Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
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There is more venture capital financing money than there are good projects. Take advantage of his situation to finance your own business now.
$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded yesterday. $51.4 million funded the day before.
These numbers are not made up. They are actual numbers from actual reported venture capital funding. I get these notices emailed to me day after day, rain or shine. I am not personally looking for business financing, but the entrepreneurs who read my website are.
These numbers are a constant reminder to me that companies -- lots of companies -- are getting funded every day.
And these numbers just reflect the reported venture capital funding. There is probably double that amount from angel investment and unreported fundings, and millions more from the $16 billion pool that SBA has this year.
All in all, it is a lot of money. There are a lot of companies and banks and groups and individuals actively investing in small business.
So how come you are still looking for financing?
Perhaps you are not presenting your company effectively.
Or perhaps you have not located the right lender.
It is also possible that your concept just is not very good, but I doubt that. The fact that you are reading this article means you are a serious entrepreneur, with a serious business.
So where do you go to find all these investors? How do they get venture capital financing? Here are some starting points:
For standard business financing, talk with the local office of the Small Business Administration. It is a new agency, with new programs and services, and lots of money to lend. Although much of the focus of the SBA is on minority business enterprises, the SBA still has a lot to offer non-minority companies.
Also talk with your local banks. (That was plural "banks", not "bank".) Talking with a number of local bankers will rapidly bring into focus the wide ranging priorities of the various banks, and where your company fit in.
As for venture capital financing and angel investors, there are several options.
One option is to go to online sources. There are a number of online services, some good, some bad. Well, mostly bad. Posting online is a very passive approach, roughly akin to throwing paint on the wall and hoping that something will stick. If you are like most entrepreneurs, patience is not your strong suit, so sitting and waiting for a response is not quite your cup of tea. And, truthfully, if you do get a response it is most likely from a con man, not from a real investor.
Another option is to go to one of the many directories of venture capital firms. These directories typically include addresses, phone numbers and emails, along with the geographical areas of interest and the types of investment that each is seeking. Most businesses can narrow down their list of prospective investors to several hundred venture capital firms this way. And again you are faced with the prospect of sending out written material for each one, and waiting for a response.
A third option is to take a more proactive approach in your venture capital financing search. Identify your best prospects yourself from a number of reliable sources. Get introductions where possible. Learn everything you can about your target investors, and then go after it. Typically a phone call is the first contact, not an anonymous executive summary. Knowing that you are calling your best prospects, you know too that they are open to hearing from you. You have names, you have investment histories, you have everything in hand to make a real connection with the target investors. Then go do it.
Getting venture capital financing is one of the hardest things you will ever do as an entrepreneur. It can be hugely frustrating, disappointing and genuinely discouraging. But lots of entrepreneurs do it. And so can you.
No one knows when this incredible window of opportunity will close. Spruce up that business plan and go for it -- now.
The great state of Texas is expanding once again on its venture capital base. There's a lot of land, and a lot of venture capital to go around.
There are nearly a dozen venture capital firms in Indiana. It is impressive that the newest fund, the Heron Fund, came straight out of the pockets of individuals, not from pension funds or other large investor.
I am amazed at how often Wisconsin business has been headlining the news. They are not kidding around about creating a strong, sustainable business climate.
Once a hot bed for venture capital, North Carolina has simmered slowly on the back burner for quite a while. That may be changing now as new funds set up offices again.
The social climate has made it difficult for venture capital to take hold in India. But, with the increased education and wealth of India, European venture firms believe they can now participate in this rapidly emerging economy.
A consortium of businesses aim to put Alabama on the map in terms of venture financing.
Major venture firms have set up shop in India, and there is lots of money going into these funds.