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HOW TO

10 Places to Find Startup Funds
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-02-19

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    10 Places To Find Startup Funds
    by Diana Pemberton-Sikes


    (c) 2000 by Diana Pemberton-Sikes

    You have an idea, you've done the research, you've
    finished the business plan, and you have an estimate of how
    much it's going to cost to get it all off the ground.

    The next step? Finding money.

    Don't let this be an obstacle to your dreams. Here are
    some places to look:

    1. Savings and investments. Depending on how much you're
    looking at, you may be able to pull the amount from savings,
    CDs, stocks, or bonds.

    2. Friends and family. This is a time-honored tradition in
    some cultures and could be the best way to go, depending on
    your situation. However, exercise caution: your finances
    might become grist for the family rumor mill and you might
    create friction if something goes awry.

    3. Credit cards. Again, depending on how much you need,
    you could use the cash advance line on a credit card as an
    unsecured line of credit (albeit an expensive one). Look
    low interest rates and cash advance fees. A recent Arthur
    Anderson survey of small and mid-sized businesses revealed
    that nearly 50% of all small businesses use credit cards in
    some capacity to get up and running.

    4. Bank Loans. Frankly, bank loans are tough for startups
    to acquire. Usually banks loan money to companies that are
    stable and profitable or whose officers have a successful
    business background. They're not impossible, however. Make
    sure you have your business plan in order before approaching
    your banker. Try Sierra Cities for a no-hassle online
    approach, www.niftybusinessideas.com/r/sierra.

    5. Personal or Home Equity Loan. Since bank loans can be
    difficult for first time businesses, you might try getting a
    personal loan using your personal property as collateral.
    That's where 20% of businesses find their start up funds,
    according to a recent Arthur Anderson survey.

    6. Selling personal assets. If you have antiques, jewelry,
    collectibles, stocks, or real estate on your balance sheet,
    you might consider selling them to get your startup funds.
    A recent news story I saw reported that the antique jewelry
    market has seen a surge lately as more and more people sell
    unworn heirloom jewels to finance business startups.

    7. SBA Guaranteed Loans. If you live in the United States,
    you might be able to get the Small Business Administration to
    back a bank loan. That means that while they don't loan
    money themselves, the Small Business Administration will, upon
    reviewing your business plan, help you find and secure funds
    from the private sector. To learn more, visit the SBA site,
    http://www.sba.gov/financing/indexloans.html.

    I don't know what's available outside the US, but you might
    try your local Business Information Centers, Chambers of
    Commerce, Employment Development Department, or similar
    entity.

    8. U.S. Government Grants. Get startup money from Uncle
    Sam? Absolutely...if you're a U.S. citizen. There are
    thousands of grants available for specific types of
    research, and it's how both Donald Trump and Ross Perot got
    their start. You'll need to dig a little, but you can
    find a comprehensive list of grants at:

    *The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance,
    http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/cfda/.

    Also try:

    *The Foundation Center, http://fdncenter.org/

    *Fundraising and Grant Writing,
    http://www.fundsnetservices.com/grantwri.htm

    9. Angel (Personal) Investors. An Angel Investor is a
    person or entity willing to invest in your startup for a
    percentage of the equity. You MUST have your research and
    business plan done before you approach them. Typical
    investments stay in the five figure range.

    An Angel's biggest concern? Getting his money back. Angels
    also tend to invest in things they understand or participate
    in, so approach people who are going to be the users, sup-
    pliers, or people within the industry or market area. Don't
    go after your technophobic lawyer to give you money for
    your mp3 idea, for example.

    10. Venture Capital. Venture Capitalists look for highly
    profitable, very fast growing, early to mid-stage ventures.
    They seek almost immediate returns on their money, which
    often include funds from wealthy individuals and institutional
    investors (i.e., pension funds) looking for a high rate of
    return.

    Often, they'll want a lot of control, and will bring in
    their own people to "run the show." Venture capitalists
    really like "hot" industries (high-tech, Internet, etc.)
    and companies that are poised to go public.

    Want some other places to look? Check out these sites:

    *Business Finance -- http://www.businessfinance.com

    *Vfinance -- http://www.vfinance.com/

    *NVCA -- http://www.nvca.org/

    Ready? Set? Go find some startup money!

    ======================================================
    Need some great ideas to start or expand a business?
    Sign up for Diana Pemberton-Sikes; FREE bi-weekly news-
    letter, "The Bright Ideas Bulletin", http://www.niftybusinessideas.com.




    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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