I recently had the opportunity to interview Jack Burkman, the founder and president of Burkman Associates LLC.
You may have heard of Burkman since he appears frequently on ABC, CNBC, MSNBC, ESPN, and many other networks. He was also a former FOX News political analyst.
Jack Burkman has been raising capital for companies using an extremely rare technique - government lobbying.
According to Burkman, money for many types of companies can be raised from congress and government agencies (e.g., Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, etc.).
In addition to grant funding, Burkman mentioned the critical importance of earmarks and how more money is earmarked today than there's ever been and there will ever be in the future. Specifically, he mentioned:
"More importantly, there is something called earmarks. We've all heard of earmarks. I mean, McCain talks about them. Obama talked about them. Earmarks are money directly from congress that you can get. And the thing of it is... the scope of this is so broad...there is so much money available, and if all of us can live to be 120 years old, we would never see this kind of opportunity in Washington again. Never. Not even once."
During the interview, Jack answered each of the following questions that I posed:
- How does lobbying work?
- What does the process of raising money via lobbying look like?
- How does the government review deals (companies) that are presented to it?
- At what stage does a company have to be at in order to be eligible for this type of funding?
- How much capital does the government typically give out? How is the funding structured?
- How much funding can you raise via lobbying?
- What type of documentation does the entrepreneur need to have in place in order to raise funding via lobbying?
- What can an entrepreneur do by themselves to raise money from lobbying?
- Does the management team have to meet with the government sources before funds will be appropriated?
- What about timing? Are there any times that are better or worse? Is the summertime bad, or is Christmas time bad?
- How does lobbying work at the state level versus the federal level?
You can learn more about Burkman Associates LLC and the services that they offer here: http://jackburkman.us/
To listen to excerpts of this interview click the blue triangle on the player below.
To listen to the full interview and/or read the transcript, click here.
Do you think the government should be spending more or less money on funding emerging companies? Post your comments below.