Financing: Where to Find It
The hunt for financing is on. Only a year ago, venture capitalists seemed willing to throw money at just about any dot-com business plan. But funding today is much harder to come by. Investors and lenders of all kinds are tightening standards, requirements, and criteria by which they judge business plans, entrepreneurs, and who gets the money.
In the March 2001 issue of Inc., Jill Andresky Fraser profiles several entrepreneurs looking for capital in her article The Money Hunt . Then she talks with a group of investors -- including VCs, angels, and bankers -- who recommend the best ways for each to find funding. To help you further in your search for funding, we've rounded up some additional resources that elaborate on the choices the investors outline. One of these options might just help you ride out this roller-coaster financing market.
Guide to Angel Investors
Read this guide that provides selected resources from inc.com to help you court and work with angel investors.
Who exactly are angel investors?
Finance and capital mentor Guy Kawasaki defines angel investors, and when and how an entrepreneur should seek them out.
A Twist of Fate
Wetzel's Pretzels' owners Rick Wetzel and Bill Phelps landed angel investors but not without learning a lesson or two about the delicate relationship between entrepreneurs and using other people's money.
How do you get investors to read a business plan?
Finding a go-between can help get your business plan in front of interested investors, according to Writing a Business Plan mentor Rhonda Abrams
Guide to Getting Venture Capital
Want to get noticed by investors? In this inc.com guide, you'll find our best strategies for finding and raising venture capital.
Online Venture Capital Resources
We've assembled links to a number of Web sites where entrepreneurs can search for investors, track investments by leading firms across the country, or learn more about venture capital.
Research Venture Capital Firms
View this free database of VC firms, organized by the industries they invest in.
Discover the most appropriate sources to target when embarking on your venture capital search.
What does it take to make a business plan attractive to venture capitalists?
Writing a Business Plan mentor Rhonda Abrams offers her advice on getting your business plan noticed by VCs.
New Rules of the Valley
Listen to an interview with Richard Tavener on the new rules of finding funding in Silicon Valley.
Starting from Zero: Getting a Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration
Considering an SBA loan? The SBA Loan Book, by Charles H. Green, offers advice and insights about the SBA loan process.
Get Help Securing a Loan
Landing your first business loan can be a frustrating process. Here's where you can get help.
Find Your Local SBA Office
Use this easy search to find a branch near you for government-funded advice and events.
Private Equity Financing
Raising Money through Equity Investments
Bringing investors into your business gets you more than just money -- you get new co-owners, too.
Selling Temporary Equity
Arranging a mandatory buyback of equity in your financing deal can help you reclaim full ownership of your company down the road.
What Clinches Financing Deals?
Investment bankers Thomas Shattan and Gregory Mendel of the Shattan Group give their view on how to get financing from private equity funds.
The Lowdown on Business Loans
If you're seeking a loan for your business, make sure you understand the basics.
Getting into the Mind of a Lender
Bankers are often overly cautious in making loans to small businesses. Discover how you can measure up to a banker's ideal when applying for a loan.
The Six C's of Credit
When you are applying for a loan, bankers will ask you about your personal and business backgrounds. Here are six areas they will want to know about.
Tips for Preparing Loan Documents
Take these simple steps to ensure your loan documentation measures up.
Q&A: The Lowdown on Microloans
Two experts answer some frequently asked questions about microloans.
Banking: The Microloan Alternative
A small-business owner explains how she received a microloan and what it took to secure it.
Reach out and Touch Bangladesh
The man who pioneered microlending in the villages of Bangladesh has designed a new way to seed entrepreneurship: give telephones to village women.
Finding Corporate Support
Strategic partnerships aren't just a much-talked-about trend; they're the best alternative for many companies that find themselves either shut out of traditional financing deals or unwilling to swallow the equity valuations or interest charges required to make those deals happen. Cash infusions connected with strategic partnerships are usually much smaller than they might have been with a traditional financing deal (and sometimes investments aren't a factor at all). When a partnership's synergy clicks, however, the resulting growth can often yield far greater capital options later on.
--Excerpted from 20 Tips for Finding Money Now Inc. magazine, March 1999.
Sarah Gerdes of Business Marketing Group discusses the importance of strategic alliances on inc.com radio.
Choosing Strategic Partners that Really Partner
Understanding clearly where your business is in terms of the market and target audience is key to finding partners that best complement you.
The Possibilities of Partnering
It's easier to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in business when you have partners.
Fishing for Big-Name Partners
Small businesses often struggle when it comes to getting an "in" as a strategic partner with larger organizations. But companies seeking big-name partners can learn a lot from the methods of Staffcentrix.com. In one year it formed alliances with big players like Microsoft and the United Nations.
Customer & Supplier Partnerships
This entrepreneur's first customer offered to act as a business incubator to get his company off the ground.
Hot Tip: Tap Customers for Money
Get customers in on the act of building your business to help raise capital.
Hot Tip: Tap Vendors for Credit
A vendor can be a great source of credit, and cost savings, as this entrepreneur discovered.
Direct Public Offerings
SolarAttic Inc.'s efforts to find conventional funding didn't pay off. So the company joined the first wave of company builders to seek investors on the Internet through a direct public offering.
When Mom and Pop Go Public
Despite the extra effort, many companies are raising capital by selling their own stock.
Books to Go Public By
These three guides can help kick-off your company's journey to Wall Street.
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