September 24, 2009

Response to David Cohen’s Offer — Pitching Fee Removed!

At FundingUniverse we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to help entrepreneurs in any way that we can. This is a rather broad statement, but it’s true. We work with thousands of businesses a month, all around the USA and sometimes beyond, to help them with the variety of needs their ideas and businesses face on the way to financing.

Equity and debt are the two ways to get outside financing, and I dare say we offer more options, and a higher success rate, then any other option available to entrepreneurs today. So far this year, we have helped our entrepreneurs received over $30MM in financing, and we expect that number to grow strongly between now and year-end. In 2010, this number will increase dramatically as we open physical offices in Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boise, Phoenix, Austin, Boulder/Denver, Chicago, Boston, Miami and probably a few more yet to come. The model we have for helping entrepreneurs find the right path to the financing they need is one we spend countless years/hours on. Our team is here everyday thinking of ways to help entrepreneurs be more successful.

One of the great things (and we would humbly submit that there are many) of what we do in regards to our relationships with entrepreneurs is the hosting of events designed to help them get the funding they seek. CrowdPitch is a ‘Shark Tank / American Idol’ style pitch featuring 5 great companies in front of a live audience and a live panel giving real time feedback. The winner of the event (announced at the event) can go home with as much as $5K in prizes. Audience members ask questions, write down feedback, and vote along side the panelists by placing FundingUniverse money in the hands of the presenting companies at the end of all presentations. The winner is the one with the most investment dollars.

Our panel of experts provides real time feedback as well – and in combination with their additional written feedback and the summarized written feedback gathered from our audience, we provide a detailed summary of all thoughts to our 5 companies within 48 hours of the event. Our presenting companies get tremendous value from the panel, the audience and the practice. Some would say the experience has been “invaluable”. In fact, we will agree.

Along those lines, and in partnership with our friends at TechStars David Cohen and Brad Feld, the fee for the 5 companies selected to be at CrowdPitch will now be $0. That’s right, zero. Nothing. Nada.

We want to help lead the charge that Brad and David have started and really live up to our mission of helping entrepreneurs. This is one way we know that we can. We will still charge a fair fee for other services that many find valuable (business plan writing, coaching, financing help, etc.), but we will not charge our entrepreneurs to present at CrowdPitch. We hope this is something that will bring us even more talented entrepreneurs to help and evaluate.

Spread the word, CrowdPitch is coming to a city near you! Let us help you and your business get the funding you need – equity or debt. If you aren’t selected to pitch, come watch. It’s free as well! And did we mention free food and drinks too? It’s become a free-for-all it appears. Again, we look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events. In the meantime, we again thank Brad and Dave for leading the charge here and we hope others will follow.




No More Pitching Fees at CrowdPitch!

As you know, we recently changed the name of our LivePitch events to CrowdPitch.  They are still the same awesome opportunity for entrepreneurs to get their ideas and business plans in front of eager investors and a crowd of interested spectators.

Now we announce another great change:

There will no longer be a fee for ANY CrowdPitch ANYWHERE (and we do have a lot of them coming up in cities like Denver, Boise, Phoneix, Seattle, and Portland!)

We are very excited to put our hat in the ring and show our support to entrepreneurship.  We are especially grateful to the partners and sponsors that help make it all happen.




September 21, 2009

Quotes

FundingUniverse has always been known as a great source for connecting entrepreneurs with active VC’s, angel investors and other lending sources. We’re passionate about helping people get their ideas off the ground, but the people we connect are also very passionate. Here are some of our favorite quotes collected from both entrepreneurs and investors. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, where we will continue to post new quotes as we collect them.

-“FundingUniverse continues to be a great source of deal flow for me. I’ve become a regular at the SpeedPitch events over the past couple of years and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!”
Damon Kirchmeier—investor

-”The speedpitch got us in front of more investors in 90 minutes than we had gotten in front of the entire year prior. We landed our first meeting just 30 minutes after leaving the event. Anyone who is seeking funds and has absolute confidence in their idea needs to prepare for and attend a speedpitch event.”
-Alan Martin, Founder / CEO
CampusBookRentals.com

-“The UtahAngels have attended SpeedPitch since the beginning, and six of us were there yesterday! Typically, we invite one or two of the SpeedPitchers to present at our monthly meeting. Thank you FundingUniverse.”
Scott Frazier, Utah Angels

-”For a small company needing capital infusion, the SpeedPitch event was invaluable. Not only were we able to establish productive contacts within the investor community, but we also refined our investor pitch. The process of preparing for and participating in the rapid-fire presentation format challenged us to clearly articulate why Simplifile represents a compelling investment opportunity. Very worthwhile.”
-Rob Moore, Simplifile

-“I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the pitches I have heard through FundingUniverse. The coaching received from FundingUniverse helped entrepreneurs deliver their pitch in a clear and cohesive manner.”
R. Andrus, Investor

-“We walked away with $375,000! FundingUniverse helped us with our pitch and put us in front of the right investors to get a deal done quickly. We had 10-12 investors that were interested in our investment opportunity. It was a great experience.”
N. Alder, Entrepreneur

-”Funding Universe’s virtual/real-world hybrid method of introducing entrepreneurs to investors is more personal, more interactive, and more effective than any other method I have seen.”
D. Thorpe, Investor

-”Funding had been the biggest obstacle to starting our business when we inquired into the services that Funding Universe offered. It took time but we were able to find the investors we needed and start our business even during a world financial crisis. The most important contribution that Funding Universe gave us was the ability to understand and approach investors, which helped us make the changes we needed to move forward.”
S. Walker, Entrepreneur