident entrepreneur with a team in place to execute a fully developed strategy, while angel investors are more likely to take a risk on someone who doesn’t necessarily have all of the answers.

Connect with Eloise Bune




Harvard Business School Case Study: What Do Angels Want?

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