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STARTUP's Founder Waited Five Years to Launch

Founders must be prepared to lead a start-up and I wasn't ready, says founder Sheila Lirio Marcelo. Here's why the wait was worth it.

Some founders launch their start-up as soon as they get the idea. But Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and CEO of, delayed her launch for nearly five years. 

"I got pregnant in college. I couldn’t be an entrepreneur right away," Lirio Marcelo told OpenForum in a recent interview

The idea for, a site that provides all kinds of on-demand services from health care to child care, came to Lirio Marcelo while searching for a caregiver for her father, who had suffered a heart attack. When nothing showed up online, she knew her site could fill the gap in the market. But before she quit her day job, Lirio Marcelo had to brush up on her skills.

From the interview: 

"First, I felt that I needed to gain more experience before running a company. From 2001 to 2006, I immersed myself in learning as much as I could about every aspect of a business -- what people did in different jobs, how to scale a business, etc. That knowledge has helped me be an empathetic and driven leader.

"And second, I wanted to make sure my family was ready for me to start a business. We had many conversations about it to make sure everyone was on the same page before I dove in."

In the meantime, Lirio Marcelo took jobs at a tech company as well as a venture capital firm, which ended up investing in "right away," enabling the site to go national in a few months. 

Last updated: Jul 9, 2013


Jana Kasperkevic is a graduate of Baruch College, City University of New York, where she earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Political Science. She covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurship for Inc. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, InvestmentNews, Business Insider, and Houston Chronicle, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.

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