Lottery vs. venture capital

I was just reading in Crain’s that only 19 companies in the NY-metro area closed early-stage venture capital funding last quarter. 19!!!

That got me thinking, are you better off playing the lottery? The numbers aren’t apples to apples, but just for fun, consider this:

  • 1,600 people per year in the U.S. win at least $1 million in the lottery.
  • 483 companies raised seed stage VC funding in 2008, and another 1,072 got early stage funding.

Not far off!! So, unless you’re sure you’ve got the right stuff (e.g. team with previous startup wins, chance to generate $100 million+, significant traction to date, a network of vc contacts, etc.) – stick to bootstrapping or angel funding through your early stages.

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