There’s a single event responsible for millions of dollars of loan originations for small business owners. It’s created bursts of successfully funded ventures in three cities so far – Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta – and now it’s coming to the Northwest. In its last appearance of the year, Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet will be in Seattle, Washington on November 12th!
It’s not every day that an event like this comes through. It might not even be a once-a-year thing. As far as I’m aware (and my searches have stumped Google, too), this is the only event to include both actionable tips, and the ability to put those tips directly into action in the same place.
Here’s what Chicago attendees had to say about their experience:
About the Event
The event consists of two sections – Town Hall and Town Square:
- Town Hall: Here is where knowledge is imparted. Four panels of lending executives and experts take place throughout the day, covering topics including:
- Traditional Lending – Tips from bank executives on what they look for when deciding whether to extend loans to businesses, and from entrepreneurs who have acquired bank loans
- Alternative Lending – If you can’t get a bank loan, or don’t want to work with big banks, this panel will discuss some of the other options available to you.
- Strategies from Entrepreneurs – Hear the strategies local entrepreneurs used to acquire funding, as well as tips from local experts who strive to help entrepreneurs succeed.
- Crowdfunding – The details surrounding this relatively new way to raise funds are still murky because the SEC has yet to establish all the rules, but experts and entrepreneurs of successful crowdfunding campaigns will impart the knowledge they have about this exciting form of funding.
- Spotlights – Short, informative presentations of products or services designed to help businesses succeed. These are interspersed throughout the day, often between panels.
- Town Square: Meet 1-on-1 with a wide variety of lenders to find out which fits your business best! Note – While no funding will be granted at the event, it is a chance to find out what lender you want to work with and begin to build a rapport with them. Many successful entrepreneurs refer to an established relationship they had with a lender being the key reason they were able to acquire funding when they needed it.
- Not sure what to bring to a lender appointment? Here are two banks’ checklists of documents they recommend you bring when applying for a loan. That’s the best place to start. Overall, the more quantifiable info you have the better.
Some business owners have seen their businesses become quite successful much faster than anticipated after attending this event. Take Kris Schoenberger, owner and founder of BBQ’d Productions, for example. Kris and his wife Moriah found success through a microlender, and, with their support, continued to pursue his venture. You’ll be able to meet Kris in Seattle, but you can see the success he’s had after the Chicago Access to Capital event here.
[CC image credit to Bryce Edwards]