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Venturing Forth

Kathy Sherbrooke, cofounder of Circles, one of the few venture-backed companies on our list, on what she learned about going after venture capital.

Invest in a copy of Pratt's Guide to Venture Capital Sources (Venture Economics, annual). This tome tells you which industries different VCs play in.

Never send your plan cold — always get an introduction. VCs don't play nice with strangers.

Make peace with losing control. If you take VC funding, they own you, not the other way around.

A version of this article appeared in the May 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.