? of the Day: How does one get a project funded?

Submitted by William on Wed, 03/01/2006 - 14:16.

How does one get a project funded in this town when there is a small amount of risk-takers willing to fund something new?

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Funding- Missions and Risk taskers

I was talking to Jennifer Thomas of the Civic Innovation Lab (CIL). They have a clear mission on the projects they fund. That is fine. For some people, it works out very well and they have been funded by them. Jumpstart is another place that has a clear mission on who it funds. And some people have been helped by them.


Yet, if you have a project that falls in between the two, there is a lost for getting it funded. I'd like to work with you on finding out the sources fro funding here. I believe there is a set of people here who would fund projects that fall between the cracks as it were. Yet, they have to know about those projects and the impact of them on the community.


Also, a colloboration can be formed between like minded individuals to  approach these persons. 


There are non-traditional funding sources here, but they have distinct missions and probably no one likes to fund something considered risky. Any project is risky, but one can help allevate the risk by showing a clear cut mission.  This town is not use to embracing new ideas either, but there are individuals out there who might be.


It is a matter of connections.  I think you have enough connections to get things funded, but the key remains, what do those who fund it get out of funding it. Everybody wants something out of whatever they are involved in.


I'd like to talk to you in the real world. I think we can colloborate more and work on getting funding. 



Alex P. Michaels

Building the Knight Movie Studio Incubator


I am phone call away

Hi Alex,


Call me and we can set up a time to meet. 


There have been many talks in town about creating an economy driven by innovation.  I see a strong connection between innovation and risk taking.  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Innovation risk taking and building the Community

This community was built on innovation and in order to thrive, we have to continue it. I'll see you next Friday. I am open to finding other people with resources and such that believe the economy could be stregthened by innovation.


I think it is possible to do more than talk about this, but to actually implement different courses of actions. 


It can not be about "talk" along. There must be action in a way that is tangible and shows desired results. If people say something is the problem and that main thing is the problem, then you must deal with that. Finding funds is a problem, so we focus on that. With funding (actually capital and in-kind resources) it is possible to move forward.



Alex P. Michaels

Building the Knight Movie Studio Incubator


Cool idea - question of the day... my thoughts

I've been involved in planning some of the highest risk ventures you can imagine, and the investors have always been individuals - doctors, business people - of course it all depends on how much you are raising but in the few 100K range its all friends and family.


So do you have friends and family who have the resources you need and are able and willing to take risks in their investments? If not, your fastest route is to make more friends.


It is reasonable for an upper middle class professional to diversify her portfolio and if she is a young, high growth investor then throwing some money into a start up is not a bad move - perhaps less than 10% of the portfolio - looking for a big hit and able to lose the entire investment. 


Under those investment assumptions, there are 1,000s of qualified investors in NEO, and a high percentage would take risks if they knew how - how many doctors are approached by entrepreneurs building film studios... how many doctors do you really know enough for them to trust you and invest? If won't be because they love what your business is - it will be because they love what you are about, and they want you to succeed and win big with you if you do, and they don't mind taking a ride on the entrepreneurial roller-coaster along the way.


In the case with CAAO, you know 100s of doctors and 1,000s of high value investors able and willing to take reasonable risks - CAAO could be a major angel network. In fact, by leveraging the network, you could develop an African American Emerging Technologies Fund to operate very much like JumpStart and Red Room, but focused on African American entrepreneurs. To make the initiative much more interesting, you could include in the mission to develop business relations for NEO entrepreneurs to do business in Africa, and to attract African businesses and connections, like is done by the Ohio Israel Chamber Of Commerce with Israel. 

Thanks Norm

Thanks you have given me somthing to think about.  Maybe this should be talk about as a possible goal for the next stage of CAAO's growth plan.

I had a horrible day today.  Still sick.  One great thing happen today.  Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans has agreed to be in the CAAO Executive Auction.  Next stop....Oprah!

Time to take my Nyquil..

With participation comes clout and profit

My partner and I have been working on developing here an economic development venture capital fund, and may others in the area are trying to pull together funds, so you can team up with lots of partners. When I think about it, you have the critical mass of wealthy members to access to raise $ millions, which would allow you to be a real partner in all the venture capital funds in town - that would give your members access to a unique opportunity not open to most investors. With that clout, you can make sure there is a good representation of African American mentors and advisors reviewing business plans, fair access to deals, and that African Americans are placed on the boards and staff of start-ups... one of the greatest benefits of being at the table at the beginning.


Do think about this... we'll discuss.


What's today's question?