1Look for a bank loan or line of credit for a credit card
Generally, this will not happen for a new start, unless you have a good credit history or existing assets, that you are ready to jeopardize for collateral. In France, banks will ask for personal guarantees even if you create a company with a separate legal entity. In fact, it all depends on the amount of seed money you allocate to your business.
2Trade Equity or Services for Start-up Assistance
This is most often called bartering your skills or something you have for something you need. An example would be the negotiation of free office space by agreeing to support computer systems for all other office tenants. Another common example is the exchange of equity for legal and accounting support.
3Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or a customer
Find a major customer, or a complementary business, who sees such value in your idea that they are ready to give you an advance on royalty payments to complete your development. Variations on this theme include early licensing or white labeling agreements.
4Join an incubator or startup accelerator
These organizations, such as Yuma Paris, are very popular these days and are often associated with major universities, community development organizations or even large corporations. Most provide free resources to start-ups, including offices and consulting services, but may also provide seed money.
5Solicit venture capital investors
These are professional investors, such as Accel Partners, who invest institutional money in qualified start-ups, usually with a proven business model, ready to scale. They usually look for great opportunities, requiring a few million dollars or more, with a proven team. Look for a warm introduction to do this job.
6Apply to local angel investor groups
Most metropolitan areas have groups of wealthy local people who are interested in supporting startups, and who are willing to syndicate up to $ 1 million for qualified startups. Use online platforms like Gust to find them, and local networks to find the ones that relate to your industry and your passion.
7Launch an online crowdfunding campaign
This new source of funding, where everyone can participate under the Jobs Act, is illustrated by online sites such as Kickstarter. Here, people make promises online at your startup during a campaign, to pre-buy the product for later delivery, make donations or qualify for a reward, such as a T-shirt.
8Apply for a small business grant
These are government funds allocated to support new technologies and important causes, such as education, medicine, and social needs. A good place to start looking is the application of ACCRE, which allows unemployed people to benefit from help to start their company.
9Pitch your needs to your friends and family
In general, professional investors expect you to already have commitments from this source to show your credibility. If your friends and family do not believe in you, do not expect strangers to intervene. It is the main source of non-personal funds for very young startups.
10Financing your own start
Today, start-up costs are at their lowest level and more than 90% of startups are self-financed (also known as bootstrapping). It may take a little longer to save money before you start and grow organically, but the advantage is that you do not have to give up on equity or control. Your business is yours alone.
You can see that all of these options require work and commitment on your part, so there is no magic or free money. Each funding decision is a complex compromise between short- and long-term costs and benefits, as well as overall ownership and control.
With the many options available, there is no excuse for not living your dream, rather than dreaming of living.
Also published on Medium.