Q&A with Funding Authority Founder Robert Shaw
What motivated you to start this business?
I enjoy helping others benefit quickly from what took me awhile to perfect. As a serial entrepreneur I learned how to raise capital to keep my businesses alive. While there may be lots of money around for startups with fund managers, angel investors and the like, the reality is there’s only about a two percent chance a startup will receive funding from institutional sources. At Funding Authority, we use a strategy called “alternative financing,” which I perfected; we share this approach with startups.
What’s the biggest misconception about startup funding?
Virtually all entrepreneurs and their team are excited about their startup idea and that is a good thing. However, a great idea still requires significant effort to get funded. Funding to keep a startup alive will almost always be a rocky road and hard work. Although it may be possible to get funded institutionally, it rarely happens. There are other ways, however and it is these other sources of funding that we help startups tap.
The other thing startups sometimes miss is, or are surprised by, is that the number of rounds of financing that is to be expected. From my experience, the funding part of emerging growth companies never ends. As a result, successful startups benefit by partnering with experts to guide them along this path.
What does your company offer in connecting startups with the right people and resources for success?
It’s important to be aware of every opportunity available to startups for funding. Having raised money for companies of all sizes including more than $80 million for raw startups, I developed the technique of using alternative financing and have used it over and over with impressive success. We help entrepreneurs draw a straight line from where they are to where they want to be by ensuring adequate funding along the road from initial stages to an operational company.
Funding Authority plans a significant presence for our customers on LinkedIn and Facebook, with additional presence on other sites from time to time. We believe anyone serious about their startup will benefit by signing on with this program. To assist startups, we offer a free e-book guide and a free 30-minute consultation with one of our representatives.
Email marketing, SEO and pay-per-click will remain the most important ways to reach potential clients as well as word-of-mouth. We believe that there is literally no program out there that can match ours as far as delivering essential knowledge and tools to obtain the necessary funding that startups require.
In a nutshell, what is the process involved with alternative financing?
We have a network of investors and the know-how to reach them. Funding Authority shows startups what is needed to appeal to investors from that standpoint of business planning, PPMs, brochures, sales leads, presentation to prospects, alternative financing, institutional financing and much more. For a limited time, we offer this service and advice for free to entrepreneurs.
How does your company support a startup after they receive funding?
Although there are many obstacles an entrepreneur will face besides financing, it is not our job to consult in these areas. We are dedicated to serving startups as their funding experts and the only place they need to go to obtain the knowledge and tools necessary to move forward with their financing needs.
What is your top advice for a startup looking for funding?
The vast majority of startups go out of business because of lack of funding; which is a shame when they might have a great idea the world needs. Don’t be afraid (or too shortsighted) to partner with experts who can get the funding your project deserves. Learn what all of your sources for funding are.
What one or two things do startups need to know going in?
Know up front that you’re going to make mistakes along the way. No shame in that… it’s part of the learning process. Also, stay enthusiastic. As Winston Churchill once said, "Success is defined by the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
Robert Shaw is the co-founder and Chairman of Funding Authority.