Finding the right funding as an entrepreneur can be challenging.
Do you self-fund, seek venture capital, or secure an SBA or tradition financing? There seem to be more questions than answers. At least to start with.
The Logan Chapter of Silicon Slopes hosted a discussion panel Wednesday afternoon at Vivint Smart Home in Logan to help entrepreneurs find answers to some of those perplexing questions.
The discussion was moderated by Chase Anderson, chapter lead, and featured a panel of local and state experts with experience funding ventures.
Here are my #PowerOfThree takeaways from each panelist.
JEREMY WHITE – PARTNER OF JNIVIN; FOUNDER OF JJ COLE
- The real value is in the strategic relationship with a funding partner. Many venture capitalists are willing to have mentoring conversations in the discovery process. Seek out funding partners who are experienced in a related field and will actively mentor, not be just a source of funding. “Be careful,” he cautioned, “seeking funding from those who can’t afford to lose it.”
- The initial funding presentation needs to be very good and very polished. You’re striving to earn the right for the next phase of due diligence to follow. Overinflating to create blue sky value turns potential partners off. Be realistic in projections and the market need being fulfilled.
- Look for ways to better collaborate and foster entrepreneur ideas coming out of Utah State University.
DAVID BUTTERFIELD – PRESIDENT USU CREDIT UNION
- Solid relationships are key to the entire funding process. Develop a trusted relationship with local banks or credit unions that have local decision-making ability.
- Traditional bankers are not designed to be mentors like an equity partner would be.
- Realize the funding process is quite involved with a group of people asking very detailed questions in the due process phase prior to making a funding decision.
SCOTT LUND – PARTNER, CAMPUS FOUNDER FUND
- Be a collaborator for others and they will return the collaboration. Foster the culture of entrepreneurship.
- Understand the field you are in and find the best matchup for that field for funding.
- Know who you are, know who you are pitching to, and clearly show your unfair advantage.
CHANEL FLORES – DIRECTOR OF AEROSPACE/IT, GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (TCIP GRANT)
- Grow your network. Build strong relationships. Be part of organizations. The TCIP program is a mentorship program designed to connect entrepreneurs with mentors in their field.
- GOED programs are best designed for technology that is ready to go to market.
- Have a personality. Sell your story. Communicate very well.
Developing strategic relationships, as emphasized by each of the panelists, is crucial to securing funding. It’s also crucial to every other aspect of building and operating a successful business.
The strategic relationships developed in the funding phase will have impact longterm and need to be continually nurtured.
Failure to nurture that relationship led one of my key clients to transition their funding and banking relationship to another institution after 20+ years with their current firm.
As I assisted with this process, making a connection to a recommended firm, and more so to a recommended person, I rediscovered, just as each of the Silicon Slopes panelists repeatedly encouraged, the power and importance of strategic relations.
As you think about the strategic relationship in your business, what are your #PowerOfThree takeaways from this discussion to help your business #GainTheRedEdge?
Discover how you can “Gain The Red Edge” by focusing your efforts, clarifying your message, sharing your story, and creating impact with a complimentary Gain the Red Edge coaching call.