Understanding the Full Funding Spectrum

16 Nov

On October 20th, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on funding options for small business owners.  Sponsored and hosted by Capital One Bank, and facilitated by the Community Business Partnership, “Understanding the Full Funding Spectrum” brought together a unique mix of funders ranging from traditional bankers, SBA and micro-lenders, to venture capitalists, angel investors and crowd funding experts to participate in a panel discussion on the pros, cons, requirements and future of funding options for small businesses.

While the panel discussion touched on many aspects of funding, the group provided some key takeaways when considering any form of outside funding:

  1. Have clarity of vision – your product/service, your business and your future.
  2. Have some skin in the game.
  3. Show that you have a customer who is interested and willing to pay for your product/service.
  4. Know your industry.
  5. Know the funding industry – every funding source operates differently.
  6. Know the numbers.
  7. Have a concise business plan.

The panel was followed by a “speed funding” event – based on the “speed dating” concept, “speed funding” allows small business owners a 5 minute window to engage with funders in a private Q&A session.  With over 125 registered participants, “Understanding the Full Finding Spectrum” provided a unique opportunity to “demystify” the challenges behind small business funding.

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