Insights and Opinions: How to Raise Money When You’re Not in a Major VC Market

Story by Mark Suster


So you're not in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Seattle, or one of the other hot areas for venture capital--but you need to raise money. What do you do? In our Insights and Opinions section today, where we share the advice, knowledge, and opinions of our readers, we have Mark Suster, who talks about How to Raise Money When You're Not in a Major VC Market.

I travel the country a lot. And I am often approached by entrepreneurs in cities which don't have a vibrant VC community. They often ask whether they have to move to SF, NY or LA to get financed.

I have the same response always, “Where do you want to live? Where do you want to build your community, your relationships, your family?” I'm trying to get a feel for their commitment to local community versus being in a place where financing is easiest.

If their commitment to staying local is weak I normally say, “Well, it certainly would be easier on you to be in a larger community. It would be easier in terms of getting access to angels, VCs, the media, whatever. So if you're really indifferent you might consider it.” On the other hand, if they have a strong preference to staying local I usually tell them that I believe you can build a business anywhere these days.

You can build a meaningful company just about wherever these days. Just ask the people of Portland, Seattle, Boulder, Iowa, Princeton, Dallas or countless other cities that don't have enough venture capital. (Continued...)

Read the rest of Mark's article, How to Raise Money When You're Not in a Major VC Market.