8 of 10
BACKNEXT
Schmooze hard ...
VCs nearly always minimize risk by going with entrepreneurs whom they know or who come recommended by someone they trust. Years before he founded MyPunchbowl, Douglas started attending entrepreneurial networking events in the Boston area. Through this connection he met McQuilken of Intel Capital, who in turn introduced him to other investors. "VCs are easy to get to know," says Bell of Highland Capital. "It's our job to give away money. I spend a lot of time talking with entrepreneurs, executive vice presidents at companies who might one day go out on their own, lawyers, consultants - all these people are your network. Say you currently work at ABC Co. but would like to start your own company someday. Call and say you'd like to pick my brain. I'll tap someone like you to help me do due diligence on an investment that interests me. And I'll remember you when you do start that business."

NEXT: ...but don't oversell it
LAST UPDATE: Apr 21 2009 | 10:57 AM ET
Sponsored by
Full story: The venture game Even in tough times, money is available for startups with vision and a foolproof plan. More
Startup showdown Dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs will vie for a share of $800,000 in seed money at this month's Rice Business Plan Competition. Meet the competitors. More
7 business plan superstars After winning competitions with their business plans, these 7 ventures turned their paper visions into thriving companies. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.