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Start-up targets "administrative professional" niche

OfficeClick.com launches a community and commerce site aimed at what it calls "one of the most economically powerful and Internet-connected group of women in the United States."

Some say if you want to get close to an executive, get close to his or her secretary.

Internet start-up OfficeClick.com is taking that idea a step further. Today it launched a community and commerce site aimed at "administrative professionals"--what it calls "one of the most economically powerful and Internet-connected group of women in the United States."

According to Palo Alto, California-based OfficeClick.com, there are 10.5 million administrative workers in the United States, and 86 percent of them are women. Along with information to help executive secretaries, administrative assistants, and others with their daily tasks, OfficeClick.com plans to capitalize on "their often-overlooked control and influence over a wide range of business purchasing decisions."

The site offers help with administrative tasks such as keeping track of meetings, schedules, and deliveries; making travel arrangements; and buying office supplies. Partners include Federal Express, CitySearch, Dell, Business-Supply.com, Amazon.com, Food.com, Office Depot, CardSupply.com, and BravoGifts.com.

"The administrative professional is often responsible for ordering food for the office, as well as many other pressing tasks. Food.com gives them an easy and precise method to get this job done," Karen Orton, vice president of business development for Food.com, said in a statement. "OfficeClick.com has created an environment that's focused around the needs of administrative professionals, and the Food.com Office Meals service is a perfect fit."

The site offers a "Take a Break" section with a user poll, entertainment news from E Online, horoscopes, and a shopping area that says: "You're always ordering things for the office. Now take a few minutes for yourself with the best online picks for health and beauty, gifts, kids--even spa getaways." In addition, a "Career" section has advice on such issues as how to increase one's level of responsibility and manage stress.

"I think the Net does tremendously well at helping people get things done outside work but less well at matching their day-to-day workplace requirements," Jamie Rapperport, chief executive of OfficeClick.com, said in a statement on the site. "I want OfficeClick.com not only to meet but exceed the needs of administrative professionals--a truly overlooked group at offices large and small. Our goal is to give them the tools, suppliers, and information that they need to get their jobs done."

Investors include St. Paul Venture Capital, Sigma Partners, and Doll Capital Management. The firm says it also has an advisory council made up of administrative workers "whose role has been integral in the development of our site."

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