Supporting Start-Ups

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Perhaps you’ve been approached by a start-up, a new organization or innovator with plans to implement a fresh idea or model. Start-ups can range from fledgling ideas to recently incorporated organizations. All share one trait, though: They’ve been in operation for too little time to have established track records.

For foundations, supporting start-ups comes with challenges, including taking risks on unproven ideas and helping to build organizations from the ground up. In many cases, support also requires more than money. Most start-ups need a good deal of hands-on guidance, including technical assistance, capacity building, and networking opportunities.

Nevertheless, according to your small foundation colleagues who fund start-ups, this extra commitment is anything but a negative. They say it can be incredibly rewarding—both personally and professionally.

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