Here are a few guidelines to help you evaluate online funding services:
"How long has the online company been in business? At least one year is a good rule of thumb," says Dee Power of Capital-Connection.com.
"Evaluate the Web site," says Power. "The more educational information provided, the more it indicates a depth of commitment to helping entrepreneurs find capital."
"Who is behind the matching service?" asks Power. "Is there a person or company you can contact for more information?"
"Carefully examine 'free' services. Some sites allow entrepreneurs to list for free, but if a match is made, you must pay to find out who you're matched with," says Power.
Who are the investors on the site? Are they venture capitalists, institutional investors, private foundations or accredited investors? Are they listed on the site?