Economy causing your wallet to feel light? Here’s your chance to win $250,000.

ninjas killed my family i need money

Just because we are in an economic recession, it doesn’t mean you can’t be doing well. A few weeks ago I invested money in a venture fund called the Founders Co-op. Currently we are looking to invest up to $250,000 in multiple companies who are based in Seattle or looking to move up there (there is no state tax in Washington).

Here is what the Founders Co-op can offer you:

  1. Money – with capital you’ll be able to grow your company.
  2. Expertise – unlike most venture funds, the Founders Co-op isn’t made up of finance people, instead we are all entrepreneurs. Because of this you will get advice from people like Ben Elowitz who co-founded Blue Nile and took it public. Or Andy Sack who founded three Internet startups and sold them (the first company was bought by Acxiom, the second was bought by the New York Times, and the third was bought by Microsoft).
  3. Networking – meeting random people on a regular basis is easy, but meeting people that can help your business grow is hard. Through the Founders Co-op you will get to meet the right type of people.

I know this may not sound attractive to you, but this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. The people in the Founders Co-op changed my life. They took me under their wing and helped grow my companies. Not only did they give me business advice, more importantly they are good friends who are always looking out for my best interest.

If you are interested in having what I have, I highly recommend checking out the Founders Co-op and consider applying for venture financing.

Update 1: If you need any help or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Update 2: If your company needs more than $250,000 you can still apply for funding from the Founders Co-op. In many cases the Founders Co-op will still fund you, but through our network we will bring on other investors to participate.

Update 3: Whether you have a new business idea or an existing business, you can apply. This opportunity is for anyone.

Update 4: For those of you who are wondering about my involvement with the Founders Co-op, I am pretty much a Limited Partner. All this means is that I invested money in the Founders Co-op. I am not involved in the daily operations, but I have some say on what companies get funded. I also will do everything in my power to make sure that the companies we fund are successful.

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Comments

  1. Dude you’re a stud, this kind of advise/opportunity only comes along by those who know about it, thanks for sharing, I might just take you up on it.

  2. Hey Niel, Thanks for heads up.
    This opportunity available for Indian companies?

  3. Interesting… if selected how quickly would one have to move their company to Seattle? Is this necessary in all cases?

  4. Washington’s a pretty big state…it would be a heck of a lot less overhead to run your company in Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, etc.

  5. I agree with most of what you said, and actually read a post on Under the Radar just before yours that drives home the opportunity you just mentioned.

    The Under the Radar Blog had a post where they interviewed Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners and he was asked how startups can get in touch w/ VC’s.

    Tim’s response was “One of the best ways to reach a VC is through a mutual friend or trusted contact — warm intros are the best way to ensure that your deal stands out above the noise.”

    From all that I have read about the VC industry, that is 100% true.

    I hope you get a lot of responses from this, as this type of contact for those looking for funding doesn’t happen all the time.

    Also, just being in the know about a fund is 1/2 the battle since there are thousands of VC’s out there (Yes, thousands. With more popping up all the time. Try sorting through that and finding one that is focused on your niche.)

    I will add Founder’s Co-op to my database of VC’s. Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for the kind words. As you mentioned, most people don’t realize how great it is to have an introduction or an open door to a VC. It is really hard to get money from investors that don’t personally know you.

  6. I can’t move from Florida and it is also a no state tax place. Quit the day job because I was constantly hassled by an idiot and am in process of building a Disney related website business. It never hurts to ask, right? At least, I can follow up on all the good leads. Thanks Neil.

  7. Hi Neil, great advice as usual. Thanks for the information, it would be great to be able to take you and your partners up on that opportunity. Since my company is an internet-based company, do we need to move to Seattle, or would moving the incorporation to Seattle suffice?

    Also, does it need to be a brand new startup, or can be an existing company looking to expand? (The application referenced having a prototype or time-frame for something to market).

  8. Sounds like an amazing opportunity for the up and coming entrepreneurs.

  9. If you said SoCal or Hawaii, I’d be first one in line. ;-) Love Seattle though.

  10. I don’t care who you are anyone could use 250k. The picture cracked me up, I have seen it before but gets me every time.

  11. This could be a great opportunity for someone based in that area or even someone starting a business who can relocate. I wish we didn’t have state taxes in my two business locations but we are getting taxed 15% or higher.

