Getting a loan is not easy these days, and as a result too many entrepreneurs have given up even looking. Instead we run around searching for all kinds of private equity and venture funding… But if given a choice between a good old-fashioned loan and any other form of finance, I’ll pick loans every day.
Anyone who’s tried to get an introduction to investors knows how difficult making a good connection can be. Even if you can find qualified and interested investors, you’re likely nervous about standing in front of a bunch of wealthy old men in suits. Start-up fundraising is hard…to say the least.
Now, an awesome new website, Gust (www.gust.com) puts the “fun” back into “fundraising”.
Forget about networking with angels or begging for a meeting with a venture capital firm… that’s so 2008. If you’ve suffered through angel forums or pitch competitions before, you’ll be blown away by Gust.
Think of Gust as Match.com for fundraising. By presenting a startup’s background, financial details and other information in a professional format, Gust manages to make investor connections easier than ever.
Yes, there are hundreds of really bad “matchmaking” sites for startups… but there’s a big difference.
In fact, so many investors use the site everyday that startups using Gust will have a higher chance of success than almost any other method.
Like Facebook for Fundraising
Once you join, you can create both a public and a private version of your business profile. (Yea, kinda like Facebook.) Profiles are mostly simple fill-in-the-blank affairs, but they can be customized and it’s easy to include a pitch video.
The public profile is pretty simple – just the basics. But the private version digs deep. It can include financial data, additional videos of your product in action and just about anything else you care to include.
And there’s some great tools to use that simplify the whole process. Don’t worry about complex spreadsheets: Gust asks simple questions to help you present financial data in a way that investors will appreciate.
Finding a Million-Dollar Match
When you’re ready to go looking for investors, Gust has a great database of investors that is free and simple to use. And, since each Gust investor has paid $1,000 to join, you can be sure you won’t be wasting time with disreputable, or unqualified investors either. Contact investors through Gust to invite them to view your profile.
Because so many investors use the system regularly, you may be happily surprised that an investor contacts you even before you know who they are. Once you “friend” them, the intuitive layout includes an activity dashboard that tracks anyone evaluating your profile.
Whether you are a brand new entrepreneur or on your fifth startup, take Gust for a test drive. Its fast, free and friendly. Tell ’em FUSE sent ya!
Dedicated to your business success,
FUSE contributor Joanna Ebizie is an MBA and an accomplished writer and editor whose clients include magazines and businesses such as the Business Finance Store. For concise technical and business writing, visit Joanna’s website: busy.carbonmade.com.