PROPEL Program Application Deadline Extended to February 18

Great news! If you are interested in the 2014 PROPEL Small Business Growth Program (PSBG) but haven’t yet applied, you are in luck. We’ve just extended the application period through February 18th in order to fill the last remaining spots. Please get your applications in as soon as possible. There is limited space, and once all the spots are filled, we will no longer be accepting new applications.

For details on 2014 PROPEL Small Business Growth Program and how to apply, please visit the Program page here.

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Conference Recognizes Demographic Shifts and the Opportunity for Building a More Inclusive Economy

by Darlene Crane (Originally posted 9/19/13 on OaklandLocal)

Darlene Crane, Executive Director, Alliance for Community Development

Darlene Crane, Executive Director
Alliance for Community Development

There’s a belief among most investors and startup founders that the financial ecosystem is a meritocracy. Money tends to flow to the companies with the best ideas, talent, products, and/or services. Whether or not this is true the fact remains that vast majority of startup founders, and the investors that fund them, are white men.

As a local “hapa” woman from Hawaii, meaning Asian/Caucasian mixed race, I assumed the investment world was not an industry that I would ever be connected with.  When I ran across the Bay Area Capital Connections Conference (BACC) series I was curious enough to attend.  This conference series was launched in 2006 by a non-profit organization called the Alliance for Community Development of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Alliance for Community Development (ACD) created this annual conference to ensure that diverse entrepreneurs and venture fundable companies led by diverse entrepreneurs were visible to the investment community.  The first conference, in 2006, took place in San Francisco presenting African American founders and their companies.

In 2007 I attended the second Bay Area Capital Connections Conference in San Jose, CA which focused on presenting Latino/Latina founders and their companies. This was the first business event I had seen that connected diverse entrepreneurs to private investment, the most powerful business growth engine in the world.
Read the full article here

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Building a Business, Building a Lifestyle, Theme for PROPEL Program Grauduation on 9/19/13

In the Bay Area the needs and realities of lifestyle businesses can be overlooked.  There are assumptions out there that if a business is small the owners are mom and pops with no imagination who will never grow the business.  The other assumption is that there is no need to be strategic when the business is small.  But these assumptions are false.

When the business is small it is more important than ever that planning be thoughtful and strategies be developed and validated with research and testing.  Finally, when your family depends on the income of the business, the wisdom of the owner’s decisions is vital.

That is why I am so pleased that Dorian Webb, award winning designer and consultant, is our speaker at the PROPEL Business Growth Program graduation and celebration.  She has created a growth business through distribution to high end retailers and has developed the business model based on lifestyle choices.  Rather than supervise manufacturing staff she transitioned to licensing her designs.   Be at the event on September 19 and know the options for growing a business.

Hear the strategic choices that the  business owners completing the program made.  Be impressed by the range and unique perspectives of each owner on the growth of their business.

Register on EventBrite https://propelprogramgraduation.eventbrite.com/

 

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Entrepreneurs to Pitch at BACC6 Conference

The Alliance or Community Development is seeking applications to pitch from entrepreneurs across the Bay Area, Northern California. If selected, you will have the opportunity to deliver your pitch at the BACC6 Conference in front of 200 attendees and a panel of top tier investors.

Why Should You Pitch at BACC6 Conference?
Entrepreneurs selected to pitch at BACC6 Conference will receive:

  • An opportunity to pitch to an audience of two hundred including investors, the media, entrepreneurs, professional resources, students, potential interns, and the public at the Kaiser Center Auditorium and Lakeshore Theater in Oakland
  • Valuable feedback on your pitch and recommendations from our panel of top tier investors
  • Special recognition for companies judged to represent the Best Double Bottom Line Business and the Best Overall Investment Opportunity
  • Introductions to and connections with investors, resources, and media that will boost your presence among investors, customers, and the public
  • Training and coaching from investors and successful entrepreneurs to further develop and refine your pitch

Who Should Apply?
Entrepreneurs seeking early stage investments (seed or series A round funding) with:

  • Industry focus in: Information Technology (software, SaaS, hardware), CleanTech, Internet/Social technologies, Health Care IT, Consumer Products
  • Innovations impacting, social, cultural, and economic trends
  • Double / triple bottom line focus
  • Scalable business model

All entrepreneurs are welcome, companies with diverse leadership teams are encouraged to apply.*

How to Apply
Applicants must submit an application form, a one-page executive summary, your current resume, and a 10 slide (max) pitch deck.

Completed applications must be emailed to info@allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com

DEADLINE: Applications are due before midnight Thursday, September 12, 2013.

Download Application to Pitch at BACC6

See the complete details and schedule here for applicant screening, selection, and pitch preparation.

* Diverse leadership teams means representation of women, people of color, and/or disabled veterans on the decision making level of the company.

The Alliance or Community Development is seeking applications to pitch from entrepreneurs across the Bay Area, Northern California.  If selected, you will have the opportunity to deliver your pitch at the BACC6 Conference in front of 200 attendees and a panel of top tier investors.

Who Should Apply? 