  12. I was just hoping for the Kung Fu lessons, they’d have to be less than 250k. Has anybody seen those matrix moves you do Neil? http://zi.ma/2dab05 Could probably earn some extra cash teaching folks your fight style. :)

  13. This is an amazing opportunity, I like the fact that the fund is made of all entrepreneurs and not finance people, really gives the opportunity to have real support and not just money being provided.

  14. Neil,

    I’m an unemployed Affiliate Marketing newbie, suffering from Info-overload, and wit hzero funds to start a business in PPC or anything else.

    Where is the $100,000.00 Venture Capital Funding Company that can help me?

    Respectfully, Nicholas Chase (pending BK in January 2009..)

  15. Hey Neil,

    I was wondering if you have recommendations for something as such down in Southern California. I find that I lack a consistent network of experienced people to learn from and get advice. Preferably someone to kick my ass to start something in the right direction haha. Thanks.

    Brian

  16. Hey Neal, I don’t know if you remember but we met at TC50. I talked a little bit about the startup I am currently working on (Mugasha – Electronic Music service) I have been looking at this opportunity since Techcrunch posted about it. The only caveat is, my team is in Portland. Do you think it can still work out?

  17. Sure Neil you wait 2 months after I leave that area to make an offer… schweet :D I probably would have applied otherwise – btw Bellingham Wa, is a GREAT place just north of Seattle – overhead is low and it’s 1.2hrs driving distance

  18. I would invest in real estate now. the market is so cheap and the best part would be that you would own ‘real’ assets, instead of paper with the stock market.

  19. Wow, I think the only thing stopping me from applying is having the need to move to Seattle. It’s a risk, but I’m not too sure :(

    -Mike

  20. awesome! I see that the Founder’s Co-op has invested in coolerplanet, I’ve seen those guys make some great progress over the years. Neil, do you know the founders? Anyway you can make an introduction? There are some possible ways we can work with each other.

  21. Venture capitalists do more than just invest in their own portfolio, the they provide many interested producers with the sense that there is more opportunity and demand going around than there might seem to be.

    • I am not exactly sure what you mean. Do you mind clarifying?

      With the Founders Co-op, we also give a lot more than money. We help entrepreneurs in every aspect of their business.

  22. I guess it never hurts to try! Im interested in what possibilities may arise. With the nature of the internet – work can be done anywhere at anytime so relocation for me may be possible but yet scary because that means leaving my comfort zone.

  23. Shuki Haiminis :

    This is a great opportunity.

    I sent in my application the other day :)

  24. Niel, what are your thoughts on communities these days? Do you still see any opportunity in rich niche communities? What would you look for in a community today?

    • I think there are lots of opportunities for communities. The only thing is, you have to go after a niche and provide something special that these other communities do not provide. I am not sure what the something special is, but I do know it isn’t tons of useless features that look cool.

  25. Neil,

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Our company’s proprietary technology is used within the Sports & Entertainment companies, currently out of Southern California.

    But with the integration of Interactive Marketing, and OnSite, as well as OnLine Sponsorship angle, it could be used at the Seattle Seahawks or Mariners games.

    Does the entire company have to move, or just a few of the starving executives??

    Thank you,

    EventScreen

  26. Hey Neil brilliant idea:
    Quick question: are you looking for wb-based ideas only or ideas by entrepreneurs willing to re-locate to Washington?

  27. I like the approach of entrepreneurs investing in other entrepreneurs. It’s amazing how out of touch some of the vc’s out there seem with what it really takes to succeed with an early stage startup.

    • What you have to realize about VCs is that many of them are finance/business guys and not entrepreneurs. They are very well connected and are able to raise tons of money, but they aren’t visionaries.

  28. what about a business that can be started/moved anywhere but is currently in southern california?

  29. I guess it never hurts to try! Im interested in what possibilities may arise. With the nature of the internet – work can be done anywhere at anytime so relocation for me may be possible but yet scary because that means leaving my comfort zone.

    • With some Internet companies you can run it from anywhere, but not with all. For example if you are a celebrity related Internet company it would be wise to relocate to Southern California. If you are a media based Internet company, you may want to consider relocating to New York.

