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.
FOR WORK-FROM-HOME INCUBATION
Launchpeer is a team of new-generation investors. Instead of asking forequity or shares of your company, Launchpeer offers early-stage investors a co-investing model that "ties us to your success without taking your hard earned ownership."
The fully-remote, part-time program provides startup-specific solutions tailored to meet each startup's needs. Participants also get access to expert mentors and a community of business builders.
Launchpeer has supported over 350 startups and raised 127 thousand dollars for them. Application is required to enter the incubator, after which a call is scheduled with a team member.