Funding Options

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by JV Miller of Product Wrangler

Critical to the success of any business, in particular start-ups, is funding. Funding comes from different sources and most sources come with stipulations. The intention here is not to discuss in detail the various funding sources or what is required but rather what is available for start ups to pursue.

Funding Sources:

  • Self-funding:  credit cards, savings, etc.
  • Friends & Family: Friends and family provide funds to support your business
  • Private Investors: People with money willing to invest in your idea
  • Venture Capital (list from
    • Early Stage: Seed funding, Start-up and First Stage
    • Expansion Financing: Second Stage, Bridge Financing and Third Stage
    • Acquistion or Buyout Financing
  • Crowd Funding: many sources and each have specific guidelines
  • Other Sources: Leading Institutions, Public and Private Businesses, etc.

Top 10 Crowd Funding Sources: according to  as of January 23, 2015

  • Gofundme – Personal fundraisers
  • KICKSTARTER – Creative Only Personal fundraising not allowed
  • indiegogo – General
  • teespring – T-shirt crowdfunding site
  • – General
  • Causes – Allows non-profit and charity fundraising
  • Crowdrise – focus is on great causes
  • Giveforward – “Raise money for yourself or loved one.”
  • Patrean – Must pledge an on-going amount
  • FirstGiving – Allows non-profit and charity fundraising
  • Others: Rockerhub, peerbacker, Razoo, Appbackr, Crowdfunder (unique)

When evaluating a crowdfunding source, ask these questions

  • What are the state laws on crowdfunding?
  • Are there any upfront costs associated with that organization?
  • Does it allow general funding or is it restricted?

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is subject to change as is the case of the Top 10 funding sources which in November 2014 was a different list then January 2015. Additionally the information was obtained via searches on the Internet and can vary from source to source.

Miller JV Miller recently moved to the Raleigh-Durham area from California.  He provides expertise to companies on strategy and product introduction.  He is currently working with Product Wrangler.  Miller is active with number local organizations supporting entrepreneurship including Product Camp RTP.