“They told me I’d be rich”: Why these entrepreneurs have turned down millions from investors

There’s no end to the number of startups and businesses who have done the hard yards and raised millions of dollars in funding, but less well-known are the companies and founders who turn down those same millions.

Though it’s often viewed as the ultimate mark of validation for a fast-growing business, there are times (believe it or not) when taking on millions in venture capital can actually be the wrong move, often for any number of reasons.

One such entrepreneur who knocked back a locked-in investment is Tom Szaky, the founder and chief executive officer of  $18 million recycling company TerraCycle. Szaky penned a piece for Entrepreneur earlier this year, running through why his company turned down a $1 million investment during its early days, despite having just $500 in the bank.

The company had competed at a local pitching competition, where the grand prize was $1 million. To his surprise, Szaky won the competition, which led to a whirlwind of attention for the business.

“But, in the following weeks, the investors’ lack of interest in the environmental aspects of converting garbage into vermicompost remained,” he wrote. Read more

Dominic Powell - Startup Smart - 7 Sep 2018


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