13 Innovative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Secure Funding for Their Ventures

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on August 24, 2023

In this article, thirteen seasoned entrepreneurs, including founders, CEOs, and a Public Relations and content marketing specialist, share their unique methods for securing funding for their ventures. From targeting resource-rich venture capitalists to making funding fun and engaging with gamification, these insights provide a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking to fund their entrepreneurial dreams.

Want to jump right in? Then take a look at the short version of the innovative ways entrepreneurs can secure funding for their ventures, coming directly from industry experts:

  • Target Resource-Rich Venture Capitalists
  • Host a Carnival Pitch Event
  • Showcase Tangible Financial Performance
  • Try Self-Funding the Venture
  • Access Micro-loans for Quick, Guaranteed Funding
  • Take a Compelling Story-Led Approach
  • Create an Interactive Online Pitch Event 
  • Input a Personal Touch
  • Build Community with Crowdfunding
  • Leverage Diverse Expertise for Strategic Partnerships
  • Focus on Pre-Selling
  • Form a Community-Based Collective Investment Model
  • Making Funding Fun and Engaging with Gamification

Target Resource-Rich Venture Capitalists

In my entrepreneurial journey, I found venture funding to be more than just a financial lifeline. It provided me with an invaluable network and the expertise I hadn’t known I needed. 

Venturing into the world of startups, like many, I sought funding to turn my vision into a reality. Instead of simply approaching potential investors with a pitch deck, I targeted venture capitalists who could not only finance my idea but also bring a wealth of knowledge and a robust network to the table.

Through this strategy, not only did I secure the needed funds, but I also gained mentors and a support system that had been through similar challenges. They connected me with other industry players, offering insights and introductions that were instrumental in promoting my venture. Looking back, my approach to securing funding became a masterclass in leveraging resources beyond just capital.

For budding entrepreneurs, my advice would be to look beyond the monetary aspect when seeking funds.

Rafael Sarim Özdemir, Founder and CEO, Zendog Labs

Host a Carnival Pitch Event

The quest for the holy grail of funding! Picture this: We dressed up like a band of merry jesters and hosted a “Funding Follies” carnival. 

According to a study, 78% of entrepreneurs use unconventional methods to secure funds. We offered investors a whimsical experience, complete with acrobats, jesters, and a fortune-telling parrot (yes, a parrot!). 

Our pitch was woven into the carnival games—a perfect balance of fun and facts. It worked like magic! One investor was so amused, they doubled their initial offer! Our “Funding Follies” became the talk of the town, and funding poured in like candy from a piñata. Lesson learned: Creativity and laughter are powerful tools in the world of funding. 

So, next time you seek funds, don’t be afraid to unleash your inner jester!

Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Showcase Tangible Financial Performance

As the owner of Honeymoons.com, success in securing funding has been found by prioritizing revenue and profit growth over an extensive pitch deck. By showcasing actual financial performance and tangible market value, a unique approach that resonates with potential investors has been taken.

For instance, when an investor interested in the travel industry was identified, a direct approach was opted for. In a meeting, revenue growth, customer acquisition strategy, and innovative features were shared. 

This approach, centered on concrete financial results and real-world impact, piqued the investor’s interest and led to their eagerness to partner. Prioritizing revenue growth as a strong indicator of potential has not only streamlined the funding process but also communicated a commitment to building a robust, market-leading venture.

Jim Campbell, Owner, Honeymoons

Try Self-Funding the Venture

For me and my business, self-funding was the option that got me started with my projects. I chose to bootstrap because I believed in my own entrepreneurial vision. I had an absolute refusal to accept failure as an option. From there, I felt comfortable and confident in investing my own money into the business. Essentially, the strategy was to use my own funds and build my company from the ground up.

Since everything was practically my own money, for both business and personal, it was really difficult managing our cash flow. I had to be incredibly frugal and resourceful in my decision-making, and every expense was scrutinized to ensure it would yield a positive return for the business.

But when we took off and achieved profitability, it was smooth sailing. In the end, all of my personal investments, time, effort, and money, on my business paid off, and we’ve been getting significant revenue from our company these past few years.

Samantha Hawrylack, Founder, How To FIRE

Access Micro-loans for Quick, Guaranteed Funding

One way I’ve used over the years to fund my business, which has worked well, is micro-loans. I’ve used options available through both PayPal and Square, and that has helped with purchasing necessary items, inventory, and even paying staff. 

Some positives about this type of option are that it takes only a couple of minutes to apply, and those who meet the revenue thresholds are guaranteed approval. Once you pay off a smaller amount, you can get a larger amount later. 

A big plus is the loan payment doesn’t come out of your checking account monthly, and you don’t have to worry about making a payment manually every month. The payment is taken out by a percentage of every sale you make through the merchant service. Percentages range from 10 percent to 30 percent, and they depend on the amount of the loan you get. That makes repaying it palatable and keeps the checking account safe from automatic withdrawals.

