Posted by Wendy Bounds
Here are two things to check out on the funding front, particularly if you aren’t in tech.
First, a tool that could help democratize the funding hunt — IdeaCrossing.org. Think of it as matchmaking service between entrepreneurs and investors.
IdeaCrossing is open and free to anyone in the U.S. Entrepreneurs build a profile, and the system matches them to like-minded participating investors. Investors can see these profiles (the entrepreneur doesn’t get to right away) and reach out with time or money.
The site is still in beta with about 1,000 users. It needs critical mass to really work, but is a good idea that could help tap pockets of money in more regions.
It’s also getting easier for nontech companies to get on angels’ radar. More are broadening into retail, real estate and consumer products to appease members with nontech backgrounds.
Some groups are very specific. The founder of IdeaCrossing, a Cleveland nonprofit called JumpStart Inc., invests only in companies that bring jobs to northeast Ohio. One group, 12 Angels Investment Group, invests in firms that help prevent or treat addictions. Others, are funding women- or minority-led firms or ones with a social or environmental bent.
If you know of specific angel networks broadening their portfolios, let us know here.