March 23, 2010

How Can You Get a Loan for Your Small Business?

originally published on Entrepreneur

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If you want to expand your business, you’re going to need some cash.

Money still isn’t falling off trees for small businesses, and the lending seas can be a challenge to navigate. Although you need funding, you want to make sure your deal is better than the one offered by the neighborhood loan shark.

Money might be available thanks to stimulus spending, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get.

“The [banks] have tightened their lending policies, and it is more difficult for an entrepreneur to get financing,” says Velda Eugenias, a certified financial planner with Eugenias Advisory Group in Gadsden, Ala. “It is causing the small-business owner to have to get creative with finding sources of capital.’

The following article suggestions some sources of funding available, including traditional bank loans, government loans, loans from family and friends, your home, credit cards, a partner, etc.  Read the full article HERE




March 16, 2010

FundingUniverse Customer Feedback

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We have been getting some great feedback lately from Customers who have worked with us and had positive experiences.  These companies have found ways to put FundingUniverse‘s events, services, and expertise to great use in their companies.  Here are just a few of them as of late:

Robert Subby, CEO of Sunfish Studios, LLC said “If you are an entrepreneur with a solid idea and are looking to finance your business then I would strongly suggest that you get FundingUniverse behind your efforts.  We did just that and within two days of our first Webinar pitch we were contacted by a very reputable and well connected funding group.  ‘You get what you pay for’ as they say.  We got a great return on our investment with FundingUniverse. Trust is a much valued commodity were we come from and FundingUniverse earned ours.

Alan Martin, Founder and CEO of CampusBookRentals.com said “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.”

Rob Moore from Simplifile said “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.”

And Sam Gur from PhytoBase said “Congratulations to team FundingUniverse on the amazing concept and a very well planned out event. Few things that were clear are: it is advantageous to have the presentation shorter to allow the investor to ask specific questions right then and there. They get more info beyond the presentation & allows for personal communication contact. At the same time for the Entrepreneur to make notes of the questions asked, as it is an important feedback for the entrepreneur for the future business plan development or presentations. Very impressed with the concept and the way it was managed.”

We look forward to working with many more customers in the future and we look forward to any feedback anyone has that has worked with us.  for more information and to contact us, visit FundingUniverse.com




March 5, 2010

An Investor’s outlook on Social Media

Damon Kirchmeier

I had the pleasure of interviewing Damon Kirchmeier—Managing Director of InnoVentures Capital Partnersabout social media. Why him? He’s affable, amiable, amicable, approachable… (and every other synonym for ‘friendly’ contained in the thesaurus). Interviewing nice people makes my job a lot easier!

He’s a truly genuine fellow: he’s out on the road every day carefully investigating the state’s newest ventures. He’s ‘all business’ and works harder than anyone else to identify and fund great startups.

Quick anecdote: He identified Fezzari bikes way back when. He not only offered them funding (they didn’t end up needing it) but also offered to help design bikes!

Here is our interview

FundingUniverse: You’ve got the most eclectic resume I’ve ever seen. You used to work as a nuclear plant engineer, managed Navy & civilian personnel at a dual reactor plant, medaled in World-Championship Downhill bike racing, designed bicycles for Fezzari… and now you’re Managing Director at InnoVentures Capital Partners. Does your wife need to start lacing your breakfast cereal with Ritalin?

Damon Kirchmeier: yes


FundingUniverse: Why Venture Funding?

Damon Kirchmeier: Because it’s cheaper than other sources, you want to preserve equity, or you don’t fit any other source. Banks want 3 years of profitable operating history and collateral and equity investors want 10x their money in 5 years – lots of good companies don’t fit these criteria.


FundingUniverse: Has anyone ever contacted you about funding via social media?

Damon Kirchmeier: No


FundingUniverse: Is Social Media a good way for entrepreneurs to seek funding?

Damon Kirchmeier: I think it’s a good way to narrow a search or find potential funding sources. For a fund like mine, I am already flooded via traditional sources like phone and email.


FundingUniverse: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in using social media to find investors?

Damon Kirchmeier: I wouldn’t necessarily assume an investor is going to review your info until they are way down the line.


FundingUniverse: what advice do you have for entrepreneurs in using social media to impress investors?

Damon Kirchmeier Your online image is a reflection of you as a person so make sure it says what you want it to.


FundingUniverse: Have you seen social media waste entrepreneur’s time & money?

Damon Kirchmeier: Mostly time.


FundingUniverse: What did they do wrong?

Damon Kirchmeier: Blogging on topics they do not fully understand or blogging on controversial subjects which may offend a potential investor.


FundingUniverse: Have you seen social media used effectively by small businesses?

Damon Kirchmeier: Yes, I love the “Will it Blend?” series from Blendtec on YouTube. They found a very fun way to show the product capabilities.


FundingUniverse: Which social media networks do you find most effective?

Damon Kirchmeier: LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube


FundingUniverse: Which social media networks do you find to be a waste of time?

Damon Kirchmeier: MySpace, Twitter