Smart Way To Find Startup Cash

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crowMike Del Ponte literally stumbled upon his business idea when one of his guests asked him for a glass of water at a dinner party in San Francisco three years ago. He accidentally overturned his Brita water pitcher taking it out of the refrigerator, and while cleaning up the mess, he thought surely he could create a filter that his dinner guests wouldn’t mind seeing left on the table.

Hence, the idea for Soma–a sustainable, eye-pleasing carafe-cum-filter–was born. Del Ponte knew he couldn’t get cash from his bank, because the business idea was still just that–an idea. So he turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise the startup capital.

Within a few short weeks, Del Ponte, whose goal was to raise $100,000, had gotten $150,000 from 2,000 investors. Since that time, Soma has raised an additional $6 million from a combination of accredited investors and Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

“A chief executive’s time is one of his most valuable assets, and fundraising is very time-intensive,” says Del Ponte. “Crowdfunding sites make the fundraising process easier and more convenient.”

Del Ponte is one of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs who are accessing funds in new ways, tapping far-flung investment networks that hadn’t existed before the financial crisis. They’re taking advantage of the ways social media, big data analysis, and other innovations have transformed the marketplace for capital. They’re also benefiting from changes to financial regulations.

Read more at INC.