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Where to find Angel investors interested in a small firearm related startup?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by RobV, Feb 14, 2013.

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  1. RobV

    RobV New Member

    Hey Folks,

    I could use a little help and advice on how a person might go about raising ~$100k in seed money to turn an idea for a new kind of weapon from a patent application into a functioning prototype...


    ...you may have remembered me talking about it here:

    Well, I know some of you are just going to hate it, tell me how dumb it is, etc. but I actually got quite a bit of positive feedback, when I sent out our press release last week, and I've decided I have enough 'traction' based on all the different feedback I'm hearing around the web to go after some funding.

    For example, the Glock Forum posted the NEDG on their Facebook page, and got over 6200 'Likes' and over 2100 'Shares'!!! How about THAT for feedback?


    But here are some of the issues I'm facing... The gun industry is running at max. No one has time to do anything. So that shuts down partnerships and just about anything involving smaller fabrication and manufacturing companies. Big companies won't talk to you until you have a patent in hand and a working prototype - but to get there, I need upwards of $100k.

    So that leaves me with just 'gun nuts', like me, that are into the idea and think the marketsize and demand are also there. I've actually been approached by a few different potential investors but I need a way to reach more people like this. Advertise? That seems a bit different, but maybe its as simple as AdWords? Typical Angel investors are simply not interested in guns right now. They are running at peak, with an end in sight, one way or another.... either a ban or market saturation.

    Anyway, I don't know where to seek money because it's gun oriented. I can't even use 'crowdfunding' sites, because they don't allow firearm related projects, so a lot of avenues seem closed to me. There must be new doors opening somewhere?

    What would you do? How would you attack it?
  2. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay New Member

    ...i have 512 friends on F.book and not 1 helped me shovel my driveway.
    just saying that what people say there and what they do may be dissimiliar. not really the type of feedback i'd base a investment on.
    though YMMV and it is neat looking.
    how to sell it? as a SBR on one side or a handgun & rifle?

    as a bullpup (223, 18") and a SB shotgun ( 12 or 20) would get my attention.
  3. RobV

    RobV New Member

    Haha I hear you on Facebook, people will like anything, but still it got 3x the response they usually get.

    As far as SBRs, this is where everyone seems a little confused, but the illustration of the kit you see on this page, when configured with 2 guns, would NOT be considered an SBR (if it were offered to the public) because the OVERALL LENGTH is greater than 26". Forget that it has 2 barrels and one is short - it doesn't matter. You need at least one barrel >16" barrel OR an overall length of 26"+…. so theoretically what you see here is an UNREGULATED firearm ACCESSORY, that when combined with 2 pistols is still legal. In other words, I could sell this right now in 7-11, with no background check. Who knows what will happen in a 'ban' situation.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  4. RobV

    RobV New Member

    I found it: a short barreled rifle is defined in the US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter, Sec. 921. as follows...

    (8) The term ''short-barreled rifle'' means a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  5. blackrussian

    blackrussian New Member

    Kel-Tec would probably build it.
  6. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Active Member


    A "never empty double gun" with TWO pistol grips and TWO magazines in an evil looking matt black and militant looking ridges!

    Diane Feinstein would be champing at the bit to get her mitts on one of these, just so she can pose with it in another AWB poster picture!

    Only this time she can have TWO trigger fingers inside the trigger guards as she sweeps the crowd of supporters standing next to her...

    This is a cool design, which has a LOT of potential in versitility. I don't have seed money, but if it ever goes into production I'll certainly be looking at it closely in performance reviews. If it performs as good as it looks, it would be mighty difficult for me not to buy one. This one is a work of art, as pictured.

  7. gym

    gym member

    You need to write a formal business plan, then submit it to investors and see what comes back.
    I did this for a friend of mine in CA, in my spare time, but it still took a year. The problem with him was "vast", basically he was a flake, a great idea, but his life was a mess. Backers "supported", him instead of, using the money to advance the product. After 3 years of taking money, he still did not have a sample.
    I gave up on him, after giving him a few more months to "straighten his life out", this was near the "end" of his dilusion.
    If you are a level headed guy with a great idea, you need to do your homework, there are a multitude of websights that angel and other investors have set up to get the right funding, seed money, start up, etc, You need to have the Business plan before anyone will take you seriouslly. It's a pain in the butt to write it up properlly, but there are templates available in "word" or seperate programs that you just punch the info in and you get a plan.
    It's a lot of work, but after dabbeling in it for a year or so, I learned that you simplly "have" to have it.
    PS: always ask for the proper amount, this is the most important element. Some inventors are afraid to ask for sufficient funds to actually finish their product. Investors dislike having to re-up again, it shows them that you didn't know your marketplace/ costs.
    If you need specifics PM me, I can give you some tips, like always get a Non compete / Non disclosure, mitigating risks, etc.
    They expect these things from you prior to you giving them anything to look at.
  8. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

    I don't want to burst your bubble, but I would recommend sending the ATF Tech Branch a letter. They can tell you for certain whether they would consider the firearm to be a short-barreled rifle.

