Finding capital for growth businesses can be daunting. And venture capital is not right for every business. Before you contact potential investors, here are some tips to get you started.

1.

Know your Business. 

Articulate your business model and the products value proposition, and clearly demonstrate the amount of capital your company will need to achieve its objectives. Present this in a succinct and easy to understand executive summary.

2.

Do Research.

The Maine Venture Fund encourages managers seeking capital to educate themselves on the venture capital process. Visit our Resources page for useful guidance on determining whether venture funds are right for you.

3.

Investigate Other Sources of Capital. 

Other sources of capital include internally generated funds, family and friends, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants, Maine Technology Institute (MTI) grants and contingent loans, organized angel groups like Maine Angels and eCoast Angels, other individual (angel) investors, other venture capital funds like Coastal Ventures, bank loans, and SBA or FAME backed bank loans.

4.

Start Early. 

Company management teams are often surprised at how long it takes to raise capital.The typical length of time between the initial contact and the disbursement of funds for any institutional investor is approximately six months. The Maine Venture Fund encourages companies to start the process early and begin to contact potential investors, those interested in companies like yours, long before the capital is needed.

The Maine Venture Fund's process typically spans about six months and several stages:

 

  • responding to the initial request

  • getting acquainted with your company

  • due diligence

  • a presentation at the Maine Venture Board

  • lining up other investors

  • negotiating terms

  • and finally, creating closing documents, closing, and disbursing funds.

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