If you are a screenplay writer, you are familiar with the dogma of the inciting incident. In a movie, the inciting incident is the event at the beginning of the story which causes the hero's life to be completely transformed and irrevocably changed, and which makes the whole story unfold.
You've got the ideas. You've got the plan. You've even got a potential staff. What you don't have is the money. Pairing with a venture capital firm can be promising but precarious.
Angels invest in people, more often than they invest in ideas. That means they need to know you, or someone they trust who does know you.
One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail is that they run out of money before they can effectively compete in the market. That's why it's important to raise enough capital at the beginning.
If you really want to impress a startup founder as a potential employee, or you want to be a smart investor, you need to know the right questions to ask.
In my years of investing, I've developed a set of tough questions that are sure to elicit both information and a vibrant dialog—questions not on the usual checklists of angel groups or investors.
Too many people still believe the urban myth that you can sketch your idea on a napkin, and people will throw money at you. Fundraising is indeed brutally tough at all stages, and the seed funding is the hardest to find.
The new hot topic for entrepreneurs the last couple of years is crowdfunding, which is anticipated to at least supplement, if not replace, the slow and mysterious process of current Angel and venture capital investors. The problem is that crowdfunding means something different to everyone, and even I have been confused by the different ways the term gets used.
Startups ask me "How much money should I ask for?" The simple answer is the absolute minimum amount you need to make your plan work.
When in need of cash to fund your business expansion, you might consider initiating contact with an investment bank to discuss your options for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).