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How to lure funding for your start-up

A top concern for entrepreneurs: finding the greenbacks to set an idea into motion. A new survey offers advice to entrepreneurs on what venture capitalists - those fat-walleted underwriters - look for before they invest.

Profit Dynamics Inc., a research and consulting firm in Fountain Hills, Ariz., polled more than 100 venture-capital companies across the United States.

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Among the findings:

*What venture capitalists (VCs) want to see first is a great executive summary.

*VCs prefer the initial contact by e-mail over any other method.

*Management is key: If your company doesn't have it, get it, or you won't get venture capital.

*If the company's founder is not an experienced CEO, hire one.

*Competition is stiff. The number of companies seeking a share of the $20 billion in venture capital available each year has risen substantially in the past 12 months.

*In a hurry? Don't be, the average time it takes VCs to close a deal is nearly three months.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society