'Funding Your Business' To Be Discussed at Jan. 16 WPI Venture Forum

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - During the first quarter of 2000, venture capital companies invested a whopping $17.2 billion into new businesses, mostly in high-tech industries. However, over the last several months, Internet start-ups have rapidly fallen by the wayside. The economy has slowed and investors are hesitant to place their money in the hands of entrepreneurs who may be out of business within a year. So where does this leave the businessperson seeking funding?

The Jan. 16 meeting of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Venture Forum, titled "Funding Your Business," will focus on the answers to funding questions. The forum will offer tips, do's and don'ts and advice on the right type of funding for a particular business. The program will be held in Salisbury Laboratories' Kinnicutt Lecture Hall on WPI's Worcester, Mass., campus. Registration begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting at 6:30.

Before a businessperson begins to consider sources for funding, some key questions need to be asked:

  • In the current financial environment, is adequate funding available?
  • If so, where can I find funding?
  • What types of companies or industries are receiving money?
  • How do I find an investor?
  • What type of investor should I seek?
  • What will an investor look for in terms of my management team, market strategy and growth and exit plans?
  • How do I assess my company's valuation?
  • How much of my company am I willing to give up?
  • What should I know about the funding process?
  • What risks am I willing to take to obtain funding?

A panel of experts will relate their personal experiences in seeking funding. Brian Dingman, head of the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Mirick O'Connell, Attorneys At Law, will serve as moderator. Dick Foemmel, an entrepreneur from Cambridge-based CytoLogix, will offer first-hand accounts of his funding endeavors. Gary E. Martinelli, a securities and business lawyer at Gary E. Martinelli & Associates, P.C., in Springfield, Mass., will share his expertise as an angel investor. Following the presentations, the floor will be open for questions. For more information, contact Venture Forum at 508-831-5075, by e-mail at ventureforum@wpi.edu or log on to www.wpiventureforum.org.

WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology-based enterprises by providing advice, support and education. It is part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in WPI's Department of Management.