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How to Get Former Employers and Co-Workers to Invest in Your Startup Three tips to keep in mind when asking people who once managed or worked with you for money.

By Michelle Goodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ryan Shank's former boss invested nearly $1 million in his startup this year. Alison Johnston Rue counts two past employers among contributors to the $1.1 million in seed funding she raised in 2012. And former Goldman Sachs trader Melissa Thompson scored a mid-six-figure seed round in 2013 from the head of her former trading desk, a broker she'd worked with, a past client and a onetime co-worker, among others.

It makes perfect sense to solicit funds from a former boss or colleague who thinks highly of you, has the financial means and isn't a competitor, according to Shank, COO of Mhelpdesk, a Sterling, Va., startup that sells management software for field-service businesses. "They already know the type of partner you'll be, from strategic thinking to work ethic," he explains.

Of course there's a right way and a wrong way to ask people who once managed or worked with you to open their wallets.

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