Crowdfunding has undoubtedly opened up an extensive array of potential sources of finance for entrepreneurs and creative people of various stripes. Despite the huge splurge of funding that has found its way to entrepreneurs from backers around the world, the more formal funding streams remain important.
I’ve covered previously a study that looked at the value entrepreneurs get from the contacts and the commercial acumen of investors. This input is valued as highly, if not more so, than the actual investment itself. The report, called Building Bridges to Innovative Opportunities, suggests that tech start-ups are increasingly looking for more than just financial support from backers, with a desire for operational help and industry expertise.
This is clearly an area where traditional venture capital and angel investment funds have the edge over crowdfunding, but there are challenges in the venture capital market, especially when it comes to investing in businesses and people from other countries. This is one of the reasons clusters have proven so attractive, as they provide a sense of security and community that a disparate start-up environment lacks.
So having an understanding of the location of investors, and of course also providing investors with an understanding of start-ups near them, could be useful. That’s the hope of a new service called Partner Hunt.
They are providing a basic listings service for entrepreneurs, investors and companies, thus allowing either investors or entrepreneurs to search for people that could help them. Users can input in their desired location, any industrial preferences, and a radius they’re willing to operate within, and the site will return to them a map of possible partners located close at hand. Users are then free to connect up and hopefully initiate the magic that will follow.
It’s a relatively simple introduction type service, and it’s incredibly early days thus far, so the number of entrepreneurs and investors on the site is very small. Hopefully in time however, it will grow to become a useful part of the start-up community.