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Board Relations

When investors ask for a board seat, weigh your options before pulling out the leather chair.

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This story appears in the November 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Being your own boss may be the essence of entrepreneurship, but that concept is not always compatible with raising money for a growing business. Julia Stamberger, co-founder and president of GoPicnic, knows that from experience: A recent round of capital spurred growth at her fledgling Chicago food-service business, but it also created a board of directors to whom Stamberger, 34, and co-founder Pam Volpe Jelaca, 39, must now look for guidance.

GoPicnic sells snack boxes and packaged meals to airlines, corporate clients, school fundraisers, hotels and event planners. The company's gourmet, shelf-stable cuisine and portfolio of high-flying customers attracted several investor groups, including angels. Stamberger says that from the start, the investors insisted on board seats, even though the company did not yet have a board.

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