How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

3 lessons behind a startup's $1 billion valuation

March 13, 2014: 12:14 PM ET

Eventbrite's Julia Hartz learned a lot on her way to building a startup valued at $1 billion.

Power couple Julia and Kevin Hartz

Power couple Julia and Kevin Hartz


FORTUNE -- Eventbrite president Julia Hartz is on a roll. Less than one year after raising $60 million to expand the startup she founded with her husband Kevin, the entrepreneurial couple has quietly raised some $60 million more in venture capital -- at a $1 billion company valuation, according to my Fortune colleague Dan Primack.

This means that Hartz, 34, has turned out to be a prescient pick for Fortune's 2013 class of Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. She was one of 10 female founders honored last fall at the Fortune MPW Summit. Eventbrite nicely meets the Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs selection criteria because it is innovative and game-changing in a big way: Aiming to build the largest marketplace for events, Eventbrite processed more than $1 billion in gross ticket scales last year.  With 330 employees in the U.S., the UK and Latin America, the San Francisco-based company has sold tickets in 198 countries and will use its new funding for further expansion and product development.

Hartz began her career in cable television, at MTV (VIA) and then FX (FOX) before taking the entrepreneurial route. What has she learned building a startup to $1 billion in market value? Three things, she told us:

1. I've learned that having candid conversations is just about the most valuable thing I can do with my time. When a group of people can sit down with each other and get real, be frank about the challenges we're facing as well as the goals we want to meet, it's a lot easier to divide and conquer.

2. I had to learn how to ask for help. I had to learn how to receive it! Everyone always thinks it's brave to go out alone. But I think it's even braver to put yourself out there in front of others and figure out how to work together.

3. I learned that the key to a successful business is to hire people who are way smarter and more competent than you. It's so important to trust the people you work with. I'm really happy to be able to say that I do.

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