Highlights from “Know How to Grow” Event

It was a packed room on the evening of Thursday, July 17 at MIGHTYminnow in Oakland. Attendees came to hear the panelists’ thoughts on business growth at the Know How to Grow event. In case you missed it, here are a few of the most memorable comments from panelists Carrie Shores of Larson Shores Architects, Nona Lim of Nona Lim Real:Simple:Delicious, Kristin Long of MIGHTYminnow, and Bilen Mesfin of Change Consulting, LLC.

What strategies for growing your business worked the best for you?

Carrie: “Multiple revenue streams worked the best. Our company was dependent on service fees only. We became resellers for cabinet lines that fit our design sense. We now also resell flooring and window treatments.”

Nona: “We had to commit to quality in the product and how we ran the company.”

Kristin: “Focusing on my ideal client and letting go of the prospects that don’t feel right from the beginning.”

Bilen: “I started to think about myself as a business owner not the technical public relations expert.”

What are your number one suggestions to successfully grow a business?

Kristin: “Figure out what you are not good at and hire someone to do it – especially bookkeeping.”

Carrie: “Take decision more slowly and get input. Don’t rush so much on gut feel.”

Nona: “Decide to do the business right based on data. Rebrand if necessary.”

What is different in managing the business at $80,000 to $100,000 or $250,000 compared to being at $500,000 or $1,000,000?

Carrie, Kristin and Nona: “At the higher levels of revenue the management of people becomes the biggest issue. Remember the rule of thumb: Hire slow and fire fast.”

What was most surprising during the loan process and doing financial projections?

Carrie Shores: “Projections were like educated guesses. We reached the financial goals but the cash flow came from other sources than what was originally projected.”

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Startup Founders: Deadline Extended to 8/11 – Apply Now!

Now Accepting Applications!

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Apply by midnight August 11, 2014

2014 Bay Area Capital Connections
“Funding Impact Entrepreneurs”

Conference & Startup Pitch Showcase

BACC6 Presenters

The Alliance for Community Development (ACD) is seeking applications from startup founders across the Bay Area and Northern California. All entrepreneurs are welcome to apply, and we strongly encourage applications from companies with diverse leadership teams –inclusive of women, minorities, disabled veterans, and/or disabled individuals.

Selected applicants will be invited to present to our investor panel at the Startup Pitch Showcase, part of the 2014 Bay Area Capital Connections (BACC) Conference, on October 9, 2014.

All companies selected to pitch at this event will also be awarded the following benefits:

  • $5,000 pre-seed funding opportunity with DRÆM VENTURES (1-5% in equity to Dream Ventures. Additional requirements may apply.)
  • Support from a team of MBA students and professionals to further develop your business plan and a crowd funding campaign
  • Pitch presentation coaching and dress rehearsal in preparation for October 9 event.

>>Deadline Extended! Apply by midnight, August 11, 2014.<<

How to apply:

  1.  Complete an online application
  2. Send an email to
    info@allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com
    with the following attached documents:

    1. Executive Summary (one page)
    2. Current resume/CV
    3. Pitch Deck (8-10 slides in PowerPoint or PDF format), including:
    • Company Introduction
    • The Market need and size
    • Competitive Analysis
    • Your Product/Business Solution
    • Go to Market strategy and revenue model
    • Business Model and Financial Projections (must be included)
    • Double/Triple Bottom Line Metrics (if applicable)
    • Management Team
    • Investment Needs
    • Return to Investors

Completed applications must be received by midnight, August 11, 2014 to be considered.

Selection Process and Timing:

  • Aug 11 – Deadline for all completed applications
  • Aug 13 – Applicants selected to proceed to 2nd round of review process (top 20%)
  • Aug 14 – Second Round Review: In-person presentations to selection panel
  • Aug 18 – Final Selection: Eight companies selected to participate in BACC Startup Pitch Showcase & offered $5,000 pre-seed investment opportunity from DRAEM Ventures
  • Aug 19 thru Oct 8 – Finalist companies work with resource support team to refine business plan and pitch
  • Oct 3 – Dress rehearsal for 2014 BACC Startup Pitch Showcase
  • Oct 9 – 2014 BACC Conference & Startup Pitch Showcase*

*All presenting entrepreneurs must arrive at the Kaiser Center, 300 Lakeshore Drive, Oakland, CA 94612 by 1:30 p.m. on October 9, 2013.

 

FAQs

Why Apply for the Pitch Opportunity at 2014 Bay Area Capital Connections?

Because all finalists get the opportunity to become a part of the DRÆM VENTURES pre-seed investment portfolio which means you have leaped into the startup experience.  This is not just feedback on your presentation.

If you are selected as a finalist what do you get?

