Category Archives: Financing Your Business

How Entrepreneurs Can Raise Money from Banks

There are many recurring themes to the posts on this blog and to our CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider. There are so many things that entrepreneurs need to have some fluency in and fundraising, whether for a business or a nonprofit, is one of the important ones. There are no easy answers to how entrepreneurs should raise money to fund their startup but, as is I feel is the case with everything in business and life, knowing what your options are is important.

Banks can be a good way to raise money for your startup. Getting funding from a bank won’t be easy, especially if you’re in the earliest stages of launching your startup and have no track record to speak of, but it certainly is an option that entrepreneurs need to understand. This Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Irvine we welcome Charlie Phillips, the AVP of South County Bank in so that he can explain how entrepreneurs should approach raising funds from a bank. Register now!

Nearly every entrepreneur that I talk with has questions about raising money to fund their startup. These conversations usually start out with exhortations to bootstrap until they start to get some traction. But bootstrapping usually isn’t enough, especially for startups that have aggressive growth plans.

One form of funding that I think entrepreneurs should give more thought to is also one of the more traditional forms of funding (at least for established businesses) and that is your local bank.

This Wednesday at our office in Irvine we welcome the AVP of South County Bank, Charlie Phillips, to walk us through the game plan that entrepreneurs should follow when approaching a bank. Debt financing is, obviously, substantially different from equity financing and there are good ways and bad ways to go about trying to secure loans from banks. Charlie will present a strategy entrepreneurs should follow in order to get their best result possible.

The talk is this Wednesday at 6pm in Irvine. Please register for this event by going to the event page.

Sincerely,
John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting, & CSUF Startup Incubator

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Funding Moonshots – STEM Startups with Jim Cooper @ CSUF Startup

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper

You have heard the saying that goes something like “The longest journey begins with one step”. Well, that’s pretty applicable to any kind of successful business as well. Before you create the next billion dollar business you will have to raise your first dollar. Maybe it’s through sales, money you have saved up, money from family and friends, investors, or grants.

There are a lot of options here and that is why the CSUF Startup Incubator is excited to be hosting an expert in this field, Jim Cooper, for a seminar about funding the next big thing: your business.

This event will be at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Placentia) on Wednesday, March 14 at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/funding-moonshots-stem-startups-with-jim-cooper-csuf-startup-tickets-42890187706?aff=blog

Description

Funding doesn’t have to be the most difficult thing that you do as an entrepreneur. Actually, if you do it right, it can be an extremely enjoyable experience where you not only will be able to (hopefully) raise money to start and grow your business but learn a lot about how the experts view your company.

As a co-founder and CTO of an early stage incubator, Jim Cooper has worked with dozens of startups on creating and executing various funding strategies from conventional seed rounds consisting of investments from family and friends to federal grants. Jim has employed or knows about just about every type of startup funding strategy there is and will be sharing some of his top strategies with attendees.

About Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper has had over 20 years of startups, market research, market intelligence and competitive analysis experience. He has assisted companies enter the United States market, and has helped many other companies entering markets further afield.

He is CTO of Braid Theory, an early-stage startup advisory and consulting group located in Los Angeles

He also created a consultancy, Conscientia Research, and as a full-service Market Research business its goals are to make businesses successful and competitive by employing research to understand markets, so a business doesn’t have to rely on assumptions about how a market works.

He employs a number of services, including market sizing, primary and secondary research, customer validation, market validation, competitive analysis and strategy, regulatory and standards compliance, supply-chain optimization, production analysis and business planning.

Jim has been a Principal Advisor to companies seeking Phase I and Phase II Commercialization through SBIR grants. With his assistance, businesses have utilized his research products to enhance the growth projections for their business and strengthened their market capabilities.

Jim’s specialties include: Market Intelligence, Market Validation Research, Economic Development, Small Business Issues, Competitive Analysis and Strategies, Supply Chain Optimization, Market Entry, Production Strategy, wrapped in timely and actionable recommendations.

Jim is trained in economics, political science, biology and mathematics, in both the United States and his birth country, Australia. He holds positions on business advisory boards, lending his experience and broad knowledge to startups. He is a mentor to CSU students NSF i-Corps teams.

Jim is interested in STEM/STEAM and Linked Learning education initiatives, and how that channels into innovation, and Lean Start-ups. He uses an evidence-based entrepreneurship approach to increase intellectual capital

Parking

Please park on South Bradford Avenue. Our building is located next to the fire department and our offices are in the back of the building at 120 South Bradford Avenue.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://bit.ly/CSUFknowledge

CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Making a Difference – CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider

SINC

(Left: John Bradley Jackson, SINC’s Faculty Advisor Right: Yumi Liang, SINC’s Co-Founder/President)

Is entrepreneurship all about raising money and launching businesses? As you’ll find out in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider you will see that while those are very important aspects of entrepreneurship they’re not the only thing that entrepreneurship is about.

One of the things about entrepreneurship that too many people do not understand is that being entrepreneurial does not have to be about making money; anyone can be entrepreneurial. A fantastic example of this was the competition that was held late last year at Cal State Fullerton that challenged students from Southern California to find innovative solutions to the homelessness crisis that has stricken far too many people in our community.

Yesterday, we published a synopsis from Cal State Fullerton student Yumi Liang ’18 on her experience from participating in this competition. Yumi is the President of a CSUF student club called Student Innovation Collective (SINC) whose mission fits very nicely with the challenge set forth in the competition described above: Use design thinking to develop solutions for the most challenging societal problems.

