May 3, 2016
Finding startup funding is one of the top questions for new entrepreneurs and startup founders. And for those attending Columbus Startup Week, it's no different. Funding is important for startups because they allow for more innovation to take place – that means more change in the form of products, team building, expansion, and everything in between that a business needs to thrive and connect with audiences.
So, what's the secret to securing startup funding in Columbus, OH? It's all about understanding the different kinds of funding available, and what will work best for you.
Building community is a crucial step in not just securing funding, but in dedicating yourself to the success of your startup. The connections and relationships that you cultivate during this time will aid in the longevity of your startup – after all, success follows the action. Surrounding yourself with positive influences will only increase your chances of finding new opportunities and aligning yourself in the right circles of support.
Venture Capital Firms
Venture Capital firms are the first connections to know if funding is your goal. VCs allow for startups to be matched with the support they've been looking for, and get their startup funding questions answered every step of the way.
While there's a number of VCs to choose from, here are a few that work specifically with Columbus startups.
Ohio Innovation Firm is one of the most active pre-seed fund for technology startups in the area. They aid in business mentoring with their clients along with in their journey.
Venture Ohio is also an important name to know in the Ohio venture capital game helping startups acquire adequate funding and connect new startups to the overall Columbus entrepreneurial community.
NCT Ventures also specializes in connecting with Ohio startups. Founded by entrepreneurs, they've spent the last 20 years expanding the startup community in the area, and “believe that an idea is only as good as the entrepreneur tasked with turning that idea into a great business model.” They're especially interested in startups that focus on marketing, logistics, and disrupting current business models.
Angel groups are also important for early-stage startups to know about. Unlike VCs, angel groups connect individuals with early-stage startups for funding and support. Angel groups can be a better fit because they tend to take on fewer clients, allowing for increased individualized support that can be crucial for new entrepreneurs.
Ohio TechAngel Funds is a viable option. They are a group of for-profit investor funds, managed by parent company Rev1 Ventures. They focus on startups with an interest in IT, advanced materials, and life sciences. They're also one of the largest angel groups in the country.
Accelerators and Incubators
Here are some incubators and accelerators in the Columbus area:
10Xelerator is a “mentor-driven investment program designed for energetic and game-changing entrepreneurs”. Focusing on entrepreneurs that invest in disrupting technology across various fields, 10xelerator is partnering with other Columbus investment companies to celebrate Ohio-based startups.
Rev1 helps entrepreneurs build great companies as a unique VC/accelerator hybrid company. They're the only organization in the region that blends connections, services, and funding to help entrepreneurs “increase their success”, wit their support coming from corporations, community, and other partners.
Founders Factory was also established to aid startups in their early stages where they need the most support to become viable and sustainable. They provide a mix of “expedited angel funding, agile technology development, lean acceleration and world-class mentors”.
Women's Small Business Accelerator is the first of its kind, as they help women business owners with various challenges that early-stage businesses can provide. Office space is also provided to their members.
1492, a partnership between various Columbus companies, supports early stage startups by providing them with up to $20,000 in funding. They also provide resources, mentors, and weekly business development sessions during an 11-week program.
Remember, funding is an important step to securing a stable foundation for your startup but it's not the only goal. Your search for startup funding can lead to opportunities to grow your community and business support system. Connections can be just as beneficial as funding, and can often lead to opportunities that may not have appeared otherwise.
Events are also a great way to connect with industry leaders and other entrepreneurs in the area. In Columbus, events like Wakeup Startup, Startup Weekend, and TechLife Ohio are all great opportunities to network and expand your professional relationships. And don't forget the importance of attending tech conferences – events like OhioGrowth Summit and Ohio Small Business Development Center also provide unique opportunities for Ohio-based startups.
So, be sure to look beyond typical solutions and find out-of-the-box opportunities to move your startup closer to success.
This article is part of a Startup Week content series brought to you by Chase for Business. Startup Week is celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. Chase for Business is everything a business needs in one place, from expert advice to valuable products and services.
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