One often-tried gambit for raising cash is to make a presentation at a forum organized by a "venture-capital club," referring to an idea first popularized by Thomas Murphy. Venture-capital clubs consist of an organizer and a mailing list of individuals and entities in a given region that have demonstrated some interest in venture capital. There are about seven dozen such groups in the United States; they meet monthly over breakfast or lunch. They usually rely on word of mouth for attendance, as they don't ordinarily advertise. The most important part of a typical meeting is the "Five-Minute Forum," in which anyone can speak about his venture for a limit of one to five minutes. The purported purpose of attending these meetings is for people to make "contacts," not offers.
As the number of venture-capital clubs has increased, so too have the number of schools and associations aimed at helping entrepreneurs in all aspects of starting and running a business. Moreover, some of the venture-capital conferences, such as those sponsored by the American Electronics Association and the celebrated trade shows, provide promising venues for entrepreneurs to meet investors.