    I think they will.

    You posted:

    That's unfortunately an "either or" proposition. It's a short-barreled rifle if it has a barrel less than 16 inches. It's a short-barreled rifle if it has a barrel greater than 16 inches, but an overall length less than 26 inches.

    If your interpretation were correct, then a 10.5" barrel on an AR15 would not be a short-barreled rifle as long as the overall length was over 26 inches. As an owner of a 10.5" barreled AR15 that's registered as an SBR and has an overall length of 29", I can assure you that I really did have to apply for a tax stamp to be legal.

    Your rifle, as configured, has "one or more barrels" (in this case only one of the two) that is less than 16 inches in length. Therefore it meets the definition of a short-barreled rifle.

    I can't help you with the angel investors question, but I can guarantee you that no one is going to invest in a business making a new style of firearm that has one has to pay a $200 tax stamp to own.

    Also, if this isn't a pipe dream, you should seriously consider building a functional prototype yourself. It would take far less than $100,000 to do that. People build their own firearms every day. Your design is certainly an original idea, but a reasonable proto-version could be made from off-the-shelf parts. First, buy two Glocks. Then buy a HERA stock for the Glock, which gets you halfway there. Then find a way to attach the second glock to the under-barrel rail on the HERA.

    It won't be as pretty, but it's the same basic idea. Then start learning how to work with plastics or fiberglass yourself, get some basic metalworking tools (lathe, etc) that a hobbyist gunbuilder would have and churn out a real prototype.

  9. JustinJ

    JustinJ New Member

    I don't get it. Why not just use a magazine with more capacity? Or design a new higher capacity mag and corresponding gun. What exactly is the benefit to having two seperate triggers and mags? It looks like a higher chance of failures to me.

    edit: I think i get it. So the point is that you leave one mag loaded in reserve so you are loaded for a brief mag change? Would that really be an issue considering how pistol caliber carbines are generally used? Also, if you're in the process of swapping mags wouldn't you be too distracted to shoot anyways? Regardless, wouldn't you get the same effect by attached a revolver to the bottom of an AR quadrail? I think a much better device would be one that alerts you somehow when you are down to three, two and one round so that one can just leave one in the chamber while reloading and you'd still be able to fire during a mag change although honestly i don't think shooting during a mag swap is very practical.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  10. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Active Member

    The real attraction for me would be a combination weapon...say, shotgun and rifle.
  11. RobV

    RobV New Member

    I get where you guys are coming from - you have good ideas, the problem is this area is riddled with patents that you need to avoid. Why not attach a pistol to a long gun via a simple attachment? Because it's already patented. That's actually the case with most everything, actually.

    As far as reloading goes, you don't really HAVE to keep shooting the front gun WHILE you reload the back one, but theoretically you could. The point is at least you have something ready to rock if you needed it.

    I'm not saying you guys fit this description but most gun guys envision themselves as some sort of Navy SEAL, capable of a one second flawless reload when in fact in a bad situation it may take them forever. First, most guys I know cant do everything without looking at their gun - and in the dark this would be a problem. The whole point of this thing is just having more bullets available - so many you may not have to reload at all. In a short, it's a poorman's totally legal machine gun substitute - it was designed to rain lead.

    Anyway, while I would think only 1 out of a 500 gun owners might entertain buying one of these that's still plenty enough people to justify moving forward. The problem is simply funding. This isn't going to need a bunch of money, because really all I'm making is a CASE that joins 2 guns together, not designing an entirely new firearm, which would cost much more. But $100k is still $100k. The question is how to go about finding investors. There seems like there should be some association or something of Angels investing in the gun space, but I can't find any.
  12. RobV

    RobV New Member

    No response. (Only Wilson Combat was polite enough out of 20+ companies to actually respond.)
  13. RobV

    RobV New Member

    I should've named it after her:) But yeah, it is a ban-buster for sure:)

    >It's a short-barreled rifle if it has a barrel less than 16 inches. It's a short-barreled rifle if it has a barrel greater than 16 inches, but an overall length less than 26 inches.

