The Boston Startup Guide - Part I: When New Entrepreneurs Want Funding

We all get them. Those emails that make you cringe, just a little.  Some brand new entrepreneur emails you for help. You're busy and you're not sure you're the right person to help. They seem like they lack even some of the most basic knowledge to get started.  But they're asking you for help...probably hoping for a meeting or maybe an intro to a trusted contact.

In Boston, we have a habit of just wanting to click the delete button on such messages, or simply declining citing a desire to "focus on my startup" right now or just not being "the right person." We can do better than that. If you really can't take the meeting, let's leave each of these new entrepreneurs pointed in the right direction. The Boston Startup Guide is here to help you do that. 

In Part I, we're covering what to do when a new entrepreneur is looking for funding and is likely not really ready for funding.  There are great things you can point them to and we're going to share them with you so you can copy and paste them in your next message, so you can say still help them even if you can't take that meeting. 

When New Entrepreneurs Want Funding

First, there are a handful of resources every new entrepreneur should know about. Here are the ones that come to mind (leave a comment if you have one that you think *every* entrepreneur needs to know).

Organizations *every* entrepreneur needs to know:

BostInnovation - The most comprehensive coverage of the tech scene in Boston.  Also usually the first to cover a new company, so you can probably reach out to them about your new startup when you launch.

Greenhorn Connect - Greenhorn (meaning "new to a way or place") is in our name for a reason. Point them to our resources and events, and if they're hiring or looking, our job board.

Twitter.com - Get them on Twitter! So much of the conversation happens on there. It's the best way to keep track of what's going on in our community. Pick some of your favorites to follow. We like @ScottKirsner, @Dharmesh, @DCancel, @rSeanLindsay, @DartBoston, @Bostinnovation, @GWeber, and of course our account, @GreenhornBoston, but there are plenty of others. 

 

Now if they're specifically looking for funding, here's what we recommend.

Great blog posts to understand the fundraising process:

Boston Organizations that can help in person:

The Capital Network (aka- TCN) - No one does more for entrepreneurs thinking about fundraising than TCN. They put on a ton of events, hold office hours and workshops and engage great service providers and investors to help. (see all their events by searching "TCN" on the Greenhorn Calendar)

The Venture Cafe - Every Thursday from 3pm to 8pm the Venture Cafe has a great community that can be helpful. Specifically, they have investors in the Cafe virtually every week holding "office hours" to meet with entrepreneurs every week. Encourage the new entrepreneur to take advantage of the hours.

Other Office Hours - Most office hours right now are at the Venture Cafe, but we list any other office hours that investors hold from time to time on the calendar. They can filter our massive listings by searching "office hours" on the Greenhorn Calendar.

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Next time you get an entrepreneur looking for help or a meeting, if you can't take the meeting, do your part as a good Boston Startup Citizen and point them to those that can help. 

What organizations do you think are most helpful?