Question: As a parent, how can I assist my young child in getting funding for his or her business?

Question by: Ashley

Network for Opportunities

“It’s easy to overlook the relationships that lead to collaborations, funding or new opportunities. Teach your child how to meet and network with lots of people, and encourage relationship building. By developing a long-term view of business building, you’ll cultivate a characteristic many entrepreneurs struggle with — patience.”

Kelly Azevedo | Founder, She’s Got Systems

Equip With a Computer

“If you’re child is ready to start a business, he or she is most likely capable of navigating the web to find relevant sources of funding. There’s plenty of guidance available online to those that seek it. And this publication is the perfect starting point!”

Michael Tolkin | CEO, Merchant Exchange

Coding Always Counts

“Your child can learn the basics and even advanced coding through Codecademy. I wish I could have done this as a kid growing up. Your child doesn’t need to become a developer, but if they’re looking to raise funding in Silicon Valley, it’s important to understand how to code and how to communicate with developers.”

Jun Loayza | President, Ecommerce Rules

Study the Art of the Pitch

“Like most facets in the business world, there are norms that, if understood, can increase the attractiveness of the business for investors. This is not the “art of the spin” but rather learning how to share important elements of the business so the founder and business is perceived as credible. I recommend starting this education with the book The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki.”

Kent Healy | Founder and CEO, The Uncommon Life

Start Your Own Business

“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, making starting my own business the logical thing for me to do. It was important for me to do each step myself (including figuring out the money), but being able to ask experienced entrepreneurs, like my parents and grandparents, for their advice was invaluable. But if they hadn’t had their own businesses, they wouldn’t have been able to give information.”

Thursday Bram | Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting

Talk Isn’t Cheap

“Your child’s business is best coming from their mouths, and that’s what will get people excited to invest in it. So even if you’re managing the deals, don’t push them to the side. Let them talk to friends, investors, or anyone else who may be giving them money. It might take them a few tries to get the pitch down, but this will put them way ahead of the game in the long run.”

Sean Ogle | Founder, Location 180, LLC

Chaperone the Conferences

“Bring them to conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, BlogWorld, etc. Let them meet other entrepreneurs and VCs so they can learn what they need to do in order to raise funding.”

Ben Lang | Founder, Mapped In Israel

Look Beyond the Dollar Bills

“The best skills your child can learn are how to bootstrap, and creatively solve any issues that arise in their business — without letting an excuse like money stop them. “

Yanik Silver | Chaos Catalyst,

Assist, but Don’t Do the Work

“The trick is to assist, but don’t do all the work. Parents can supply the helpful experience that young entrepreneurs lack. However, parents should just point their children in the right direction. For example, use some of their resources to find out what banks or investors to get in front of. My parents were always supportive, but never handed me money or made it easy.”

John Hall | CEO, Influence & Co.

Is Funding Actually the Answer?

“Is funding what he or she wants for the business, or is it what you want? Make sure to ask that question to your kid directly, so that he or she isn’t pressured to take a path and later regret it because it wasn’t his/her choice. Money is everywhere, but give your child a new point of view: many of the greatest businesses are built and bootstrapped without outside funding.”

Matthew Ackerson | Founder, Saber Blast