Who is a good candidate for the Western Pennsylvania Adventure Fund? President and CEO G. Richard Patton offers some advice to would-be early-stage venture capital seekers. You must:
- Be a Western Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur.
- Have a business proposition that is similar to others the fund has invested in.
- Be specific about why you are looking for financing. If you say you need $1 million to finish a prototype and verify market acceptance to prepare for a $10 million follow-up round, you're more likely to get the fund's attention.
- Recruit advisory board members and professional services that will bring credibility to your company. Investors like to see names they recognize associated with investment opportunities.
Patton suggests entrepreneurs should research potential venture firms. Don't do mass mailings of your business plan and, he adds, get someone with some clout to make introductions."Find someone who can be a reference," says Patton. "Anything you can do to get away from cold-calling will add a lot of credibility."