The economy doesn't make it easy for start-ups to get off the ground. When it comes to financing serious business plans, most groups look for help from either venture capital groups or private equity groups. What's the difference? A venture capital firm is more likely to look at a start-up that doesn't have a ton of history to back it up. The venture capital firm pools money and investments from their partnerships with varying types of financial institutions and investors, and they have some decision making authority within the firm or business they're supporting. A private equity firm is more likely to support an existing business looking to grow or make a new acquisition, though they might occasionally look at a start-up. The commitment with a private equity firm is long-term, as the company expects to put a large amount of money into the company over a long period of time and is looking to see long-term results. What does this mean to you? You need to have a firm understanding of your business and its goals before approaching either type of firm. One is focused on shorter-term start-ups and growth while the other is focused on long-term results. While slow and steady usually wins the race, there are some advantages to fast action as well. This infographic highlights the differences between the two. You'll find it interesting to see how much harder venture capital firms have to work, in sheer numbers, to get the same results as private equity firms. The business sectors they support are varied as well.