If your startup needs funding to take it to the next level, you might want to consider angel investors.
Angel investors are typically high-net worth investors who invest smaller amounts and with less stringent guidelines than you’d usually get from a venture capital firm. So while it might be a lower-pressure way to get funding, you still need to have a sound business plan and present it well.
Start by contacting local incubators and business development groups, and check out national groups like the Angel Capital Association and the Angel Resource Institute. Look for angel investors who specialize in your field; they may be former entrepreneurs themselves who might be able to offer you insight, if not funding.
Make sure you have a strong financial model that you can explain succinctly – hire an expert if you need to – and paying customers will make your case even stronger.
If nothing else, you’ll gain valuable experience and insight, and maybe even a mentor.
Adapted from How to Secure Angel Funding for Your Small Business at Small Business Computing.