February 8, 2013
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SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs

Bold Ventures
Care.com founder: Investors must relate to your customers
The idea for Care.com grew out of the life experiences of founder and CEO Sheila Marcelo, who struggled to find childcare while completing college. Marcelo's company has raised $111 million in funding since 2006. A key to successful fundraising is making sure investors can relate to the needs of those who will use your product, Marcelo says. "That was especially important for me in selling the Care.com story because women make the majority of the caregiving decisions for their families but most VC rooms are overwhelmingly male," she said. The Next Women (2/5)
Leading the Pack
Can you still remember your company's values?
A company's highfalutin statement of values won't count for much if nobody can remember it, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Keep your company's statement of purpose short and to the point, and consider investing in gimmicks to make them more memorable. "Print them on wallet-size cards, have them in your e-mail signature line and/or have an artist come up with pleasing wall hangings," Asmus suggests. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/6)
Finance & Growth
Creating a national network for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are often well connected in their hometowns, but it can be more difficult for them to network with entrepreneurs in different states. Startup America, an organization founded in 2011 that includes almost 12,000 members, is helping to address that problem. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (2/7)
Networking, product demos and other keys to raising money
Networking is a key part of the fundraising process, according to Dave Samuel, co-founder of investment firm Freestyle Capital. Samuel said his firm generally only considers making investments in companies that have been referred through its network. It's also important to make a demo of your product instead of showing investors PowerPoint slides, he said. Forbes (2/7)
The Whole Entrepreneur
Work-life study: Stress drops when you detach
People who can unplug from work when they're home are more likely to recharge in their off hours and experience less job burnout, a Kansas State University researcher found. "If you have a strong technological boundary and self-restricted rules for using email, laptops or cellphones for work during off-work times, then you are more likely to experience psychological detachment from work," said YoungAh Park, assistant professor of psychology. MedicalXpress.com (2/6)
Ideas for Innovators
Successful companies make lousy innovators
If your company's at the top of its game, be wary, says management professor Gerard J. Tellis. "Market dominance can be a curse that blinds companies to the next big innovation on the horizon," he warns. CNNMoney/Fortune (2/5)
Fortune from Failure
5 ways to fail as an entrepreneur
It's tempting to pursue every opportunity available to generate revenue, but this is ultimately a mistake, writes Lewis Howes. "Setting boundaries for the type of work and clients you want is vital to achieving long-term success," he writes. Other key mistakes include failing to verify your assumptions or develop an exit strategy. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (2/6)
[S]aying 'no' can be a best practice for successful startups."
-- Lewis Howes, co-author of "LinkedWorking," writing at Entrepreneur online's The Daily Dose blog.
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