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A Perfect Match?

If you think an intermediary service has the quick fix you need for finding investors, take a second look.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs Ahmed and Reem Rahim recently took a significantfirst step in the half-million-dollar expansion of their organictea company, NumiTeas. The brother-and-sister team made their first-everfund-raising pitch to a group of potential investors at a venturefair in Oakland, California, in April.

Their funding search thus far had been limited to theevent's sponsor, a matchmaking service called Investors'Circle in Brookline, Massachusetts, that links sociallyresponsible companies with like-minded investors. Numi Teas, alsoin Oakland, California, was entering a critical growth phase in itsfour-year history when it enlisted the help of the intermediary tofind capital for a new product launch, expand its inventory, andtriple the size of its office and warehouse space. Because of theirstrong social component-not only is their tea organic and certifiedkosher, but they also outsource some of their tea packaging to anorganization that employs disabled adults-the Rahims consideredInvestors' Circle an obvious starting point after hearing aboutthe matchmaker from other entrepreneurs and their own financialadvisor. "We thought it would be a great fit to be a part ofan investors' [network] that was looking to support organic[products] and sustainability in the environment," explainsAhmed, 35.

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