    The top barrel of the NEDG is exactly 16.1" long. The overall length is 30.1". So by either definition, it is not an SBR. But you are are right, I do need to write them and get their interpretation and no one will buy it if they need to buy a stamp. BATF just sent me their mailing address, BTW, to do this. (They do not respond to inquires like this by email.)

    >building a functional prototype yourself
    Well, I actually have quotes on that and it led me up to about $29k if I did it in carbon fiber and a mossberg double barrel. And then I would still need to do CAM designs before it could ever be mass produced and since I don't plan on doing it in carbon fiber, it seems useless to design this way. I think I can actually make one machined out of metal for about $30k, and an injection molded one for about $50k, but once I get the injection molding going, the cost drops radically.

    But there are legal concerns, plus finalizing the Utility patent, legal fees, CPAs, not to mention Murphy's Law. They said $30k so I tripled it. The fact is, in this industry you can't even get a vague quote before you have CAM drawings. That's where the first ~$10k will go.

    There are a few natural breaks in the process. The first one is right now. The next one is after the blue prints are done, the next is after the patents are finally submitted, and I have a killer VC proposal in hand. Then AFTER I have the working prototype. Then After we are into production.

    But I don't see any reason to build in a way that can't be directly applied towards the finished product. I dont need to actually prove it works. It's not that big of a leap for the imagination. The leap is just doing it, now that we see what people are saying about it.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2013
  14. Kybill

    Kybill New Member

    Unfortunately it is unlikely you will find an angel outside of family or friends at this stage. Timing is everything. Trying to raise venture capital to build and take to market another 'scary' looking gun at a time when every liberal politico wants to ban private gun ownership would not be a sound investment even of your own money. In fact it is highly doubtful that you would even find anyone willing to factor your invoices to raise short term cash were you in full production. Sorry to be so blunt. ( it does actually seem pretty cool though)

    Now if your gun goes bang better than anything comparable uncle sam might buy it at an exhorbitant price so it could be used as a tool when it's time to confiscate our weapons. Or if you find a fully repugnant way of marketing the gun, something beyond tasteful for anyone with a moral compass, our government might provide you an outright grant so as not to stifle your artistic expression.
  15. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy member

    Kickstarter? You could always try something like crowd-funding.
  16. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Active Member

    You might want to be careful about posting pictures of that prototype, it seems to me that you do have a SBR. I think that you are misreading the statutory definition of a SBR, but look at it this way: if you have the stock and just the forward pistol, why is it not a SBR? Now if that IS a SBR, why does adding another gun to the system make it anything different?

    Unfortunately I don't think you'll get an angel investor any time soon. With the current situation of AWB legislation in congress, I highly doubt anyone will be interested in investing in something that may be deemed illegal before it even hits production. (I say *may* because it depends on what they define an assault weapon as in the final legislation - but either way you're making something that looks scary and might be subject to an AWB). If anything, angel investors will want as much documentation as possible, including ATF's ruling that it is completely legal. A good business plan is just the start.
  17. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower New Member

    Crowd source it using the same method the coffee joulies used.

    Google kickstarter.


    Dang it! Someone beat me to it!
  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Behold the UTA19.



    Attaching a pistol to your rifle with one of these turns the pistol to a SBR.
  19. Most companies won't reply to receiving unsolicited designs to avoid IP questions later.

    Kickstarter has a whole laundry list of projects they don't allow. Firearms is one of the categories, along with pet supplies, exercise equipment, home improvement products, cosmetics, and eyewear.
  20. gym

    gym member

    After thinking about this , the best advise you got was that it would be extremely hard in this climate to find someone to back this.
    You really don't know if it's legal to produce it or if it would be allowed by the ATF. What you might want to spend what money you do have on, is a "legal opinion", if you feel that stronglly about it.
    Also "Knights" has an office in town, I spoke to the head of HR, last week ,
    the guys name is Howard, and he is very nice.
    I would call them and see if they would sign a non disclosure letter, and possiblly get a legal opinion from them, or sell it to someone, in the market for a new product, who was already set up to manufacture. They are nice folks and would probablly help you out.
    It dosen't sound hard to make.
    Once you find out how much it will cost you to manufacture and get all of the necessary licenses, "if you even could", it may not be worth doing it being that none of the normal "Gunthy Ranker" types would touch anything in the gun market"
    If you had a finished product, you could bid it out, but it's a "catch 22", at this point.
    It's really hard when dealing with guns, and start ups. I think that's why gunsmiths are usually the ones who come up with new toys.
    You are putting it out there so anyone interested will more than likelly get in touch with you.
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