In virtually every instance, there is one ingredient that can make or break a startup in the early days -- money.

Many founders follow the same path. Once they have an idea, they begin pitching traditional VC firms or start looking for an angel investor. These options are great resources for some, but raising money this way can be problematic.

For starters, you usually have to give up equity shares to raise the money.

"My experience is that when you have outside funding, they're going to act like they own your business because they do," said Stacy Griggs, president and CEO of El Toro.

If you want to be able to make moves quickly, without much input, it makes sense to avoid traditional equity-based funding models. Also, as you continue raising money, it can contribute to dilution, which means you'll own less and less of your company over time.

Entrepreneurs who need cash, but want to avoid VC or Angel investments, actually have quite a few options for raising capital on their own terms.

Let's decode a few of the most popular alternative methods of fundraising.