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Note from Editors:
Study your area – investors, , businesses. Look not at the obvious sources, but the quiet motivated money in your area.

by Moira Vetter

I’m fortunate to live in Atlanta, Georgia, which has a thriving community of innovators, serial entrepreneurs (that reinvest locally), robust universities with incubators, major corporations and ready sources. Not everybody lives here. Not everyone lives in Silicon Valley or New York, but growth entrepreneurs everywhere need capital. Don’t believe that you can’t find capital if you commit to looking in the right places.

Although business, and specifically business press, is frequently concentrated on the successes and happenings in major cities, innovation and financing happens everywhere all the time. Here are some tips on finding sources of capital:

Where did your competitors get their money?

Since entrepreneurs seek financing to grow—and typically to acquire, merge or exit—its helpful to find your capital in the same pool you’ll find your future acquisition target or future buyer. I recently got great advice from serial entrepreneur, Andrew Weinreich, a 7-time entrepreneur who spent a year one time raising $25,000 and also has the rare experience of raising $25M. After cutting his teeth repeatedly chasing people with money because they were on Wall Street and just because they ‘had money,’ he changed tack and decided to find the “right money.” He put together a list of his competitors, got on CrunchBase to see who was investing in them, and introduced himself.

When you’re looking for large raises, it’s important to find the specialists. People that are not only interested in your competitors, but are investing in them, likely have domain expertise in your space and have a vested interest in elevating the category or growing a collection of potentially compatible businesses. People that actually benefit from investing in you are far more likely to do so.

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