Online Connections: VCs and Small Businesses

Venture capitalists are in the business of lending money, but actually making contact with a VC or angel investor can be tough for a small business. A slew of new Web sites and online communities are looking to change that and bring venture capitalists and entrepreneurs together. Not only can small businesses find investors online, they can find tips on how to create an attractive business plan. Here?s a look at some helpful Web sites for businesses looking for funding.

Whether a small business is looking for investors, a Web developer or lawyer to help with a business plan, Go Big Network may be the place to go.  Dubbed a ?virtual rolodex? by the company, Go Big Network is free to create a profile and post requests within a personal network for everything from funding to accounting. To access people outside of the personal network the user has to pay a fee.  According to Go Big Network, requests are viewed daily by investors with an average request getting more than 100 views.  If an entrepreneur is more interested in creating a solid business plan, the site has help for that as well.

Check out Go Big Network's Web site

These days small businesses can?t rely on banks to get funding, making venture capitalists and angel investors more important. But if a business has a less-than-stellar business plan, getting funding may be a pipe dream. For $349, Capital-Connection will give small businesses a two-to-three page report with specific suggestions on how to improve its plan. Capital-Connection also provides links to funding resources and includes links to more than 600 venture capital companies including addresses, telephone and fax numbers.

Check out Capital-Connection's Web site

Need capital, want to invest in a business or looking for a partnership? Business Partners can help by providing access to capital via a network of investors and its searchable database of partnerships, strategic alliances and businesses up for sale.  Small business owners looking for funding can post their business plans on the online network, potentially getting in front of the VCs, lenders and investment bankers.  The company claims to get more than 1 million hits each month.  Small businesses can also search the database of angel investors, VC firms and investment banks and send their business plan and funding request directly to the source.

Check out Business Partners' Web site

Every business is different and capital requirements vary. Go 4 Funding allows small businesses to list the amount of money they need and why. Investors can search by most recent posts or the most viewed.  If a post grabs the interest of an investor, he or she can respond via the Web site. Less-established companies can post their business ideas on the site and request funding as well. The Web site also lists how many times a request for funding has been viewed.

Check out Go 4 Funding's Web site

Businesses better at visually showing a potential investor why they should invest in their company are in luck. VentureDen connects entrepreneurs with investors; businesses needing funding  complete a basic profile with its idea and can also create a video profile that enables investors to get a more thorough explanation of the startup.  Users can also contact investors and other entrepreneurs though the Web site?s private messaging systems. When the investor shows interest in the idea, the investor and entrepreneur negotiate directly.

Check out VentureDen's Web site