Update: A Shopping Site Scores
In Inc.'s March 2008 Elevator Pitch column, Michelle Madhok, founder of White Cat Media, a New York City company that operates shopping blogs aimed at women, made her case to investors. At the time, Madhok had a single employee, projected sales of $770,000, and ambitious expansion plans. She was trying to raise $1.5 million to redesign her website and hire a full-time editorial team. Shortly after the issue was published, Bryan Slusarchuk, a venture capitalist, purchased a copy of Inc. at the airport to peruse on a flight to London. Somewhere over the Atlantic, he casually flipped to Madhok's story. Slusarchuk, the CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Greenscape Capital, says he doesn't typically go prospecting in magazines, but he was impressed with what he read. He called Madhok when he landed, meetings were arranged, and, in August, he invested $1.3 million. "I never would have gotten to investors in Canada without the article," says Madhok, who had been pitching to VCs for months before meeting Slusarchuk.
Since receiving the funds, Madhok has begun making over White Cat's websites, which were originally designed for just $500 by a Ukrainian programmer Madhok found on Elance. Madhok has also hired two more employees, including her husband, Michael Palka, who joined her full time in September. In February, the couple celebrated by flying to Spain for their first vacation in years -- which may explain why they still haven't gotten back to us about that finder's fee.
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