[tweetmeme]Raising capital has always been a big challenge for startup entrepreneurs. You may have the best idea in the world, but if you have no resources then your business will go nowhere.
One way is to find investors willing to put money into your startup business. The question, of course, is where you can find these investors.
In recent years, several online communities that allow entrepreneurs to find investors (and vice versa) have emerged. These platforms allow entrepreneurs to post their business ideas and pitch to investors that they would never have found in their communities or even their own network. These communities have sped up the process for funding new businesses, and have been a boon to small businesses.
Below are some of the most visible online communities that match investors with entrepreneurs:
Angel List http://angel.co/
Angel List is one of the most high profile and effective online communities for promising startups and entrepreneurs. Unlike other sites connecting entrepreneur with investors, initial validation and vetting is required, before Angel List connects the entrepreneur to a targeted group of individuals. Even their investors roll call is a curated list of super high-quality angel investors.
Plan Heaven http://www.planheaven.com
The site offers free listing to entrepreneurs looking for potential investors. Entrepreneurs are required to provide basic information on the business, executive summary of the business plan, financials, product images, and other relative documents. A 10-minute video pitch is encouraged, but not required, during signup. When you register, investors interested in your industry will be alerted that you signed up
FundingUniverse.com offers a wider scope than the other entrepreneur-investor matching sites. The site matches qualified entrepreneurs with lenders, investors, and other funding sources such as credit unions and banks. Entrepreneurs using their services will be evaluated by their team of analysts for an in-depth due diligence and pre screening process.
Central Investment Network http://www.centralinvestmentnetwork.com/ .
Part of the Angel Investment Network http://www.angel-investor-network.com/, CIN is an online platform designed to connect entrepreneurs looking for growth or start-up capital and angel investors. Listing is not free, and costs $199-$299 for a 90-day listing depending on the features added to the listing.
IdeaCrossing allows entrepreneurs to find business assistance, mentoring and investment capital. Entrepreneurs can register for free, and the site’s matching algorithm will automatically connect the entrepreneur with investors who have stated their interest in the type of business or industry. In addition to funding, the site can also connect entrepreneurs with business mentors, who can provide valuable business advice on a pro bono basis.
Unlike other sites on this list, Caplinked is not a marketplace for entrepreneurs and investors. Instead, it is a place that makes the process of raising financing social. Entrepreneurs can invite investors they know to join the site to review and edit documents, and share deals with advisors and other potential investors. Those invited can then share the deal with people they know – with the permission of the deal owner.
This site is dedicated to the real estate market, connecting real estate entrepreneurs with possible investors. Entrepreneurs can post details of real estate deals (video pitch is highly encouraged) for possible funding by their high-net worth investor members.
In addition to the above list, crowd funding sites may be able to help you find the investors that you need for your business. Check out our list of crowd sourcing sites