Venture capital is a high-risk investment that involves loaning money to new companies in exchange for shares in the company and the right to have some input in the business strategies. Generally, in 3 to 5 years the venture capital investors want a return on their investment, usually when the company is sold or "goes public," selling shares on a public stock exchange.

Sources of venture capital include individual investors as well as big venture firms that may be funded by large pension plans or other institutional investors. If you are, or may be, involved in a venture capital deal, attorneys who specialize in venture capital can help negotiate venture investment agreements.