Working in and around the technology sector in Indiana for the past 15 years, one thing has always been true. Everybody needs funding, and not enough people know where or how to get it.
However, the roster of homegrown entrepreneurs with successful track records has increased at least ten-fold since the late 90s. Battle-tested leaders with funding experience from “friends and family,” angel, and series A rounds, through multi-million dollar venture deals and IPOs still proudly live and work in the great Hoosier state. Many of these funding veterans have helped to demystify raising capital through mentorship, educational programming like VERGE fireside chats and TechPoint panel discussions, and just by being approachable people willing to share some know-how.
Raising money is by no means easy, but it does seem more attainable (even probable with the right idea) when you know people a lot like you from your own community who have done it.
Now that more and more local entrepreneurs have the sand to pursue funding, know-how nuances like “How should the investments be structured?” and “What is the best way to finance R&D?” become pressing questions. The advice I’ve heard over and over from those aforementioned funding veterans is simple, but important. Hire a good lawyer.
Yesterday, the attorneys at Ice Miller released a set of case studies featuring the funding strategies for two Indy-based companies — fast-growing, charitable fundraising innovator BidPal; and Localstake, a tech startup that’s disrupting investment status quo through crowdfunding.
From the Ice Miller press release:
“What we’re learning from these case studies and from our other clients is that the pace of business needs to accelerate to match the pace of the technology industry,” said Phil Bayt, managing partner of Ice Miller. “Our firm will continue to look for innovative tools, like alternative forms of financing and intellectual property protections for research and development, to help our clients quickly build business opportunities.”
The BidPal case study addresses the need for cash to stay ahead of competitors in terms of research and development. While BidPal needed to move quickly, the company was not ready to take on another traditional round of fundraising, which can be time consuming. Instead, Ice Miller helped BidPal use bridge financing to meet its need for expanded features and services to improve charitable fundraising.
The Localstake case study looks at funding from the investor’s perspective. Before Localstake could help other businesses raise capital, Localstake itself needed funding to secure its broker-dealer registration, build its platform, recruit and hire software developers, accelerate its marketing initiatives and provide for other start-up costs and expenses. Ice Miller helped the founders form Localstake, obtain registration as a broker-dealer, and structure friends and family and angel financing rounds to give it the capital it needed to launch the platform.
The case studies can be found at www.icemiller.com/technology.