Entrepreneurs seeking early stage investments (seed or series A round funding) with:

  • Industry focus in:  Information Technology (software, SaaS, hardware), CleanTech, Internet/Social technologies, Health Care IT, Consumer Products
  • Innovations impacting, social, cultural, and economic trends
  • Double / triple bottom line focus
  • Scalable business model

All entrepreneurs are welcome, companies with diverse leadership teams are encouraged to apply.* 

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application form, a one-page executive summary, your current resume, and a 10 slide (max) pitch deck.

Completed applications must be emailed to info@allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com

DEADLINE:  Applications are due before midnight Friday, August 23, 2013.

Download Application to Pitch at BACC6

- See more at: http://www.allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com/programs/bay-area-capital-connections-conference-vi/call-for-entrepreneurs-to-pitch-at-bay-area-capital-connections-v/#sthash.5KIau4VF.dpuf

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Business Needs the PROPEL Business Growth Program Addresses

The calls and applications for the PROPEL Business Growth Program are coming in steadily.  Contact the Alliance at info@allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com, ASAP.  The Application, interviews, etc must be approved by Jan. 27.  The program starts on Jan. 29.

The PROPEL Business Growth Program is a 9-month business development program being offered by the Alliance for Community Development.  It will consist of 1 half-day session a month, and includes one 2-hour consulting session per month as well.

The Alliance will bring in experts in marketing, finance, strategy, product development, and operations during the program to educate and prepare participants for business growth.

Target business is in the small/micro range, with annual revenues between $250k-$2M.

Here are the candidates that do best in the program.

  1.  $250,000 – $500,000 in revenue, 2+ years in full time operation who have exhausted the startup Business Plan.  THe owner is ready to transition to more strategic thinking and action, especially marketing and sales strategy and begin developing unique products and services for the long-term.
  2. Businesses from $500k – $2 million with product or expansion strategies that require financing and improving the processes and performance of the company to sustain growth
  3. Professional services companies, engineering, design, etc. that need to strengthen business processes and marketing in the changing public contracting environment
  4. Distinct, or emerging businesses, clean tech, or sustainability that have a lot of passion for the mission, but are weak on business and financial structure.

Contact me ASAP by email at info@allianceforcounitydevelopment.com so I can understand your business and you can get a full picture of how your business can benefit from the program.

We are getting a good mix of product, service, technology, engineering services and direct to consumer business owners.  Businesses with

 

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2013 Kick-Off: Business Growth and Financing Workshop 1/15

Growing Revenue in 2013Ready to kick off the new year with some practical strategies for growing and financing your business? Come to a FREE lunchtime workshop on Business Growth and Financing. We’ll introduce you to the basics of seeking bank financing and best practices small businesses are using to grow.

Lake Merritt/Uptown Districts and the Alliance for Community Development are co-hosting a free lunch workshop at Noon on January 15, 2013.

WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND:
Learn How To Apply for a Loan and Get a Yes – Overview of New Workshop by Darlene Crane, Executive Director, Alliance for Community Development

Find Out How Your Business Can to Participate in the PROPEL Business Growth Program – Learn how the majority of the graduates increased revenue from 10% – 30% and improved the overall performance of the company.

Successfully growing your business takes a “growth mindset” as well as developing and implementing practical strategies. And sometimes it takes capital. Come to learn how you can  reach your revenue goals in 2013!

LOCATION:
Oakland Lake Merritt/Uptown BID Conference Room
388 19th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

RSVP: at EventBrite to reserve your spot for this free workshop:
http://businessgrowthandfinancing.eventbrite.com/

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PROPEL Business Growth Forums, Product Development, Postponed from November 14, 2012 to 2013

January 14, 2013 Note:  Product Development is a vital topic but investors shifted their priorities in Q4 2012.  We made the decision to postpone and update this topic.

We are doing Product Development again because it is such a vital topic.  Remember Product Manager is frequently the title that precedes start-up CEO.  Investors and bankers give the highest weighting in valuation to management teams that have a track record  for getting product lines to market that build customer base and a company.  Our expert panel will cover more aspects  of product development including protecting intellectual property, physical product development and distribution.   The Presenting Entrepreneur is Mary Jean Koontz, PhD. who is developing a product  for kids to create their own games.

For details about PROPEL Product Development Forum click here

Or visit EventBrite to register now!            Eventbrite - PROPEL Business Growth Forums

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Looking forward to 2013

We are really excited about what’s coming up in 2013. Right now, the Alliance is working on a fresh round of Business Growth Forums. Under the new name, PROPEL Business Growth Forums, we are bringing together expert panelists to discuss key issues in building, growing, and funding your business.

2013 will also bring a new cohort of businesses to participate in our sought after PROPEL Business Growth Program. This 9-month intensive Program includes a series of half-day sessions,  designed to help you put your best ideas into action. Businesses must apply for acceptance into program. To learn more about this program or how to apply, visit the PROPEL Business Growth Program page.

Finally, we’re already beginning to gear up for the VI Annual Bay Area Capital Connections Conference. This is where we bring together entrepreneurs and investors to learn, mix and mingle. The event features a live pitch session. Interested in pitching your company at the event? Stay tuned for a “Call for Entrepreneurs” coming January 2013.

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