Entrepreneurship · Fundraising

How to approach an established company to fund a mutually beneficial venture?


Last updated on August 26th, 2017

I've been developing a pet project with a key division of a F500 company. The F500 won't offer meaningful funding because 1. the venture is still a year away from making significant revenue; 2. it's not a unicorn. The division's not going to stick their neck out for me too far. But, there's enough potential that they've joined my advisory board, hired a CTO and are recruiting others, and have kept us on retainer.

The F500 is a leader in a niche space, but there's a lot of tangentially related private companies that'd benefit from what we're doing. My team and advisory board is stacked with respected experts, so I'm sure we can get meetings with these companies, but I don't know how to frame a request for funding. Who would authorize this decision?


August 26th, 2017

What is the ownership structure right now? Is your team co-developing IP with the F500 company's division? If you want funding, you would need to be clear on who owns what and where the money will go.

David M

September 14th, 2017

Just as an FYI, because I can not tell based on your question...you need to be very mindful of where you are developing this project and what your employment contract is. When you say your pet project is "with" a key division of a fortune 500 company that leads me to wonder if the fortune 500 owns your project. Check your contract. You don't want to create something great on owned computers and time of your company..only to find out in court because you didn't separate the two, you own nothing. You may already be aware of this, but again your wording is not clear in terms of who what where..etc. Also evaluate your non compete clause. Again..sounds like you are walking on unstable ground with regard to ownership. I would start by have a clear separation of two...Create your LLC, or S-Corp..establish all of that, then move forward.