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Meet James

The Bootstrapped Entrepreneur

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About James

James Benham is the co-founder and CEO of JBKnowledge, a multinational technology and consulting company he’s bootstrapped for over 20 years. From his college dorm room to over 280 employees across the USA, Argentina, and South Africa, he has led JBKnowledge to build industry-leading software for the world’s largest insurance companies.

James is also the co-founder of two disruptive insurance tech products: Terra, a cloud-based claims management software that improves claim outcomes for providers and consumers of Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance; and SmartCompliance, a top insurance certificate tracking and compliance management.

James is the creator and co-host of the growing and top-rated show, The InsurTech Geek Podcast, where he interviews leading industry experts from some of the most recognized companies in the world.

A passionate bootstrapped entrepreneur, James is the bestselling author of Be Your Own VC: 10 Bootstrapping Principles to Generate Cash and Keep Control, his debut book. In Be Your Own VC, James shares how bootstrapping led his tech company to a multimillion-dollar exit and the freedom to build what they love.

James is a sought after consultant and speaker at the forefront of innovation in the insurance industry. His bold ideas and love for technology has landed him keynote opportunities on over 400 conference stages including The Future of Insurance USA and TEDx.

James has served as an elected city councilman, an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University and currently serves the state of Texas as a Regent on the governing board of Texas Southern University.

In his spare time, James pursues many hobbies including flying airplanes, ballroom dancing, playing guitar, singing and geeking out on tech.

Venturing the Path to Success

The Timeline of James Benham

1991

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Builds first software, an invoicing application for a neighborhood lawn business.

1992

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Launches his first business with a loan from his dad, focusing on bootstrapping.

1995

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Starts IT consulting business in high school.

1999

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Begins studying at Texas A&M University and graduates with a BBA in Accounting and Masters in Information Systems. Heads IT for over 4,000 students.

2001

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Incorporates JBKnowledge from his dorm room.

2003

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Becomes Chief Evangelist, expands JBKnowledge operations internationally.

2006

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Launches SmartBid, the first successful SaaS product for the construction industry. Expands with SmartInsight, SmartCompliance and SmartReality.

2016

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Launches The ConTech Crew podcast, becoming a voice in construction tech.

2018

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Sells SmartBid and pivots to building products for the insurance industry with Terra claims management software.

2019

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Achieves lifelong dream of securing a private pilot's license.

2020

2020

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Joins the Board of Regents at Texas Southern University, focuses on teaching entrepreneurship.

2022

2022

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Releases first book "Be Your Own VC: 10 Bootstrapping Principles to Generate Cash and Keep Control"

2024

2024

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Continues to build JBKnowledge, Terra and SmartCompliance while speaking on international stages and promoting his book “Be Your Own VC”.