Before the first electronic matchmaking service between entrepreneurs and investors was booted up, in 1984, folks who needed $100,000 to $1 million to finance their businesses scrambled for it themselves. But over the past several years, a host of computer-based networks have emerged to make the search process more efficient.
Typically, networks charge fees both to money seekers and to investors. Investors check off the sorts of deals they're interested in considering, and the computer does the sorting. "If the potential for creating value is there, people should have no trouble getting introductions," says William E. Wetzel Jr., founder of the first network at MIT. "Whether they're able to sell the investors at that point is really up to them."
Georgia Capital Network Atlanta 404-894-3575
Kentucky Investment Capital Network, Frankfort, Ky. 502-564-4252
Mid-Atlantic Investment Network, College Park, Md. 301-405-2144
Northwest Capital Network Portland, Ore. 503-294-0643
Pacific Venture Capital Network, Irvine, Calif. 714-856-8366
Private Investor Network Aiken, S.C. 803-648-6851
Tennessee Venture Capital Network, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 615-898-2745
Texas Capital Network Austin 512-794-9398
Venture Capital Network at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. 617-253-7163
Venture Capital Network of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn. 612-223-8663
Washington Investment Network, Seattle 206-464-6282
-- Researched by Christopher Caggiano* * *