Frequently Asked Questions


Nope. However, we ARE here to accelerate your preparation for the funding process and potential success. 

Nope. No couches or game rooms here. We are interested in working with excellent companies who want to run their business and need help getting ready and going to market to raise capital. 

No one can guarantee success, fundraising or the sun coming up tomorrow. We will however put you in the best position according to how we engage and position you for success. The path to entrepreneurship is comprised of many things including your dedication, execution, decision making, team and tons of other factors. We put you in the best position to make all of this come together. And, at the right time.

Short answer is no. Longer answer is investors won’t be as interested in your company unless they know you’re devoted to it full time. We look for these founders. If you have another job to pay the bills, great. However, the majority of founders that we work with are already full time into the business or ready to be full time in order to keep up with the growth.  

Yes. About 20-30% of the people we work with are outside of Chicago.

Not at this time. However, we are working with a few major partners to allocate a fund at a later date.

No. We like our space too :). However, we have hot coffee, Coke products and tons of LaCroix. And, you’re welcome anytime. Each program has a set schedule in place so you can run your business. Many of the meetings are in different locations. All are in downtown Chicago at this time and you should check the schedule once we have accepted you into the program. We will also send calendar invites to keep your schedule on point.  

No. We are not a broker dealer, nor do we take a % of any of the raise. Be careful here btw of “potential advisors” and people who can “help”. Anyone who is not a FINRA registered representative, cannot take a % of the raise legally without being a licensed representative. We know this first hand. See blog post here.

Terri Friel is our amazing partner and program director. Her credentials are stellar; Fortune 50 company experience, Academic experience and start up consulting experience. See them here. Additionally, you will work with our founder, RJ Pahura, President, Maurice Vincent, COO, Jessica Powell, and all of our partner program managers throughout the process.

We welcome all and are happy to see you have a team! Bring them along and we’ll make sure everyone is on the same page. We only allow one person on the stage for the pitch however, so make sure that person is your best “showperson.” 

We are industry agnostic.

We love anything B2B and so do investors. If you have multiple revenue opportunities, it’s a trifecta!

  • 101 is for those that are beginners not sure they are ready for the raise or are wanting to try out some of our services at a more affordable cost.
  • 102 is for the intermediate fundraising company, that wants some help getting started, access to some investors with advice and good presentation documents and coaching.
  • 103 is for the advanced fundraising company that wants the full support of Venture Connects professionals, mentors, coaches and partners as well as access to investors at FUND and our demo days.
  • What are the outcomes?
    • No one can guarantee outcomes. It’s not legal to do so. However, we have a high percentage of successes with our processes and a great reputation with investors from bringing great companies to their attention. When you join our programs, you become a VCVetted company with all the recognition of quality that provides to our investor network.
    • see program details

There is not a set number of hours. Each program requires commitment. You will need to make the time, structure is around your schedule and make sure it works for you. You get out of it what you put in. So, if you’re going to join, make sure you can make the time and take it seriously. You have one shot with investors so putting the prep time in is essential for success. 

The ones that make sense, make money and show significant opportunity. We are industry agnostic. We do not accept Pharmaceutical companies.
    ■ Examples include: (CPG, B2B, B2C, Retail, Franchise, SAAS, etc).

  • (i.e. first timers, seasoned, etc.)
    • We’ve worked with all of the above. First time entrepreneurs who need guidance.
    • Seasoned ones who know that this is a full time job and need help in the preparation and potential execution of fundraising and introductions.
    • People who are already partially subscribed to their raise and need help facilitating the rest of it to get to their goal.

The youngest founder we’ve worked with is 24. The oldest is 59. Most of the companies we’ve worked with have some corporate experience, business acumen and heavy experience in their industry. Age is just a number, however, we typically work with more experienced founders. 

See our program fees for more clear details on packages and ala carte options. 

Fundraising can take 3-6+ months. You have to be realistic. We encourage you to apply today and let’s have a conversation to see if you’re ready for an upcoming program.
We have 3 very broad things we look for initially.
1. Is this a real company?
2. Would we invest in it?
3. Do we think others would invest in it?

440 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60654 (Wells/Hubbard)

We offer hot coffee, Coke products, tons of LaCroix and sometimes cold brews.

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