Columbus Startup Week 2019 is loaded with valuable insights for founders looking to understand funding and growth. The information shared this week has been far-reaching and comprehensive. Hosting a panel of industry gurus on the topic of Funding Options: How I Got Money, Big Kitty Labs Dan Rockwell teased out some key secrets these successful founders employ to create remarkable businesses.

The speakers on the panel included Nick Potts – Founder and CEO at ScriptDrop, Steve Werman – CFO at HOMAGE, and Matt Barbee – Owner, Rockmill Brewery.

4 Secrets to Startup Funding Success

1. Personal Relationships

The panel were in full agreement that for startups, it’s all about personal relationships. Startups benefit tremendously from the initial funding provided by family, friends and close associates. Engaging people who believe in, and understand the value of, your business venture is a crucial way to build a foundation of support and ensure future success.

 2. Business Plans

A good business plan provides a model for growth. It is an essential tool that allows founders to analyze their weaknesses and make sound decisions. The business plan also clearly communicates your ideas with stakeholders. “It changed the prospects of our business greatly”, says Nick. A solid business plan demonstrates the prospects for investors and is key to attracting funding.

3. Mentors

Mentors also play a crucial role in the journey of a startup. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand the financials, early insights, and prospects, especially if it’s your first startup venture. “Having an experienced partner that allowed us to fill the management gaps without a team was crucial”, says Matt, as he shared the important role of mentors at critical stages of Rockmill Brewery’s development.

4. Networks

Every business needs a network of partners and supporters to grow. The panel shared how networks with individuals, companies and other founders helped their companies achieve strategic growth in the initial stages. Statistics show that experienced startup founders have a 30% success rate in their next venture.  Taking the time, and patience, to align yourself with credible, passionate partners, especially those who have experience, is crucial for success. 

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