Venture capitalists (VCs) make you work hard for their money by inundating you with question after question about your fundraising process, your company goals, your founding team, among other things. Many of these questions will seem reasonable. Some will seem ridiculous.
But no matter the question, you must have an answer. And your answers better be good.
Behind all of this interrogation, there is one key underlying question: what makes you different? Regardless of the variation on the theme, your potential VC is really asking why your business — as compared to others vying for their money — is worth their investment.
If you’re ready to join the ranks of funded entrepreneurs, you need to be prepared to answer this key question. How? (more…)
As a kid, it didn’t take long to learn which neighbors to avoid on Halloween. There were the cheapskates who expected you to share a single Tootsie Roll with your kid brother. Or the curmudgeons who claimed trick or treating hours were over and all you punks needed to get back home ASAP.
When it comes to searching for funding, you’re no longer the kid with the ultimate trick-or-treat route. Now’s the time to knock on every door, no matter how uninviting they might seem from the curb..
Let the Funds Knock on Your Door
You could create a Website soliciting donations for you and hope for the best, or you can create a profile on Kickstarter. Fair warning: Kickstarter’s business model caters toward creative projects and tech businesses. This online community serves as a platform for entrepreneurs to: (more…)
Ah, youth — the time of a million great ideas that are a million dollars short of ever coming to fruition. Of course, if you believed that, you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur.
In truth, while finding financing for a business run by a young entrepreneur may be difficult, especially considering the current economy, it’s not impossible. In fact, some funding sources are practically designed for the unique needs of young entrepreneurs.
To the collective sigh of young entrepreneurs stateside, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs that don’t penalize you for lacking experience. Most of these programs are administered through banks and underwritten by the SBA, so make sure you ask your bank’s commercial loan officer about SBA-related options. (more…)
It’s a common experience—we’ve all been told one thing, only to find the opposite holds true. And for many young entrepreneurs, this phenomenon comes to fruition when working with older business associates. Growing up, you may have been told, “Do not let anyone look down on you because of your youth.” But this doesn’t always hold up in the real world.
Because we live in a society that generally assumes people gain worthwhile experience over time—and for good reason, because it’s often the case—you’ll likely encounter potential investors, partners and even customers who will intimate (or vocalize) their concern about your youth and relative inexperience.
While this is the cross the young entrepreneur must bear, it doesn’t mean these opportunities are beyond your reach. As you pursue new business where your youth seems to put you at a disadvantage, try to include these points as you argue against a perceived lack of experience. (more…)
Young Entrepreneurs are more important than ever, and it is vital for current entrepreneurs to support this next generation of business leaders.
Regardless of background, ideology or industry – most people in the world agree that entrepreneurial innovation positively impacts society and the world. Future leaders and entrepreneurs grow up in a world where technology and information change more quickly than ever. Information learned in school can be obsolete by the time students graduate. This is why young entrepreneurs need the support of the people that understand how a swiftly changing environment impacts the business community and how that relates to the role of an entrepreneur.
Current entrepreneurs and small business owners should invest in supporting and training up-and-coming entrepreneurs to ensure the most vibrant workforce possible for all entrepreneurial endeavors. It benefits everyone to encourage and train students interested in starting businesses, and the network of SBDC’s is an example of how small business support can make a difference. (more…)