Venture Funding, One Dollar at a Time MicroVentures connects startups with angel investors.
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As the global credit crisis grinds on, it's getting tougher than ever for startups to secure financing. Commercial and industrial loans authorized by U.S. banks--including small-business funding--declined at an annual rate of 21 percent in the first quarter of 2010, and venture financing can be difficult to obtain. Many venture firms receive as many as 5,000 business plan submissions each year, but only about 10 percent are seriously considered, and fewer than 2 percent are awarded funding--not to mention that the process can sometimes take years, often killing promising businesses in their infancy.
Bill Clark believes there's a better way. A former portfolio manager in PayPal's risk-management division, he witnessed the contraction in small-business credit opportunities and he plans a July launch of MicroVentures, an Austin, Texas, peer-to-peer platform connecting startups with a growing pool of angel investors from across the U.S.
"Businesses are having problems going to the banks, and venture firms won't even look at an idea if you don't have a proven track record," says Clark, MicroVentures' CEO. "There are other ways to get funding, but they're also difficult. At MicroVentures, we realize that, and we'll look at every single business plan, get to know you and give you a chance."