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.