While crowd-funding sites have opened the door for many entrepreneurs that otherwise couldn’t obtain outside financing, it’s still not the best option for everyone. This would apply to entrepreneurs with a highly confidential business model. However, you shouldn’t always consider the absolute worst case scenario when sharing your ideas with others. A crowd-funding site may provide you with instant market feedback that you may not gain from an individual investor or a consortium of angel investors. So, what are your other options?
Explore Angel Networks
Have you reached out to accredited investors in the angel community? Nowadays, there are many online angel communities such as AngelList and Gust that provide early stage companies with immediate access to accredited investors and vice versa.
Incubators and accelerator programs
Incubators and accelerator programs can also be very helpful. The notable ones of late include Y Combinator and Techstars, but there are many popping up across the country. They typically provide only a limited amount of capital, up to $25,000, but you’ll have access to very sophisticated investors that are itching to invest in start-ups. In many cases, being accepted into one of these programs, gives prospective investors comfort that you’re working on a “big idea” concept or “game-changer” in the market.
Another option is to seek an introduction to venture capital firms (VC). Please note that the market has dried up recently and VCs are becoming more and more selective with their funding approach. It’s best to try to get a warm introduction to the fund as they are often overloaded with pitches. You’ll also want to pursue a VC that has invested in companies in your industry before and have the experience to help your company grow. Do some due diligence, don’t just pitch every VC you can get an introduction to from someone in your network.
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