Building a Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Open Source Software

The iText story, told by its original developer. After a quarter of a century in IT, Bruno Lowagie (°1970) decided to share his experience in a book. Entreprenerd is the chronicle of his personal story as a software developer and entrepreneur against the backdrop of a fast-paced technological evolution. From overcoming his fear of going into business to bootstrapping a multi-million-dollar company, this compelling memoir is perfect for anyone who is invested in building a business with innovative technology. What the readers say: Joseph “JJ” Jacks, Founder at OSS Capital and Open Core Summit: “Bruno wrote an incredible book on his COSS journey. Mandatory reading for technical founders!” Amelia Eiras, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Tomitribe: “This untold-saga about a developer and his project is a significant contribution to the open-source ecosystem.” Leonard Rosenthol, Senior Principal Scientist and PDF Architect at Adobe Systems: “Entreprenerd is a great case study on how to develop an innovative business with cutting-edge technology.” Dilip Thomas, Founder at Wurreka and Developer Summit: “Bruno shares his profound experiences as a technical founder … you will discover the life stages of an entrepreneur and his business.”

About the author

Bruno lowagie was born in Ypres (Belgium) in the year 1970. He graduated as a civil architectural engineer in 1995 (Ghent University). Bruno is the original developer of iText, the author of several books about iText, and the founder of iText GroupWil-Low BV and QLT BV. For a full account of his career of twenty-five years in information technology, read the book Entreprenerd: Building a Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Open Source Software.

iText: iText is an open-source PDF library available in Java and C#, under either an AGPL or a commercial license. It is a software component (a PDF engine) that can be integrated into a web or other application to create, manipulate and process documents in the PDF format.

iText Group: iText Group NV was originally founded as 1T3XT BVBA (January 2008). The company is based in Ghent (Belgium). The original BVBA (similar to an LLC) was upgraded to an NV (similar to a Corp.) in January 2014. The name was changed from 1T3XT to iText Group. The company became a part of a joint venture with the South-Korean Hancom Group in December 2015. Ownership of the joint-venture changed to private equity players affiliated with Crescendo Equity Partners in 2018.

Bruno also co-founded the following subsidiaries for iText Group:

  • iText Software Corp. (February 2009) aka ISC, a company incorporated in California with offices in Massachusetts.
  • iText Software BVBA (August 2011) aka ISB, a company incorporated in Belgium with offices in Gentbrugge, Belgium.
  • iText Software Asia Pte. Ltd. (Aprill 2015) aka ISA, a company incorporated in Singapore.

Bruno was the original CEO of iText Group until April 2016. He was the CTO from April 2016 until September 2018. He stopped all operational activities at iText on September 23, 2018. He’s currently active in Wil-Low and QLT.

Wil-Low: Wil-Low BV was founded by Ingeborg Willaert and Bruno Lowagie. With this company, Ingeborg and Bruno provide services as board member, C-level officer, investor, and advisor in different start-ups and scale-ups.

QLT: the main founder of QLT is Jago Lowagie, Bruno’s youngest son. Ingeborg and Bruno help their son with a new business model for table tennis events.

When asked for his most important strength as a person, Bruno mentions his ability to reinvent himself.

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