An overview of the main financing options available for startups
Finding the right financing at the right time is a considerable challenge for all startups, regardless of their size or ambitions. Fortunately, many options exist to allow you to support the growth of your business. What type of financing should you look for, and when?
Friends and family — Love money
Before turning to institutional investors, thank about the people around you: your family or friends. Don’t hesitate to talk about your business to your trusted relations to measure their interest. Also, you won’t have to report your approach or disburse fees to the Autorité des marchés financiers, because this type of financing isn’t subject to it. State clear terms of participation or reimbursement, and prepare them for every contingency, including a possible loss of their investment.
Before even starting your search for financing, concentrate on the resources you already have to run your business. Think about drawing on your personal reserves before turning to other sources of financing. You then can concentrate on the essentials: the creation of your product or service, its marketing, and your first sales, which in turn can fuel your growth.
Donations and subsidies
One of the best-kept secrets is the existence of many government grants and subsidies. You could thus fund part of the team’s salaries, or hire students or researchers.
Are you unable to find your way? Consult the complete list of subsidies available by sector, industry or region, established by Acclr on the Info Entrepreneurs website.
Are you part of a startup operating in the impact economy? La Maison de l’innovation sociale has developed a super tool for you to navigate the offers of funding. Fundica has also made a complete funding search engine available to you.
Several organizations also offer grants to entrepreneurs by sector of activity and by development phase.
Talking about credit or loans can raise fears. Futurpreneur and BDC offer double financing to support your business startup. PME MTL can also give you access to loans at advantageous interest rates, in addition to offering custom coaching and grants.
Who wouldn’t dream of raising millions to support the fulfilment of their wildest dreams? However, raising capital requires considerable work and great discipline. Your round may be financed by a single venture capitalist or you will be asked to have the support of several VCs to finalize your round.
Angel investors are people from the business community or entrepreneurs who want to invest in innovative projects. In Montréal, you can go to Anges Québec to learn more.
Venture capitalists (VC) seek to realize a certain type of investment. Knowing this network allows a good understanding of their interests and the types of investments each of them is seeking.
Montréal has the good fortune to have several major players. To have access to the full list of investors in Québec and Canada, go to the Réseau Capital directory.