Entrepreneurs frequently say all venture capitalists or "VCs" are the same. They are in the sense that their primary purpose is to invest in well-managed companies that are likely to be sold for a lucrative profit or one day go public on a leading exchange.
VCs, however, are not at all the same in terms of their investment interests. Some venture funds specialize in investing in regional companies in the Pacific Northwest, Southeast, New England, Midwest, Southwest, West Coast, Rocky Mountain or Mid-Atlantic. Other venture funds focus their marketing efforts to attract entrepreneurs who work within specific industries or represent a specific minority group.
Within the Great Funding Database you'll find large multi-billion dollar investment funds with extensive in-house administrative and research staff support plus smaller funds that operate successfully with only one or two professionals making all new investment decisions.
TakeCommand encourages its members to explore a wide range of funding options and not focus excessive attention on obtaining funding from well-known large funds. Sometimes the competition for receiving attention from larger funds is much more intense than appealing to smaller, regional venture capital funds.
Here is a sampling of funds from the Great Funding Database, which represents the diversity of the venture capital community. Clearly, not all VCs are the same.
To learn the names of more venture capital funding resources, search the Great Funding Database! All it takes to begin your business funding effort is a few clicks in the right direction. You can do it!
- BEV Capital. "Brand Equity Value." Early Stage entrepreneurs who approach Stamford, Connecticut-based BEV Capital should appreciate that this group of investment professionals specialize in funding entrepreneurs who consider brand recognition as an important company asset. Funding decisions favor businesses which offer consumer-facing products or services, crossing a broad range of industry sectors. For more information visit: www.bevcapital.com
- Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Multi-office Ben Franklin Technology Partners provides Seed and Early Stage funding to technology-oriented companies that can bring jobs to Pennsylvania. For more information visit: www.benfranklin.org
- BioOne Capital. BioOne operates offices in Boston and Redwood City, California. BioOne will consider Life Sciences businesses that are located in the U.S., Asia or Europe. For more information visit: www.bio1capital.com
- Eastven Venture Partners. Many large cellular carriers invest in or operate venture capital funds to gain "first look" access to innovative entrepreneurs who are developing the latest Communications and Internet technologies. Connecticut-based Eastven serves this role for Ericsson. For more information visit: www.eastven.com
- CEI Ventures. Maine-based CEI Ventures invests in the emerging field of Seed and Early Stage social enterpreneurs. For more information visit: www.ceiventures.com
- DFJ ePlanet Global Venture Capital. Technology-oriented entrepreneurs who seek access to a global network of professional contacts may benefit from the extensive venture capital resources of DFJ ePlanet, which has offices in Bangalore, India, Beijing, China, Hong Kong, London, England, New Delhi, India and Redwood City, California. For more information visit: www.eplanetventures.com
- Elevation Partners. Entrepreneurs who have a big idea for the global media or entertainment market may be able to appeal to Elevation Partners for large scale funding. Check out the fund's list of investment professionals, which includes rock band leader Bono. For more information visit: www.elevation.com
- Florida Capital Partners. Some of the most lucrative returns can come from management teams that want to buyout a division or subsidiary of a large company. Florida Capital Partners provides financing for Southeast-based management buyouts, special situation recapitalization transactions, or help founders of revenue generating companies sell all or a portion of their investment stake. For more information visit: www.fcpinvestors.com
- Fluke Venture Partners. Fluke specializes in making Consumer Sector investments in Early and Expansion stage companies that are located in the Pacific Northwest. Fluke is looking for their next super successful "Starbucks." For more information visit: www.flukeventures.com
- Flywheel Ventures. Flywheel operates offices in Albuquerque, Sante Fe and San Francisco and seeks innovative Seed or Early Stage companies that are based in the Southwest or Rocky Mountain region. The fund's Industry Sector focus is Energy/Environment, Communications and IT companies. For more information visit: www.flywheelventures.com
- GCube Ventures. Are you a gamer? Then check out GCube Ventures, a California-based venture fund that seeks to invest in a broad range of applications and products related to the fast-growing gaming industry. For more information visit: www.gcubeventures.com
- Nth Power. Before it became trendy to invest in clean-tech businesses, there was Nth Power. This San Francisco-based fund, which invests nationwide, is a prestigious source of Early Stage funding for companies that want to partner with investment professionals who have a successful track record of partnering with innovative entrepreneurs and then guiding them to successful sale, mostly with Fortune 500 corporate investors. For more information visit: www.nthpower.com
- Open Prairie Ventures. Heartland-based entrepreneurs who are building market leading technologies in the IT, Communications or Life Sciences Sectors should check out Open Prairie, which operates offices in Olathe, Kansas, Champaign, Illinois and Effingham, Illinois. For more information visit: www.openprairie.com
- OnPoint Technologies. Yes, even the U.S. Army manages a venture fund to promote the development of products or services that support the government's domestic and international operations. For more information visit: www.onpoint.us.
