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How Your Small Business Can Play in the Big Leagues

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This story appears in the November 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sheri Atwood had all but run out of operating capital when she scored a meeting with Salesforce Ventures, the CRM software giant’s strategic venture fund. “I was a day away from applying for food stamps and a week away from shutting down,” says Atwood, founder and CEO of SupportPay, a child-support payment platform for separated parents.

Terri Loewenthal
Software giant Salesforce invested in Sheri Atwood’s startup, SupportPay.

Instead, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based entrepreneur nabbed investments from Salesforce and elite Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Associates in the same week. Suddenly, she had the attention of multiple angel groups, VC firms and family offices. “The moment I could say that Tim Draper and Salesforce were in, I emailed all these people who had been sitting on the sidelines, and then everybody wanted to invest,” Atwood says.

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