Tanya Klien, CEO, Anta Plumbing

Take a Compelling Story-Led Approach

Instead of a traditional pitch, I led with a compelling story about a customer’s problem and our solution, weaving in a live product demo. This narrative-driven method resonated with investors, allowing them to experience the product’s value firsthand. The result? We secured our funding and stood out from the crowd, underscoring the impact of storytelling in business pitches.

Span Chen, Growth Director, Notta

Create an Interactive Online Pitch Event 

To secure funding for my entrepreneurial venture, I employed a strategic mix of traditional methods and innovative approaches. 

One unique approach that proved effective was hosting an interactive online pitch event for potential investors. Through a carefully crafted presentation, I showcased the venture’s value proposition, market potential, and growth strategy. 

Also, I utilized social media platforms to create buzz and attract a wider audience. The event generated substantial interest, resulting in a significant number of investors expressing interest in the venture. 

This approach not only secured funding but also helped establish valuable connections within the industry. By leveraging technology and engaging potential investors in an immersive way, we successfully raised capital while building a strong network of supporters for our entrepreneurial journey.

Brian Clark, Founder and CEO, United Medical Education

Input a Personal Touch

Instead of seeking traditional investors, a crowdfunding campaign was launched. But here’s the twist: for every contribution, a handwritten “thank-you” note and a prototype snippet were sent. This personal touch not only generated buzz but also built an early, loyal customer base. 

By merging grassroots engagement with genuine gratitude, both funding and early adopters were secured, highlighting the power of personal connection in business.

Ranee Zhang, VP of Growth, Airgram

Build Community with Crowdfunding

As a CEO, securing funding was a critical challenge we faced early on. To differentiate ourselves in a competitive funding landscape, we leveraged crowdfunding as a unique method to raise capital and engage with potential customers simultaneously. 

We launched a crowdfunding campaign on a popular platform that aligned with our target audience and industry. Instead of solely focusing on financial investment, we crafted the campaign to showcase our product’s unique features and benefits, offering backers early access to our platform and exclusive perks. By doing so, we were not only seeking funding but also building a community around our product. 

To make the crowdfunding campaign effective, we invested significant time and effort in creating compelling content, engaging visuals, and a clear value proposition for our backers. We promoted the campaign through various channels, including social media, email marketing, and partnerships with relevant influencers.

Sai Blackbyrn, CEO, Coach Foundation

Leverage Diverse Expertise for Strategic Partnerships

A distinctive method I’ve employed to secure resources for my entrepreneurial venture involves leveraging my diverse expertise as a growth-focused startup generalist. By immersing myself in various key roles, such as technology, marketing, operations, and growth, I’ve been able to create a streamlined and cohesive approach to our business development.

 For instance, when launching a technology-driven project, my proficiency in machine learning and artificial intelligence enabled me to optimize our product’s functionality and performance. This method not only maximized our operational efficiency but also attracted strategic partnerships that provided essential resources for our venture’s growth. This approach underscores the importance of versatile leadership in today’s dynamic startup landscape.

Jay Toy, General Manager, 88stacks

Focus on Pre-Selling

Pre-selling or offering pre-orders of our product/service has been a unique approach to secure funding for our entrepreneurial venture. For example, before launching our software product, we created a landing page highlighting its benefits and started accepting pre-orders at a discounted price. 

This not only helped us generate initial revenue, but also showed market demand to potential investors. By reaching out to our target audience and showcasing the value proposition, we could secure a significant number of pre-orders, which increased confidence among investors. 

This approach not only provided us with funds to support the venture’s initial stages but also showed potential investors that there was a market need for our product, making it an effective strategy.

Roy Lau, Co-Founder, 28 Mortgage

Form a Community-Based Collective Investment Model

By developing a model in which a community of individuals invests collectively in the entrepreneurial venture, it fosters a sense of ownership and support. This approach attracts dedicated investors who are passionate about the venture’s mission, thereby increasing funding prospects. 

An example is “The Farm Co-op,” a sustainable agriculture startup. They formed a cooperative in which members invested collectively, enabling affordable access to high-quality produce. The community felt involved, which attracted more investment and built a loyal customer base. The effectiveness of this model lies in leveraging a strong community bond to secure funding and create a sustainable network of support.

Yoana Wong, Co-Founder, Secret Florists

Make Funding Fun and Engaging with Gamification

Gamifying our fundraising procedure made it a challenging, engaging experience. Prospective investors felt a sense of success after completing tasks that unlocked donation milestones. 

For instance, posting about our project on social media enabled one level, while attending webinars enabled another. With investors enthusiastically sharing their accomplishments, this strategy not only made fundraising joyful, but also broadened our audience. 

As a result, a 30% increase in participation and a 20% increase in the amount of money raised demonstrate how creative approaches can revolutionize the success of funding.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

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By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

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