First Money: Sources for early Operating Capital

11 September 2008

At a meeting or The Ottawa Network last night, I heard presentations by George Brown, President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund (, Paul Lem of Spartan Bioscience ( and Harley Finkelstein of Innoventure Capital (

George and Harley both provide “first money” to entrepreneurs who need that initial shot of operating capital to get them going.  The amounts are small – in the range of $1,000 to $15,000.  This is not a lot, but for a start-up entrepreneur with no money and lots of ambition, it may be enough to get going.  Check out their sites for more info.

Paul Lem’s presentation was quite different.  As a serially successful entrepreneur himself, he was offering jobs to other entrepreneurs who would take his ideas and run with them in the market.  He would provide skeleton staff and $1,000 a month in living expenses – again not a lot – but the payoff on exit could be big.  If you have ambition but no good ideas, check out his website for potential opportunities.

Let me know of other sources.