We covered step one of your tasks in the previous article, which was creating a business plan. The post didn’t write the plan for you. It rather gave you the fundamental building blocks of that activity. The rest is yours to do, following those guidelines. If there was interest to give a full example of a business plan, I’d do that, but I’d need to receive such quires from the readers. You could easily post a comment under any article of this series.
Today I’ll continue to step two: Finding your business partner.
Few articles ago, we excluded friends and family, for obvious reasons, as well as banks. So what’s left? Had this question been raised thirty or more years ago, the answer would have been: None!
However, nowadays, investors and entrepreneurs have almost untapped sources of online funding. With the proliferation of social networking, an era of business financing has been emerging.
Your first stop would be your social networks: Facebook, Twitter or Linked-In. The last is more professional-oriented. If you happened to be a member of Linked-In and have good and trusted connections, you might want to start there. Look for someone with a background in business management, investing, financing, etc. On the other hand, this person is honest and trustworthy. How would you know that? The simplest way would be to visit their profile and see what kind of connections they have. You could do more research and “investigation” till you feel satisfied.
The next stop would be to explore the following new resources of online funding. I’m presenting the three most popular here, but you could find more.
One example is referred to as “Crowd-Funding (CF)”. Another is “Internet-Assisted angel investing (IAAI). A third is “Accelerator Programs (AP)”
Those are online resources, originally inspired (and to some extent created) by social networking. They are interested in funding new, and potentially profitable, ventures, against some guarantees from the investor.
Below are the definitions of the first two, as given by Wikipedia.org:
(1) “Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, social funding or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup companyfunding, movie or free software development, and scientific research.
Crowd funding can also refer to the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity to many investors. This form of crowd funding has recently received attention from policymakers in the United States with direct mention in theJOBS Act; legislation that allows for a wider pool of small investors with fewer restrictions. The Act was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been given approximately 270 days to set forth specific rules and guidelines that enact this legislation, while also ensuring the protection of investors.“
(2) “An angel investor or angel (also known as a business angel or informal investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital.”
The following website is one of the pioneers in the area of AP: http://globalacceleratornetwork.com. Click on ” about” to get the following definition:
[Note: The definition below is the property of http://globalacceleratornetwork.com. The author is not promoting or supporting any part of the definition. It’s given here as an example of this kind of online funding. There are other potential options that are worth looking at during your research].
(3) “The Global Accelerator Network consists of independently owned and operated organizations that utilize a mentorship-based startup accelerator model. It provides networking opportunities, training, special perks, and ongoing support for members of the network.
Championed by TechStars, the Global Accelerator Network was created in 2010 under the management of top accelerator programs and alongside the White House’s Startup America Initiative. In the spirit of supporting more entrepreneurs around the world, the Network’s mission is to ensure that 5,000 successful and experienced entrepreneurs and investors will mentor and support 6,000 promising young entrepreneurs. The goal is to increase their success rate tenfold and create 25,000 new jobs by 2015 as well as a sustained engine for growing these figures over time.
Our vision for the Global Accelerator Network is to empower entrepreneurs and accelerators, resulting in an increase in the pace of innovation and the ability for more communities to cultivate entrepreneurial success. We believe the proliferation of this model is very positive for entrepreneurs, investors, and start-up ecosystems. By bringing programs together to create and share best practices, resources and knowledge, we can increase the success of member programs and improve entrepreneurial ecosystems across the globe.
The Global Accelerator Network is a proud supporter and partner of The Startup America Initiative, the White House’s program to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship.”
–End of definitions—
The above are only definitions, although they offer a good amount of details to start from. You need to research each one enough to see the full picture, then decide on the one that’s best for you and your selected venture.
Please post your questions and comments below.
All the best,
The Wealth Maker