'Funding Your Business' To Be Discussed at Jan. 16 WPI Venture Forum

Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

WORCESTER, Mass. - During the first quarter of 2000, venture capital companies invested a whopping $17.2 billion into new businesses, mostly in high-tech industries. However, over the last several months, Internet start-ups have rapidly fallen by the wayside. The economy has slowed and investors are hesitant to place their money in the hands of entrepreneurs who may be out of business within a year. So where does this leave the businessperson seeking funding?

The Jan. 16 meeting of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Venture Forum, titled "Funding Your Business," will focus on the answers to funding questions. The forum will offer tips, do's and don'ts and advice on the right type of funding for a particular business. The program will be held in Salisbury Laboratories' Kinnicutt Lecture Hall on WPI's Worcester, Mass., campus. Registration begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting at 6:30.

Before a businessperson begins to consider sources for funding, some key questions need to be asked:

A panel of experts will relate their personal experiences in seeking funding. Brian Dingman, head of the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Mirick O'Connell, Attorneys At Law, will serve as moderator. Dick Foemmel, an entrepreneur from Cambridge-based CytoLogix, will offer first-hand accounts of his funding endeavors. Gary E. Martinelli, a securities and business lawyer at Gary E. Martinelli & Associates, P.C., in Springfield, Mass., will share his expertise as an angel investor. Following the presentations, the floor will be open for questions.

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.