At our first PubTalk of 2020, we hear from some amazing financial experts with a range of backgrounds. Our panel, moderated by Jane Ullman, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank, included Tom Schell, Business Finance Officer at Business Oregon, Amy Jermain, Principal Strategist for the XXcelerate Fund, Adam Zimmerman, CEO of CRAFT3, and Chris Tjersland, Director of Brand Strategy & Development at New Seasons.
Here are the takeaways:
- Alternative financing is out there. When a founder thinks of startup funding, they often think of bootstrapping, friends and family, or bank loans. Yet, alternative financing can be a startup’s best option. Traditional banks will often only help low-risk companies that have plenty of assets as collateral and fit their risk profile. For this reason, alternative financing options are popping up more and more. And sometimes they come with perks in the form of mentoring or consulting.
- Do your homework and come prepared. Asking for a loan isn’t as easy as going to the nearest Rapid Cash location and expecting 100k. But, entrepreneurs that know their numbers are more likely to get funding. Three things can be the difference between decline and approval. First, know why you need the loan. Second, explain how it will help you generate revenue. And third, have a plan to repay the loan. Loan officers want to know if you believe in your business. What are you risking to make your company succeed? Do you have “skin in the game?” If you’re not willing to risk much, that may indicate that you don’t believe in your business idea, and that’s a turn-off to loan officers. And as Adam Zimmerman noted, don’t forget to file your taxes before coming in.
- Financial institutions want to work with you. If you have been looking for a loan, you know how hard it is to get a bank to say yes. But, that frustration isn’t necessary. While groups like XXcelerate Fund and Craft3 don’t have the reach of traditional banks, they are always looking for dedicated entrepreneurs to support. Reach out to programs across Oregon and start the conversation.
See photos from the evening below.