Q: I have an idea for a product invention, but I don’t have the funds to finance it. Do you have information on organizations or individuals that invest in product inventions or that could assist me with a grant proposal to get financing for the invention?
— Patrick C. Pierce
A: The Venture Capital Resource Library (www.vfinance.com/default.htm) is an online library with information about venture capitalists, angel investors and other financial resources. The National Venture Capital Association (www.nvca.org; 703-524-2549) is a membership organization of over 200 venture capital firms. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov/hotlist/bus fin.html; www.sba.gov/hotlist/sbic.html; 800-8-ASK-SBA) provides online information on small business investment companies (SBICs)-privately owned and managed firms that are licensed by the SBA to provide venture capital to small businesses-and links to Websites on capital resources and financing your business.
For more information, see “You’ve Got it Made” (June 1999) or read the Black Enterprise Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Wendy Beech (John Wiley & Sons, $19.95).