Unlike the technology boom of the 1990’s the cost of
enabling technology has significantly decreased, thus barriers to launching a
technology start-up venture have also decreased. The
As a result of this shift in start-up costs, large, initial stage venture capital investments have been replaced by Angel Investors using Seed & Micro-Seed, Pledge, and Milestone funding models. We will use 4 funding models which we believe will be most effective in financing startups to a level where they will have the ability to attract funding from larger venture capital firms: Seed & Micro-Seed, Pledge, and Milestone funding models.
Additionally, never in history have entrepreneurs had more choices for seed-stage funding. Early-stage capital has exploded, with new funds entering the ecosystem and late-stage funds playing earlier in the funding cycle. Indeed – in the last few years there has been strong seed-stage investment activity from funds like: Felicis Ventures, FirstMark Capital, FlyBridge Capital Partners, Flywheel Ventures, Formative Ventures, Foundation Capital, Founders Collective, Founders Fund, Foundry Group, Floodgate Fund and fBFund. And those are just some great funds that start with the letter F.
Whereas the stereotypical “traditional” Incubator Space simply offers cut-rate office space and some basic business services & shared resources, we feel that a more comprehensive range of resources needs to be available in order to fully support an Innovation Ecosystem in Greater Hartford. Currently there are spaces like this in other areas of the country, and they have been very successful at attracting Maker’s, Stempunks, etc., but these spaces are little more than “artist lofts”.
As previously stated, entrepreneurs never had more opportunities & options for funding than they do now. Seed & Micro-Seed Funding & Matchmakers include a wide range of websites and firms which attempt to match entrepreneurs and seed & micro-seed investors (KickStarter, FundingUniverse, PlanHeaven, Go4Funding, GoBIGNetwork, FundingPost, Invested.in), others are more structured through active participation in the startups they invest in (First Round Capital, InLab Ventures, LaunchCapital, Garage Technology Ventures). Events such as the DEMO Conferences and TechCrunch50 are similar to talent shows, where entrepreneurs make brief presentation of their startups in front of a group of investors, press, entrepreneurs, and a panel of judges, the best of which “win” meetings with angel, seed, and venture capital investors.
The final category we identified as a Hybrid of Services, Space & Funding. Of all the firms in this category, we did not find all 3 elements we feel are essential for successfully supporting an Innovation Economy. Some firms have paired funding with business plan & legal services, while other firms have paired space with either funding opportunities or advanced business services.
with any investment, funding startups is a high risk business. However, Seed
funders, angels, and venture capitalists have a strategy to minimize this risk
by investing in a range of different companies. Although the vast
majority will fail, a few might return 20 or 30 times the initial investment
amount, which can more than make up for the losses. In order to reduce the
risk of promising startups falling into the “
The final 2 funding methods provide more flexible options for both the startup and investors. Both of these methods allow a startup to continue to raise additional funding, while reducing risk to the investor(s).
The newer crop of seed stage funds and angels, most of which did not exist 10 years ago, are perceived to be “hipper”, more entrepreneur-friendly, nimble, and more aligned with the needs and interests of founders and management teams.
In fact, TechCrunch recently published a list of the top 10 venture capital websites, where First Round Capital and Garage Technology Ventures ranked #1 and #5 respectively. Venture capital leaders Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Polaris Venture Partners, Benchmark Capital all ranked in the bottom 10, 6,7,8,9,10 respectively.
Although Seed and Micro-VC investments, alone, can’t
support these sartups throughout their funding
requirements, they will improve the chances that a promising idea will at least
make it over the “
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
We believe that:
· A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
· A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
ProFounder is an online crowdfunding platform that provides tools for entrepreneurs to raise their investment capital from their communities.
Instead, we believe that communities can be the best source for the energy, encouragement, tools and capital small business entrepreneurs need to succeed.
So, why can’t anyone just invest a few hundred dollars in a small business they love? We’ve heard hundreds of stories from entrepreneurs and small business owners who have tried gathering investments (real investments, not just donations) from friends, family, and other members of their community, but have struggled along the way. Unfortunately, the process is unnecessarily confusing, costly, and complicated.
Grow Venture Community (Grow VC) is the first global, transparent, community-based platform dedicated to entrepreneurs and their needs.
Grow VC enables great ideas and great teams to get visibility with the right investing audience, funding and support earlier.
Grow VC is more than crowd funding, it’s a nurturing ecosystem where entrepreneurs can connect with experts, funders, team members, new customers and partners to realize their ideas. Grow VC can help startups companies secure initial funding of up to 1M USD.
TheFunded.com is an online community of over 16,500 CEOs, Founders and entrepreneurs to discuss fundraising, rate and review investors, and discuss strategies to grow a start-up business. Enjoy!
FundingPost.com showcases entrepreneur company profiles to over 7,700 Angel Investors & Venture Capitalists.
The ventureseek web site provides a central online forum for:
First Round Capital is a seed stage fund dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs build remarkable companies.
It's an amazing time to be an entrepreneur.
With the tools now at hand -- cloud-based hosting, open-source code, SaaS -- plus the shrinking costs of storage and processing, entrepreneurs can take a product to market today for what it cost to write a software spec 10 years ago.
LaunchBox Digital is a seed-stage investment firm helping entrepreneurs maximize their chance of success. It is a place for cutting-edge ideas and cutting-edge talent. New entrepreneurs face lots of obstacles in making their vision a reality, and many great ideas and great talent never get out of the starting gate. LaunchBox Digital brings entrepreneurs the seed capital, advice, practical guidance, and connections to help new technology and digital media businesses succeed.
The Micro Angel Investment Corporation is just that, an investment company. We seek to find exceptional ideas which need Angel Capital and provide funding for them.
The source of this funding is you, the "Micro Angel Investor". By aggregating many small investments, a single, larger, investement can be funneled into a new company or idea. With this model, we seek to work with two types of people: those in search of angel funding and those seeking to invest money in fantastic ideas and companies.
Connect with business investors in the
Upon registering, you can reach angel investors in a variety of business sectors, looking to invest seed or venture capital. Thousands of angel investors from all around the world have joined our network, along with new entrepreneurs adding business ideas on a daily basis. By becoming a member, you can also connect to investors in a wide range of market sectors, via one of over 30 of our other investment network sites located around the world.
Membership includes benefits such as the ability to contact private investors for things such as:
VenCorps is pioneering a new model for seed capital investing. A new model to drive innovation.
VenCorps is an open, collaborative ecosystem, and is committed to funding 12 startups with $25,000 each over the next year.
venture51 is a seed- and early-stage venture fund built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. We partner with the best founders who are forming at the earliest stages of the emerging Information Technology market.
We like to add value by:
Founded in 2009, MicroVentures Marketplace has built a platform that gives start-ups and existing small businesses like yours access to early-stage capital investment or micro investments.
MicroVenture Marketplace is the financial industry's first organization which merges peer-to-peer lending with the venture capital industry. The Austin, Texas-based firm also provides an exclusive opportunity for investors: to offer funding resources to entrepreneurs and early-stage organizations that need capital to accelerate company development.
40Billion.com is the entrepreneur's micro-funding platform, facilitating business capital fundraising through gifts and loans from the entrepreneur's network of friends and family online. We are addressing a $40 billion gap in small business and startup funding by providing an online platform for social funding (a.k.a. microfinance, "love money", peer-to-peer lending, social lending) so that more entrepreneurs can have access to affordable business financing through gifts and loans.
The #1 reason why many small businesses fail is lack of adequate funding and access to resources. Together, we can change that statistic, and we can help over 6 million new businesses each year, as well as almost 30 million existing small businesses, to increase their chances of success. 40Billion.com enables friends and family members to form private networks, in which they can raise money for a new business, fund a business, and find resources to build a successful business. And it's about time!
"Primary source for startup funding and angel investors"
We understand your business funding and startup funding needs are timely and we take it seriously by providing instant online access to contact our preferred; Angel Investors, Business Lenders, Venture Capital and Equity Partners to help you raise the money for you and your business.
We have a business plan that offers all the critical elements needed to make that first impression on a venture capital, angel investor or bank. We treat you like a valued customer, not a number.
Go4Funding.com is a platform to bring entrepreneurs, business owners and investors (angel investors and venture capitalists) closer together.
The site is strictly intended for existing business owners and entrepreneurs to post their capital needs. Investors can browse through various investment opportunities as well.
Garage Technology Ventures is a seed-stage and early-stage venture capital fund. We’re looking to invest in extraordinary entrepreneurs who have the ability to build great teams and great companies.
Lendio is turning the industry on its head by helping businesses secure loans with banks and other lending sources by means of an online matching platform. Through our technology, which took nearly 2 years to create, 70-80% of business loan applications that come through Lendio are currently being approved. Lendio truly is making business loans simple.
Lendio’s online platform helps small business owners determine which loan category best suits their individual needs by asking a series of questions. Based on credit score, industry, revenue, timing, size of requested loan, and other parameters, Lendio matches the small business owner with a selection of lenders that offer loans that best fit his or her profile.
In the last two years, Lendio
generated more than $240 million in loan approvals and is poised to
dramatically increase that number. Regardless of the economy, Lendio solves a huge pain for the 30 million main-street
business owners across the
FundingUniverse matches qualified small business owners with active banks, credit unions, and other lending sources. We help business owners identify the business loan category and specific lender(s) that offer the best opportunity to prepare for and acquire a business loan. Once prepared, small business owners are introduced to the most appropriate lending source.
Invested.in is an interactive platform enabling users to leverage their social capital to raise financial capital. In simpler words, it is a platform built to help anyone raise money for anything, utilizing their existing social network presence*. Invested.in is heavily connected to every aspect of your online social life, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc... to help you reach your fundraising goals. Our grassroots approach to P2P lending allows our users to return goods, services, or anything in between for their investments. We are truly putting the future of the community into the hands of the community, and out of the hands of the traditional banking and credit card sector.
