At the end of the day, it's still the lawyers and accountants who best know where the money is. And either overtly or subtly, part of what many of them are selling is access to investors that might have an interest in your business. In fact, if you own a hotshot technology or Internet company, some law firms and accounting firms will actually defer some (or, if you're lucky, all) of their fees until funds are raised.
At RealTime, Seidman retained Philadelphia-based powerhouse Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where Stephen Goodman is the lawyer of choice to the region's growing cadre of tech companies. "If there's somebody we need to get to," says Seidman, "he can be effective in making an introduction."
Unfortunately, you can't simply call an attorney or accountant and tell them to turn on the spigot; it's got to be done in the context of an engagement--some engagement, any engagement, that gets everything on a professional footing, such as assistance with financial projections. As the twist to the old saying goes, it takes money to raise money.
Meanwhile, back at RealTime, Seidman and his partners are caught in the archetypal entrepreneur's warp. They're so busy building and running the business that raising money becomes even more challenging. "The only thing I can say," says Seidman, "is that it's a good thing there are so many paths we can take. Otherwise, we'd never find the time to find the investors."