Finding Start-up Capital in Southwest Florida

Do you have an amazing idea for a startup in Bonita Springs, Florida, but limited capital to get it off the ground? We meet with many business-minded individuals with ambitious and adventurous business ideas that would blossom here in Southwest Florida, but unfortunately, they lack the capital to get started. Here’s a look at what other entrepreneurs are doing to secure start-up capital:

According to the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, the top three sources for start-up capital come from 3 primary sources:

  1. Personal/Family Savings (63.9 percent of all employer businesses)
  2. Business Loans from Banks (17.9 percent), and
  3. Personal Credit Cards (10.3 percent)

Roughly, 64 percent of start-up entrepreneurs rely on personal and family savings as their primary source for start-up capital. The ASE report shows that the other two primary sources come from business loans from banks (17.9 percent) and personal credit cards (10.3 percent). Surprisingly, a small percentage (less than 1%) received start-up capital from venture capitalists. You can see the full report here.

If you’ve already asked your friends/family, or if your personal credit cards are not an option, we’ve put together other financial resources for you to explore:

Crowdfunding Websites: If you are looking to fuel your dream project, we’d recommend looking into crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe — both great options for small businesses. Kickstarter is one of the largest funding platforms that help small businesses with brilliantly creative ideas get off the ground. Kickstarter tends to be heavily focused on projects such as art, music, film, and technology, whereas GoFundMe is for individuals and personal causes.

Tamiami Angel Investors: Angel investors are considered high net worth or affluent individual investors who usually provide entrepreneurs with the capital needed for a business startup. “If you are a company with an outstanding execution team, a disruptive idea, and a large addressable market, then the Tamiami Angels want to hear from you!”

Gator Cage: The Entrepreneur Society of America, a Southwest Florida not-for-profit, founded Gator Cage, where entrepreneurs get the chance to pitch their ideas in front of serial entrepreneurs and affluent business leaders in SWFL. Apply to pitch here!

There are many other startup capital resources out there for you to explore. If you need help with your search, please contact the Bonita Springs-Estero Economic Development Council, we’d be happy to help you on your business endeavor!