Team Members


Merrimack Valley Time Exchange

Class: 2014 Winter Accelerator

Company Description

The Merrimack Valley Time Exchange (MVTE) is a new "time bank" program at the Coalition for a Better Acre." Community members can sign up to become members of the MVTE and after a reference check can choose to exchange services, skills and resources through the "time economy." Members set up profiles listing services they are offering and those they are requesting, they earn "time credits" for providing services to other members and can spend these credits to get services they need from any other member of the time exchange. One hour of service is always worth one unit of credit. As the program grows and new members join the services offered through the exchange become more and more diverse. For more information call Joy Mosenfelder at 978-452-7523 x 815 or email

02/11/2014 09:53 AM
Need to develop a strategic plan for sustainability and growth. Need to solidify membership policies and orientation procedures. Need to develop a sustainable funding strategy. Need to develop a comprehensive, replicatable, recruitment strategy. Need to diversify and solidify governance structure and have a succession plan. Need new members, funding, and broader exposure in the community. I need help with updating my website better using it as a tool to engage my members.


"Show Me the Money" 

Must-Do Action Steps for Raising Money 

Presentor: Barrie Atkin

Barrie opens with two questions for us: What is money? How does money make you feel? On a scale of 1-10 one being low, 10 being high rate your feelings about money. 


Are you ready to Raise Money?

  • What stage are you at? Seed or Start-Up?
  • You need money - BUT investors are risk averse. No one wants to be the first to invest.
  • The question you have to answer is "Why should ______ give you money?" What is special about what you are doing? What are your strengths? Etc...
  • Conduct a realistic self investment before asking for money. 
    • Do you have a PLAN?
      • Elevator Pitch
      • Executive Summary
      • Business Plan
      • Cash Flow Projection - know how much you need and what it will be used for
      • Website
      • Other documentation
  • If you are struggling with cash outflow there are a number of strategies you can use to limit expenses. 
  • Cash Flow strategies include things like Pre-Orders, Advance Payments, Etc...

Sources of Money - What's Right for You?

  • There are many sources of money but the compition for funding is fierce 
  • Sources of funding change as your business goes through various stages. 
  • Why will (or should) people invest? What about you and your idea will people believe in? What is the passion that drives you/can you translate that for other people? Also, you have to ask.
  • Friends and Family: How do your family and friends feel about money? That makes a difference in how you ask. Within the same family people can have very different feelings about money. When it is awkward to talk about money talk about your passions instead. You can also ask for advice. (Barrie's Fundraising Mantra: "If you want advice ask for money, if you want money ask for advice.") Also, be clear about expectations on both sides.You have to be able to convey confidence!
  • Crowdfunding: Many options, often a pre-sale type situation, some of them require business modesl, some are all-or-nothing, often take percentages, read the rules and know what you are getting into.
  • Angels are people who invest their own money - often successful business owners. Asking Angels can be an ongoing process - no doesn't mean no, it means not right now. Always thank people for letting you ask, try to follow up with what would make you change your mind?

The Process - Some How-To's

  • Networking is the best way to get people involved and engaged.
  • Get to know people before you ask for money. 
  • Make sure to thank, profusely, often, and sincerely. - Use you more than we, be specific
  • Keep in mind investors are also looking for opportunities to invest as much as you are looking for people to invest in you.
  • Keep track of meetings what expectations where and what the followup needs to be.

How to become more comfortable asking for money

  • Know your own feelings about money, be in tune with the fact that other people's feelings may be different
  • The ask will be successful if it is the right person, at the right time, at the right place, for the right amount
  • Understand that there are people out there who want to spend their money, they are going to give money to somebody find a reason for them to give it to you.
  • They key is to keep asking questions and follow up with the people who match your interests, what you care about, and your passions.