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Are You Safe Or Sexy?

Business StrategyButch Cassidy, the 19th century American philosopher and bank robber once wrote, “I got vision and the rest of the world’s got bifocals.”

Many entrepreneurs feel like Mr. Cassidy–they don’t understand why financiers don’t get as jazzed about their companies as they do.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, a vast majority of ideas aren’t worth funding–period. Second, and more important, most financiers balk at writing checks to companies that don’t fit their specific investing criteria.

These criteria are best defined by two metrics: stage and potential. Understanding where you fit on those axes will determine how you should go about raising capital.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.

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