Yes, a big and important part of entrepreneurship is about launching businesses (you can find my PowerPoint from the seminar I hosted last week at our CSUF Startup Incubator (Irvine) office by going here), but it’s also about making the world a better place in everything that we do. And I cannot put into words how proud I am of Yumi and all of the other students, judges, hosts, and volunteers who participated in this competition. I am confident that good things will come out of it!

Sincerely,
John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Presenting to an Investment Panel – CSUF Startup

Last week, Director John Bradley Jackson hosted a seminar on “Presenting to an Investment Panel” at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Irvine). This was a special event, not only because the director was presenting, but because it was the first event at the newly opened CSUF Startup Incubator office at the Cal State Fullerton Irvine campus!

We will be publishing some video clips from this seminar but, until then, here’s the copy of JJ’s presentation.

And here are some pictures from the event.

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#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://bit.ly/CSUFknowledge

Why Students Want To Be Entrepreneurs – CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider

In this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider we get a little philosophical by tackling the question: Why do students want to be entrepreneurs? While there are many good, logical reasons to be an entrepreneur the real reason, I think, is more elemental.

Also, this Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Irvine), Director John Bradley Jackson will be hosting a seminar about how to give a winning investment pitch. We hope to see you there!

During the fall semester, a reporter for the Orange County Register, Wendy Fawthrop, sat in on one of our New Venture classes that I taught so that she could find out why students want to be entrepreneurs. After many, many hours of observing and interviewing students, mentors, and myself she published an amazing article that articulates the reasons why students choose entrepreneurship and how we prepare those students to become leaders in our community.

As you know, entrepreneurship is not an easy path. Entrepreneurs are trailblazers who transform the world in small and big ways. It’s an exciting calling, to say the least, and our students who choose entrepreneurship as their path do so knowing that while it will not be easy it is something that they have to do.

It is that unquantifiable calling that explains why our students, and all other entrepreneurs really, choose to be entrepreneurs. We cannot help it, it is a big part of who we are. That entrepreneurial spirit runs through you and I in everything we do.

Entrepreneurship is a thrilling calling to have and I hope that you can join me this Wednesday at 6pm at the new CSUF Startup Incubator office at the Cal State Fullerton Irvine campus for my talk on How to Pitch an Investment Panel so that we can catch up on each other’s entrepreneurial journeys.

Sincerely,
John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Startup Funding Option: Family and Friends

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding

I am sitting here watching a great presentation by startup expert Jim Cooper, co-founder of Braid Theory, and he is talking about funding. It’s a complicated subject, or at least it can get that way, but I think one of the main complications is that people make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Many of the entrepreneurs that I talk with think that they should be looking for funding from an Angel group or VCs. Basically, to these entrepreneurs, that’s the only way they can think of to raise money for what they are doing. Starting a business is tough and oftentimes expensive so I understand why people, especially first time entrepreneurs, think that in order to raise funds they have to go through professional investors.

But that’s not the case. Not only is that not the case, the vast majority of startups do not get their first funds from professional investors. Ideas are great but they just don’t make for great investments all that frequently.

So, how do most startups get, well, started?

Self funding is one way. And raising funds from family and friends is another popular way for early stage companies. And the reason why is simple: you, your family, and your friends are the people most likely to believe in you. They are willing to take that chance… and it is a very big risk because most startups don’t end up making much, if any, money.

Jim did provide a couple of great tips for entrepreneurs who are approaching family and friends for investment funds:

  • Get it in writing!
    • Any agreement involving money and equity must be documented. Future investors will want to see who owns what and getting agreements written down will help to curtail any disagreements in the future.
  • If you don’t want your family and friends controlling your business sell them shares that do not include voting rights.
    • Selling equity that doesn’t come with voting rights is a normal thing in the startup world but most non-professional investors probably haven’t heard about this and might become offended if one of their family members or friends tries to sell them shares that don’t come with voting rights. Entrepreneurs should tread carefully here but the entrepreneur needs to be the leader and making the argument for why they need to maintain control of their business, especially during the earliest stages of a venture’s life.
  • Don’t raise more than $500,000 from family and friends
    • I think this is more a rule of thumb for Jim but I can see his reasoning here. Startups aren’t worth a lot in the beginning and $500,000 would probably represent a sizable chunk of the business’ equity. Sure, if an entrepreneur could convince a rich uncle to invest that amount of money and not require voting rights then the entrepreneur would still have control of his business but would probably only have a fraction of the equity.

Jim’s talk contained a lot more information than what I’ve been writing about. I hope that we will be able to publish some of the more important segments from Jim’s talk in the future as part of our Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship series. And to work with mentors like Jim and those that you can find at the CSUF Startup Incubator get in touch with us by sending us an email at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Event Reminder: How to Fund your Startup

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Just a friendly reminder that we will be hosting an event with startup expert Jim Cooper tomorrow evening at 6pm where he will discuss some of the innovative funding sources that most entrepreneurs know nothing about. Make sure to register by clicking this link.

Here is some information about the event:

As an entrepreneur, there are many options for funding all with clear pluses and minuses. Our speaker, Jim Cooper of Braid Theory, will discuss what some of these options are but he will be focusing on SBIR funding as a great alternative for startups.

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation”s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.” – sbir.gov

Pizza and soft drinks will be served at this event.

We hope to see you there!

[You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Information for parking can be found here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php]


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge