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Don’t get Randal Charlton wrong. The executive director at the TechTown business incubator in Detroit is thankful for a recent announcement of $5 million coming his way to help graduates of his FastTrac business training program launch their companies. But, he says, look at it this way: The money, granted by the New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-area philanthropic partnership, is not being thrown at comfortable entrepreneurs. This is, essentially, aid to the unemployed. And, as such, $5 million barely scratches the surface.
Many of the entrepreneurs to be helped by the First Step Fund, the entity created by NEI’s $5 million investment, are not launching startups because it seems like a promising thing to do. They have nowhere else to go, Charlton says. Their former jobs in the auto industry are gone, never to return. Their choices are to leave the state or try to create their own jobs in Michigan.
To maximize the amount of financing you can raise, you can either marshal tangible evidence of growth and success or demonstrate your company's potential.
Ohio voters to decide if $700M bond issue expands investment in high-tech economy.
Self-healing metal that pops back into shape after it's damaged. Machines that give surgeons full-color, 3D images of a patient's insides. Sensors that warn police or soldiers of explosives miles away. This is the promise of a proposed $700 million statewide investment program that aims to turn sci-fi dreams into Ohio's business future. But does the promise hold up?
Young entrepreneurs with few contacts need to get real about raising money in a tough economy, and pursue avenues such as their own bank accounts, loans from parents and credit cards, writes the author. Another tactic is keeping costs low so that you need less money in the first place.
This informative piece explains a well-known method that venture capitalists use to determine "post-money valuation," which is a company's valuation at the time of investment. Perhaps more important, it provides valuable insights into why the returns expected by investors are often perceived as "too high" by entrepreneurs.
Finding venture capital is a matter of securing the right fit between founder and funder, writes the author. Affinity with a investor helps, such as pursuing groups that finance the type of company that yours is, such as a minority- or female-led firm; also necessary is a plan outlining your company's financial prospects and a pitch for convincing investors that you can execute, the author notes.
Angel financing - or funding from individuals with the time and money to invest in early-stage companies - is more accessible thanks to the gathering of such investors into networks, writes an erstwhile entrepreneur turned angel investor. The process is still arduous, but the author offers tips for easing the way.
The founder of a software development business had already agreed to be acquired by one company and was ready to sign the documents. Then another company came calling with a better offer. Loyal employees and a working partnership with the buyer turned out to be the crucial assets constituting the value of the business. The author concludes that you need to shop around and negotiate to find out what your company is really worth.
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