FOR THE FOUNDATIONS OF FUNDING
If you’re new to the fundraising game, or you don’t know what you don’t know, Venture Carolina is here to help. They’re addressing both sides of the equation, helping entrepreneurs and would-be angel investors learn best practices. Founders can learn how to best position their companies to be attractive to investors. Investors, on the other hand, learn the principles for making sound decisions with their money.
Venture Carolina offers a variety of classes on different topics. “How to Pitch to Angel Investors” is a monthly staple for entrepreneurs who are already established or still in the concept phase. (There’s a session this month!) Other course offerings cover tax implications, board development, preparing for exits, and how funding impacts potential returns. Aspiring investors can check out the Palmetto Venture Fellowship, an eight-session series for aspiring investors.
FOR FINDING FUNDS THROUGH UNCLE SAM
If the U.S. Small Business Administration isn’t already in your contacts or bookmarks, hurry up and fix that real quick. The federal agency has a gazillion resources, but its funding match tool is one for founders ready to start fundraising. You’ll fill out the online forms and get a list within a couple of days.
For loans, the SBA will connect you with a local lender that will lend money for starting or expanding a business. These loans are guaranteed (backed) by the SBA and tend to require a lower down payment and other unique benefits. Options include loans specifically for real estate and assets. There’s also a microloan program, where the average amount is about $13,000.
SBA can also help you find investors who will take equity, debt, or both. To sweeten the deal, SBA matches investors' funds with $2 for every $1 they put in. You’ll still have to do some due diligence to research the investor, but it’s a good place to start.