Bootstrapping In America is tastytrade's spotlight on the best and brightest of the entrepreneurial community in Chicago and beyond. Meet the innovative men and women leading the companies featured in this week's episodes!

Chris Rentner |

Chris Rentner is the founder and CEO of Akouba Credit.  The company is a small business lending company that was launched a year ago by Chris Rentner.  Akouba can lend funds in less than twenty-four hours. 

Our product is a term loan anywhere from $5K to $250K. They can apply online and within an hour they can be approved.
— Chris Rentner

Tony Rihan | Entrepreneur

Tony Rihan is an international entrepreneur from Mexico. He is a successful serial entrepreneur having started twelve companies in the last twenty years. 

[On being successful] - People are afraid of failure...get rid of that feeling, take the risk and then embrace the failure.
— Tony Rihan

John Simpson & Jeff Hirner | One North Interactive

John Simpson & Jeff Hirner are the co-founders of One North Interactive, a digital agency focusing on putting first the relationships companies have with their clients, both current and prospective.

Organizations like ours are moving into brand planning and being more strategic and starting from a digital place.
— John Simpson

Michael Howell| Dolly

Michael Howell is the co-founder of Dolly.  Dolly is a collaborative mobile marketplace for moving and delivering goods. Movers and their prospective customers can instantly connect on the site.

We think its going to be billions of dollars in opportunity combining moving, truck rentals and delivery.
— Michael Howell

Scott Merchant | Golf Pipeline

Scott Merchant is the co-founder of Golf Pipeline.  Golf Pipeline is an online booking service for tee-times all across the United States. You pay when you play, with no money in advance to hold a reservation and no hidden fees.

It’s a passion I have and I’ve been trying to reach my financial goals life goals around the game of golf.
— Scott Merchant

What are your favorite episodes of BSA? Who would you like to see on the show? How about you?! Drop us a note in the comments below, send a Tweet to @BootstrappingIA, or send an email to

Tune in to catch a brand new interview on Bootstrapping In America Live Monday - Friday at 9:40am CT on!