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Is there somewhere i can shop my idea to a bunch of venture capitalists and see who bites? Im convinced this idea is unique and the buissness model i have for it will be profitable, and best of all it'll be a really fun site that im sure a lot of people will want to use.
The usual process is for you to approach 'angel investors' (individuals who invest their own money). They then help you get to the stage where you're ready for venture capital investment.
Google for 'business angel network' to find your local group of angels.
You go along to them, you present your pitch, and if they're interested, they invest.
To see if your idea is suitable for this type of investment, I'd recommend you read the book "the new business road test" by john mullins.
Investors want to see evidence that you have evidence of marketability and that you have thought out how you will go about making the business work.
Bankers may lend you money if you have security. But with no business history and no solid plan they will be counting only on the security. You may end up simply losing your money plus interest.
The best all around business plan book I have seen is "The Successful Business Plan" by Rhonda Abrams. For real beginners the "Business Plans Kit for Dummies" has some advantages.
joined:Mar 24, 2006
Realitically most of us don't get funded by some VC company that we just randomly handed in a few sheets of paper outlining how our business will be worth 50 million by year three. Especially not in the state of VC right now. Maybe during dot com boom? And that was unhealthy. It generally happens with personal funding or friends. I.E. "Angels" as they are so called.
What you do need to be thinking about more than anything in my opinion is, "Is there a way that I could offer similar service, or any service, in which I can begin to fund this project piece by piece myself" In doing this you get past the point of "just an idea" and onto the point of building a working machine. Without a working machine you really don't have much of a chance at scoring some VC help. You need a team, you need a working testable product, you need proof of market, proof of market growth and proof that your "idea" is understood by the rest of the world. Not just a "feeling". The only people that will take a risk on an idea is like I said earlier, friends. And in all likely hood they aren't taking the risk on the idea, they are taking the risk on the fact that they think you are a good guy...which also happens to be a small part of the VC game.
Like I said, major question with infinite answers...check out some books, can't hurt.
Tap into your savings. Mortgage the house and kids. (Just kidding!) Talk to friends & family. Look into an SBA loan. (Remember- loans stay with you until you pay them off; investors usually hang around forever, or until they kick you out.)
But before you start, you DEFINITELY need a business plan. (Even though you are thouroughly convinced this venture will be profitable, EVERY new business owner is just as convinced as you are that his idea will make money and not be like most businesses that fail within 3 years.) Formulating a business plan will help you solidify your idea, work out kinks you hadn't thought about before, create a road map to follow to make your business successful, and help you explain to ther in clear words what your business is about and how you will make money for your potential investors.
I know when companies I've worked for in the past looked for funding, we always had a demo, or at least, a really slick Powerpoint presentation. Most of the time, we'd make a video on CD that we could hand out.
That was in addition to the business plan, of course.