So you've finally finished developing your product or service, flushed out your business model, and you're ready to dive head first into your new business venture — but how the heck do you raise enough capital to get started?
Taking venture capital is one way to secure the funds necessary for starting your business. Although there is a lot of potential with venture capital firms, it is important to make sure this is the right path for your startup. In order for venture capitalists to justify the large risk they are taking with your company, you must offer them a fresh business venture that promises to fill a void in the marketplace.
Anyone can sell something online, but there are certain products that have yet to be developed — like the car battery that goes forever, or innovative, accessible and low cost energy sources, these are the ideas that venture capitalists would drool over — they are motivated by the next big thing like anyone else.
Venture capitalists are really knowledgable in the startup space, so you must be able to show them why your business is different and better than each of your competitors.
Michael Goldstein, founder of DC-based startup accelerator Exhilarator, stressed the importance of determining customer interest. So, the takeaway is this: If your business is a product, demonstrate that people are willing to pay for it and have an unmet need that your product fills. In a competitive economy where only 2.5% of angel-funded companies go on to raise venture capital, it's important for a startup to show cognizance and relevance in their market.
More importantly, startups should demonstrate the ability to convert that pilot into a paying customer. Some think that having the right team is the most important factor in attracting venture capital funding.

Ryan Feit, CEO and co-founder of SeedInvest, an equity-based, crowdfunding platform that connects investors to high-quality startups told Mashable about the importance of finding the right team. So whether your team is made up of experienced entrepreneurs, or recent college graduates — as long as your team members have complementary skills with a track record of collaborating well, you should have a solid shot at attracting some venture capital funding. Notice: Unless stated otherwise, the graphical resources uploaded to this site are NOT for commercial use. Desktop users: right click on the image and choose "save image as" or "set as desktop background". According to recent statistics from Reuters, venture capital firms invested over $4 billion dollars in startups in 2012, and more than $900 million was invested in the first quarter of 2013.
In exchange for the high risk that venture capitalists assume by investing in your company, they generally receive significant control over company decisions — in addition to a portion of the company's ownership.
In an interview with Mashable, Charley Polachi, partner at Polachi Access Executive Search, elaborated on the importance of having a truly unique idea with high barriers to entry. Showing VCs that you have a compelling value proposition is hugely important, and is often overlooked by first-time entrepreneurs.
If your business is a marketplace, be ready to show traction on both supply and demand sides.
Early-stage VCs want to see a sizable market opportunity before writing a check, and startups can demonstrate this through a pilot or beta customers. Nina Nashif, founder and CEO of Healthbox, believes that showing market traction is critical, and startups should be able to replicate the process of turning a pilot into a paying customer over and over again.

Startups rarely have the perfect product and market fit right away, and they will probably need to pivot based on customer needs, competitive factors and industry transformation. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe. But, VCs can definitely be an attractive option for startups unable or unwilling to secure bank loans or complete debt offerings; so, if you've decided that applying for venture capital is the right move for your startup, read on to learn about the must-have traits your business needs to attract funding. Investors need to believe that the market opportunity is sizeable, and that your company can generate substantial revenue at scale. Prahar Shah, CEO and co-founder of Mobee, elaborated on the importance of recognizing the opportunities in your market of interest.
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