  30. Hi,

    I actually don’t want your money, lol. Just your brain:) I started a few websites and although one makes money I just don’t know how to market them. They both PAY you to use them, but I’m finding that I don’t know how to market them well. Any ideas on how to do that would be VERY much appreciated:)
    One is http://www.getpaidfrom.us – a 50/50 blog/forum host that splits the ad revenue income with the author. The other is a dating site that pays you to use it, called http://www.zuedit.com.

    I thought hey if I pay people they’ll just come. Not the case. So again, ANY help or advice you could offer me I’d appreciate it:)

    Thanks,
    Dave

  31. Thanks for the reply Neil, I’m really impressed with quick response on comments. This is one of the reason why I rate your blog as one of the best online today. Thanks , I reckon you should have a donation button, even to show gratitude for the advice.

    Monica

  32. Shuki Haiminis :

    Neil,

    We were not selected but I am interested in your companies services. What is the best wat to engage you for a quote etc?

    Thanks,

    Shuki

  33. Hi Neil,

    Do you have any idea how long the screening process for applications takes?

    Thanks,
    Wale.

  34. Niel, thanks for your generosity and inspiration.
    philanthropy, entrepreneurs and innovation is what makes this country great,… that, and tax loopholes.
    I will follow the link and see if my grand idea is one worthy of funding.
    thanks and take care
    bryan

  35. Hi Neil,
    I have a venture that I would like to share and possibly apply for the funding…

    Please advise of the next steps.

    Regards- Bipul

  36. Now that is PHENOMENAL!!! Wow. I just went over to check out the service, really neat. I think a lot of people will really benefit from this very program.

  37. You’ve said: “there is no state tax in Washington”

    What you mean, business owners don’t pay taxes there??

  38. Thessaly Nobility :

    Good Luck Neil finding that worthy growing business!

  39. Neil,

    The flash-storage related company can apply? Or it is beyond fund focus?

    thank you in advance,
    the founder.

  40. Neil, I want to know more. I have a CMS, that powers some sites that i am sure you know of. The System is driving traffic on about 10,000 unique SEO terms per month off of less than 5 domains. You have my email.

  41. I am not 100% sure. I would consider applying first and if the Founders Co-op is interested, things can probably be worked out.

  42. Vakfıkebir :

    This is an amazing opportunity, I like the fact that the fund is made of all entrepreneurs and not finance people, really gives the opportunity to have real support and not just money being provided.

  43. A generous offer. Let me know if you ever offer if in Australia ;)

  44. Seattle is nice just stay away from the park by the water, west of the space needle, some guy cam up to me and asked if I was looking for some weed. I didn’t hear him the first time thought he said “looking for me” had him repeat it and holding back my laughter I said no. It was so funny because I was there for a PTK trip and was all dressed up.

    Anyways, what kind of advice do they offer, is it like a chamber of commerce, small business association, or S.C.O.R.E.

    • The Founders Co-op is a group of people who fund other startups. So we more so hear pitches and fund companies we like. Once we fund companies then all the members help them out so that they succeed.

  45. Neil, that is the most unexpected post that I have ever come across. For the moment, I am not in need, but hope to be soon enough when, you bet that I shall contact you.

  46. Wow, to think that everyone believes there’s NO money anywhere?! I guess the books are right – when you think there’s no money, there’s no money; but when you believe there’s money, you will find it. Interesting indeed.

  47. Buddy u r such a stud….
    Not only do you need to separate yourself, but also need to have a good value proposition. Why should someone come back to your website?

    Hpe u apply it :)

  48. Hello Neil,

    I am currently residing in Poland and as you may know already Poland is an up and coming country and I actually have a few ideas
    that I would like to implement into Poland.

    Could you please send me your email address and I shall send you my business plan and you can see what you think.

    Also at this point it would be a single shop but I would really appreciate if you look at the larger scope, I mean franchise possibilities.

    Sincerely

    Christopher Bradbury

  49. sanitary valves :

    Could you please send me your email address and I shall send you my business plan and you can see what you think.

  50. Cartier Wholesale Jewelry :

    This is true?

  51. I hope you get a lot of responses from this, as this type of contact for those looking for funding doesn’t happen all the time.

  52. ?very weekend ? used to pay a visijt this site, as
    i want enjoyment, si?ce this this ?eb psge conations genuinely fastidious funny
    data too.

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