As everyone knows I'm a big fan of bootstrapping, in a
slightly self-serving kind of way. We like being the first institutional investor in businesses with between $5m and $50m in revenues. But how do you get to the $5m hurdle without raising venture capital? Business fund.com has a very useful post with alternative ways to fund your business, including customer prepayments, consulting services, receivables factoring, equipment leasing, etc, as well as some US-specific sources of loans and subsidies. In the UK, I would add to this list fairly generous R&D tax credits, which are available to young companies.