InLab Ventures focuses on technology-enabled companies in the following industry segments: Hi-Tech (software, hardware, content & applications) and Green-Tech (energy alternatives, & efficiencies). InLab Ventures also participates in the Biotech and Life Science industries through a fund-of-funds relationship with Leading Ventures.
InLab Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm with a fundamentally different business model from the traditional VC approach. InLab Ventures’ model has 4 major differentiators.
LaunchCapital Ventures provides seed funding for businesses that have exponential growth expectations with a national or international reach. We syndicate over 90% of our deals with local angel investors and venture capitalists. We will take on an active role with our portfolio companies depending on the needs and nature of the business.
LaunchCapital Small Business:
For small businesses, capital has become increasingly hard to secure. Many business owners are finding it difficult to obtain bank financing due to the tightened economy. While alternative solutions may be available, they can compromise the long-term objectives and the overall health of the business.
LaunchCapital Connects Program:
Our LaunchCapital Connects Program is designed to create a collaborative network between our portfolio company CEOs and executives.
On a quarterly basis, we host industry specific conferences that bring together top innovators and executives within our portfolio to share ideas and best practices. Previous summit topics included mobile growth strategies, software as a service (SaaS) pricing strategies, and FDA regulatory approval process changes.
LaunchCapital Referrals Program:
We believe that good people know other good people. We offer incentives to founders and executives of our current portfolio companies to help us discover the next generation of innovation leaders, making us partners in funding tomorrow’s best.
LaunchCapital Partner Networks:
In cases of exceptional performance, opportunity, and strategy alignment, follow on investments can be made in partnership with the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office.
Plan Heaven connects entrepreneurs, investors and resources through the use of online collaboration tools and high-quality video presentations. Our goal is to create additional infrastructure for entrepreneurs and investors to aid in the angel fundraising process. Securing an angel round of funding can be extremely time consuming, expensive, and difficult. On the other side, angel investors have the challenge of efficiently sorting through investment opportunities and then executing proper due diligence to make a smart decision. Angel groups across the country provide an environment for entrepreneurs to connect with angel investors. At Plan Heaven, we work with angel groups to further increase the likelihood of entrepreneurs securing angel funding while at the same time making it even easier for investors to find the right fit for their investment criteria.
Every month, in cities across the country, angel investor groups provide a crucial service by bringing accredited investors together to watch presentations by a handful of pre-screened entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs and angel investors are strangers to each other, but their mutual affiliation with the angel group lends credibility to both parties while at the same time orchestrating dialogue. In this way, start-ups secure funding that would not have been likely without the infrastructure provided by the angel group. That said, the fund raising process for early stage companies goes from "nearly impossible" to just "extremely difficult".
Plan Heaven helps to solve two major problems faced by entrepreneurs: properly communicating the investment opportunity and accessing the right investors. At the monthly angel group session an entrepreneur can properly convey all aspects of their business and the investment opportunity in a 10-minute presentation. That's fine for the 10 - 20 investors that show up for that month's session, but what about the other 50 to 100 angel investors in the group that didn't show up? What about the huge ,untapped network of angel investors that are friends with those members of the angel group? How do they all learn about all the nuances and exciting details of the entrepreneur's investment opportunity? In the large majority of cases these angel investors, who didn't happen to make the monthly session, don't hear about the opportunity at all. In a few rare instances they may be passed an executive summary via a colleague or take the time to download it themselves from the angel group's website. However, so much of what the entrepreneur is trying to communicate is lost in an executive summary. A presentation is a much richer form of communication for it allows the entrepreneur to convey all the excitement, confidence, and important details of the opportunity. Plan Heaven has resources that can assist entrepreneurs in preparing a video presentation so that investors can absorb the pitch in its entirety, all online. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then what does a video do at 30 frames per second? Which experience is more memorable and conveys more information: a billboard or a 30-second professional television commercial? The difference is everything.
At Plan Heaven, Angel investors can search start-up companies seeking funding, view presentations they missed at their monthly angel group session, or receive custom email alerts announcing any new investment opportunities in a specific industry or region. Are you an accredited investor on the West Coast that wants to hear about any new bio-tech start-up on the East Coast? No problem. Plan Heaven helps the entrepreneur effectively communicate his or her message to accredited investors all over the country.
CapLinked was founded in late 2009 by Eric M.
Jackson and Christopher Grey, two
With multiple ventures under their belts, they knew from firsthand experience how difficult the process of raising capital is for entrepreneurs, who'd rather be building their company than managing paperwork and updating cap tables.
As an investor, Christopher also appreciated how frustrating it could be on the other side of the table, where investors often go for months without hearing from the entrepreneurs they trusted with their funds.
Convinced that there ought to be a better way, Eric and Christopher created CapLinked to solve the problems that entrepreneurs and investors face while trying to capitalize new companies.