National Entrepreneurship Week Day 5: Funding & Finance
In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, FORGE is bringing you an entire week of opportunities and resources, with each day highlighting a different area. For the last day, FORGE Founding director, Brian Ellerman, will be discussing Funding and Finance.
As National Entrepreneurship Week draws to a close, we conclude with a topic that comes up every time: money. Whether it's your own or others’, for-profit or not-for-profit, money is the fuel that makes business go and grow. For many entrepreneurs, it is the ultimate sticking point for taking their idea forward. At Arizona FORGE, our mission quite literally is to Find Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs, and we have two major initiatives to help find those resources and grow those entrepreneurs.
The first is something I’m personally helping to lead: the Wildcat Investor Network (WIN). This group connects alumni with opportunities to invest time, talent, and/or treasure in the next generation of founders: students. Numerous studies have concluded that the key to fundraising for startups is alumni networks. In fact, the size of a founder’s own alumni network may be the deciding factor in the entrepreneur’s early-stage fundraising success. WIN aims to create a community of people ready to offer their assistance to student entrepreneurs, and is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University of Arizona. I hope you’ll join us.
The second is an acknowledgment that many people, especially students, don’t know where to start in becoming an investor, and believe that venture capital is only for the very wealthy. We won’t argue that investing in startups isn’t risky, but for students who want to learn we will get them access to tools and opportunities without regard for major, or even experience! Our program serves as a pathway from founder basics to conducting due diligence. In partnership with the Desert Angels, we’re building a pipeline of students to prepare and present competitive analyses on the companies applying to pitch. And in the coming year we plan to assist students interested in taking the Series 65 exam, an alternate path to becoming an accredited investor, regardless of financial mean.
Thank you all for joining us this week! We hope you found it valuable, and look forward to continuing to bring you resources and opportunities, even after this week. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in discussing any of the topics from the week further, don't hesitate to contact us here