October 27, 2021
SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs
The Lead
A pivot may be disorienting, but it provides opportunities for entrepreneurs that they may not have expected, writes Sumsub co-founder Jacob Sever. "Pivoting from a narrow, 'roadmap' pitch to a more broad-strokes idea allows your investors and your team to fill in just enough blanks to get them excited about your business plan," Sever writes.
Full Story: Entrepreneur (10/27) 
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Today In Startups
Rent the Runway, a startup that rents women's apparel and other fashion items, raised $357 million in an initial public offering after its shares priced at the top of their $18 to $21 range, giving the company a $1.3 billion valuation. The company's most recent private market valuation was $870 million.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/27),  The New York Times (10/27),  Fortune (tiered subscription model)/Bloomberg (10/27) 
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Venture capital investments in HR tech startups is already 130% greater than 2020's full-year total, according to PitchBook data. One notable round is by Rippling, an onboarding, benefits and device management tool that recently raised $250 million.
Full Story: PitchBook (10/21),  TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (10/21) 
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Spanx surprises every employee with first-class trip
(Sara Blakely/Instagram)
Spanx CEO and founder Sara Blakely celebrated the company's $1.2 billion sale to Blackstone by giving each employee two first-class tickets to anywhere around the world with spending money of $10,000. Blakely announced the surprise gift in an emotional Instagram video, which has attracted more than 1 million views, and shows the founder talking about the importance of giving opportunities to female entrepreneurs and the delighted reactions of employees.
Full Story: CNN (10/27),  National Public Radio (10/26) 
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SmartBrief Originals
How COP26 might change climate finance
The financial-services sector is poised to play a key role in how the world tackles climate change, and industry veteran Simon Puleston Jones explains how the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties might influence the flow of capital aimed at the issue. Puleston Jones, co-founder and CEO of Climate Solutions, also details crucial steps policymakers can take at COP26 and outlines the educational journey taking place regarding environmental, social and governance factors and impact investing.
Full Story: Modern Money SmartPod (10/27) 
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Make Your Startup Better
SoulCycle founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice learned the importance of creating a positive culture for employees, who, in turn, made customers happy. They also focused on community-building, giving customers a space to form connections in a judgement-free environment, an idea they're taking to their next venture.
Full Story: Inc. (tiered subscription model) (10/26) 
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Funding, IPOs and Acquisitions
When Entrepreneurs Fail
There are several steps founders can take to wind down a venture that's clearly not going to be a success. Founders who've had to end operations encourage others to be proactive about sharing the state of the company with stakeholders and explore options for a sale, and if a shut down is inevitable, ensure available funds can cover employee salaries and benefits as well as regulatory requirements.
Full Story: Crunchbase (10/27) 
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About the Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Hi, it's your SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs editor! Thank you for reading and subscribing. I know you don't need to read SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs. Rather, you're here because you are dedicated to creating your new venture, securing the capital you need to scale your ideas and understanding the market you're pursuing.

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Put your own ego aside and listen if somebody wants it in a different way.
SoulCycle co-founder Julie Rice, as quoted by Inc.
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