- New Venture Partners. Murray Hill, New Jersey-based New Venture Partners specializes in funding the commercialization and "spin out" of technologies that have been developed at leading corporations. For more information visit: www.nvpllc.com.
- Omidyar Network. Organized by the founder of eBay, Omidyar Network provides startup and growth capital to promising social enterprise organizations. For more information visit: www.omidyar.net.
- Panasonic Venture Group. There is no surprise here. Panasonic Venture Group is a corporate venture fund that makes investments in information technology, high tech consumer products and other technology-oriented businesses. The fund operates two offices: one in Osaka, Japan and the other in San Jose, California. For more information visit: www.panasonicventures.com
- Paladin Capital Group. Paladin is a Washington, D.C.-based venture fund that provides funding for Early Stage companies that provide homeland security-oriented technologies or services to government and military markets. For more information visit: www.paladincapgroup.com
- Primal Ventures. Primal Ventures is an affiliate company of IAC, which owns Home Shopping Network, Ask.com, Evite, LendingTree.com, Ticketmaster and Citysearch. The fund specializes in Early Stage e-Commerce and Internet infrastructure opportunities. For more information visit: www.iac.com.
- Purepay. Purepay is a specialty private equity fund that buys and contributes to the future growth of a broad range of payment and transaction processing companies within the financial services industry. Purepay has offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio and New York City. For more information visit: www.pure-pay.com.
- Qiming Ventures. Shanghai-based Qiming Ventures invests across a broad range of industries including Healthcare, Consumer and e-Commerce/Internet. The fund is an affiliate of high-powered Ignition Venture Partners. For more information visit: www.qimingventures.com or www.ignitionpartners.com
- Research Triangle Ventures. Research Triangle provides Seed and Early Stage capital to technology-oriented entrepreneurs located in the greater North Carolina region. For more information visit: www.rtventures.com
- Texas Women Ventures. Texas Women Ventures provides growth funding for cash-flow positive, revenue-generating businesses that are majority-owned by women entrepreneurs. Businesses have to be located in the greater Southwest for funding consideration. For more information visit: www.texaswomenventures.com.
- Nexos Capital Partners. Nexos seeks to invest in revenue generating companies that are located in the U.S. or Puerto Rico that are majority-owned by Hispanic men or women; or primarily serve the fast-growing Hispanic market. For more information visit: www.nexoscapital.com.
- Milestone Growth Fund. Milestone Growth provides Early and Expansion Stage funding to minority-owned businesses that are located in the greater Minneapolis metropolitan area. For more information visit: www.milestonegrowth.com.
- Veronis Suhler Stevenson. What venture fund seems to be at the top of the list of funds with long standing experience investing in the publishing and media industries? New York and London-based Veronis Suhler. For more information visit: www.veronissuhler.com
- Virgin Green Fund. Is investing in clean technologies now a part of mainstream consumer culture? Possibly, if the measure of appeal is Sir Richard Branson's involvement with the Virgin brand of companies. Virgin seeks to invest in European or U.S. based innovative renewable energy technology companies across all stages of business development. For more information visit: www.virgingreenfund.com
- Vulcan Capital. Ever wonder what happened to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen? In addition to owning the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trailblazers, collecting vintage bi-planes and operating the rock museum Experience Music Project, Allen actively invests in real estate as well as high tech and media-oriented businesses through Vulcan Capital. For more information visit: www.vulcan.com.