Subject: RE: Intro and question
From: "Chris Maeda" <chrismaeda@attbi.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 00:19:37 -0500


>> is it possible to build a business without a large nest egg?

It depends on the business.

Based on your description, Linux NJ is a services business which
is not capital intensive.  I would try to bootstrap the business by 
selling long term support contracts (ie X machines, Y users,
Z response time for $$ per month).  Once you sell the support
contracts, you would be justified in staffing up to deliver
against them.

Building and selling a software product takes more capital since
you (usually) have to build the software before anyone will buy it.
If you can get it, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants
are an excellent source of funding.  By law, any US Govt agency
that funds external research must allocate 1%-2% of their research budget
to small businesses.  DoD, NSF, and NIH are the biggest sources
of SBIR funds and each maintains web pages dedicated to this program.
This program is only open to US businesses.  The grant sizes are
$100k/6mos in phase I and $750k/24mos in phase II; the money is not a loan,
not an equity investment, and the grantee owns any intellectual
property that results.

Hope this helps, 
Chris