Module 4: Funding a Business

Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator

Have you launched a business that is gaining traction but needs funding to grow? Are you exploring funding alternatives to take your business to the next level? Are you looking for assistance in navigating a fundraising process for your business?

Program Overview

In our Funding a Business module, we guide you through a hands-on process for evaluating funding alternatives, presenting to potential funders and navigating a funding process. This module is 12-weeks long and is well suited for early stage entrepreneurs looking to fund scalable businesses with positive community impact.

Enrollment Periods

Enrollment PeriodModule DatesApplications Due
Winter 2018January 13 – March 31December 29
Fall 2018September 8 – December 1August 24
Spring / Summer 2018May 5 – July 21April 20

Syllabus

UnitTopics Covered
Introduction
  • Explore your relationship with money and how it can impact your perception of raising money for the business
  • Discuss why it is important to get outside funding and what you need to have in place to begin raising funds
  • Assess your current business, business plan and emotional readiness for funding
Funding Needs
  • Review and update your current financial forecast to determine realistic funding needs and use of proceeds
  • Learn how to present your financial forecast and funding needs in a concise way
  • Update your business plan to describe the key drivers of your financial forecast and funding needs
Understanding the Process
  • Learn about different funding alternatives and typical processes and timelines for raising money
  • Identify funding alternative(s) that are aligned with the purpose, values and funding needs of the business
  • Develop goals, timeline and project plan to raise funds
Key Terms
  • Gain an understanding of the key economic terms for the funding alternative you’ve chosen
  • Learn how those terms impact your business plans, financial forecast and other documentation needed to raise funds
  • Update and/or create additional documentation for your business that incorporates your funding terms
Executive Summaries & Online Profiles
  • Learn how to summarize your funding opportunity in a one-page executive summary for potential funders
  • Learn about online platforms for listing your funding opportunity, and identify platforms your business should create a profile on
  • Create your executive summary and online profiles
Email Strategies
  • Learn how to build a potential funder prospect list
  • Learn how to reach out to and nurture relationships via email
  • Create an email schedule and outreach emails to support your fundraising efforts
Storytelling
  • Gain an understanding of the key elements of a presentation to potential funders
  • Learn how to craft a story to capture the attention of potential funders
  • Develop a funding pitch for your specific funding source
Pitching
  • Learn how to pitch the business to potential funders
  • Identify key questions that may arise when pitching to potential funders
  • Hold a practice pitch and receive feedback from an advisor
Apply for Funding
  • Collect applications for funding and/or begin reaching out to potential funders
  • Draft and get feedback on your funding application
  • Submit at least one application for funding or schedule at least one meeting with a potential funder
Networking
  • Learn how to use networking events to increase the business’ visibility and enhance fundraising efforts
  • Learn how to initiate conversations and begin cultivating relationships through networking events
  • Attend a networking event
Due Diligence
  • Gain an understanding of how funders perform due diligence on potential funding opportunities
  • Learn how to produce due diligence documentation, organize a due diligence dataroom and manage due diligence requests
  • Establish a due diligence dataroom
Final Presentations
  • Present your funding pitch and progress to your peers and mentors
  • Receive constructive feedback from your peers and mentors to refine your fundraising process

Prerequisites

Business must be generating customers/users and partners. Must also have an up-to-date business plan and financial forecast.

Program Format

Our Small Business & Enterprise Program modules combine the effectiveness of face-to-face learning with the convenience of distance learning. Each of our Small Business & Enterprise modules includes the following weekly activities:

Program FormatWeekly ActivityWeekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed prior to the weekly in-person workshop
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business
  • All materials contained in our online learning environment
1-2 hours / week
Workshops
  • Weekly in-person workshops led by experts in each topic
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities and reflection
  • All workshops held at Impact HUB Oakland
3 hours / week
Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops
  • All business development activities build to a final presentation at the end of the module
2-10 hours / week
Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly phone meetings with peer group of 3 other individuals in your class
  • Present weekly business development activity and receive constructive feedback from peers
1 hour / week
One-on-one Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with a mentor
  • Discuss business wins and review weekly business development activity
  • Work with mentor on connecting with resources to meet business needs
30 minutes / week

Co-working

Participants in our Small Business & Enterprise Program may elect to receive 10 hours/month of co-working at Impact HUB Oakland while enrolled in one of our program modules.

Impact HUB Oakland is equal parts inspiring shared working space, entrepreneurial incubator and a membership-based community of socially engaged people, co-working and co-learning. Opened in February 2014, Impact HUB Oakland has quickly grown membership and recognition as a center for activity focused on imagining and co-creating a sustainable and equitable world.

Costs

The cost of our Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator modules consists of a monthly cash fee. We determine your cash fee using a sliding scale based on the current annual revenue of your business:

< $100,000 
Annual Revenue$100,000 – $500,000 
Annual Revenue > $500,000 
Annual Revenue
$400 / month$500 / month$600 / month

We charge a $50 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space in the class. This deposit is credited against the first payment of your monthly fee.

Because we believe cost should not be a barrier, we provide payment plan options upon request.

Cooperative Membership

To become a cooperative member of the Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator, we require a one-time contribution of an equity stake in the business that you create. We determine your equity stake using a sliding scale based on the current annual revenue of your business:

< $100,000 
Annual Revenue$100,000 – $500,000 
Annual Revenue > $500,000 
Annual Revenue
5% equity stake
4% equity stake3% equity stake

Your one-time equity stake becomes part of a pool that all Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator members participate in. As we receive dividends and capital gains from the equity stakes in the pool, we return equity to our members. Through this shared equity, we foster a greater sense of community among our members.

Membership in the cooperative is voluntary and does not affect the level of service provided in our Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator modules.