  • $5,000 in investment funds into your company for 1 – 5% ownership (C-Corp, B-Corp, or LLC that is formed when you are selected as a finalist)
  • A support team of MBA interns and professionals to further develop your business plan and pitch
  • Assistance with launching a project crowd funding campaign to develop your product
  • Pitch presentation coaching for the conference pitch
  • A dress rehearsal with feedback from Alliance and invited guests
  • Become a part of the portfolio and networks of DRÆM VENTURES
  • The opportunity to pitch to investors for seed funding on Oct. 9 with all this support and experience behind you
  • Publicity and visibility across the Bay Area

How many finalists will be selected?

Between six to eight companies will be selected as finalists.

What is the time commitment to participate in the DRÆM VENTURES portfolio in August – October 9?

You can work out a schedule based on your availability if you have a fulltime job or are already a fulltime entrepreneur.

What investors will be judging the presentations on October 9?

The Alliance and our team is assembling judges and inviting Angels, VCs and Institutional Investors who have an interest in supporting diversity in tech and access to capital. Names will be published in the coming weeks.

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Connecting Impact Entrepreneurs to Investors

Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 8, 2014

The Alliance for Community Development has partnered with DRÆM VENTURES to help increase access to capital for startups with diverse founding teams and companies focused on making a positive economic, environmental, and social impact.

OAKLAND, July 8, 2014 – The Alliance for Community Development of the San Francisco Bay Area (ACD) is now accepting applications to pitch at the annual capital connections conference from startup founders across the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.  ACD and DRÆM VENTURES have joined forces to fund and develop the finalist startup companies with diverse leadership at the 2014 Bay Area Capital Connections Conference by joining the DRÆM VENTURES pre-seed funding portfolio. The portfolio was created to fund early stage, scalable startups that deliver positive economic, environmental, and social impact.  Ari Eisenstat, CEO of DRÆM VENTURES, explains, “Joining the pre-seed portfolio is a new step for talented, diverse entrepreneurs who historically have been disconnected from sources of startup capital.” Applicants selected as pitch event finalists receive $5,000 in micro-investment as well as business and professional resources to develop the company and prepare to pitch in October.

The selected finalists put the $5,000 pre-seed “micro-investment” from DRÆM VENTURES to work before they present at the upcoming Startup Pitch Showcase, part of the 2014 Bay Area Capital Connections (BACC) Conference, Funding Impact Entrepreneurs, which takes place October 9, 2014. A joint team from the Alliance for Community Development and the BACC Conference will select the finalists, who will also receive support to further refine their business model and pitch in preparation for the Startup Pitch Showcase in October.

According to the Kaufman Foundation, just 4.4% of investment funds go to women led startups and 1-2% of investment funds to African American and Latino entrepreneurs. “It will take more than just training to break through these numbers,” says Darlene Crane, Executive Director at the Alliance for Community Development. She continues, “This pre-seed funding opportunity will be a great chance for companies with diverse leadership to secure funding, access resources to strengthen their business model, and gain a presence in investment networks necessary to scale a business and have impact.”

We strongly encourage applications from companies with diverse leadership teams –inclusive of women, minorities, disabled veterans, and disabled individuals to apply for the $5,000 pre-seed investment and the opportunity to present at the 2014 BACC Conference Startup Pitch Showcase. There is no cost to apply. The deadline to apply is midnight July 27, 2014. For details about the selection process and how to apply, visit the 2014 BACC Entrepreneur Application Web page.

About the 2014 Bay Area Capital Connections Conference

The 2014 BACC Conference: Funding for Impact Entrepreneurs takes place on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at the Kaiser Center Auditorium and Lakeside Theater in Oakland, CA.  For more information about the event, please visit the event page: http://www.allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com/programs/entrepreneurship-funding/2014-bacc-conference/

To register for this event, please visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-bacc-conference-investing-in-an-inclusive-economy-tickets-10676532797

 

About the Alliance for Community Development

The Alliance for Community Development is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization with the mission of increasing access to capital for companies with diverse leadership.  The Alliance serves startup founders and business owners by providing expert business knowledge, growth strategies, and connections to financial and other resources through dynamic forums, conferences and programs.  We welcome all entrepreneurs, financial professionals, and business community to our programs.

For more information about the Alliance for Community Development, visit: http://www.allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com

 

About DRÆM VENTURES

DRÆM VENTURES is a pre-seed venture capital fund dedicated to finding, founding, and funding the next generation of socially, environmentally, and technologically conscious businesses. DRÆM VENTURES empowers entrepreneurs by making $5,000 investments in great young ideas and people. In addition to an impact microinvestment, DRÆM VENTURES can incorporate your start up and connect you to a support network of potential advisors, mentors, directors, consultants, lawyers, accountants, publicists, developers, suppliers, interns, and team members to help manifest your dream.

For additional information about DRÆM VENTURES, visit: http://www.draemventures.com/

SOURCE Alliance for Community Development, DRÆM VENTURES

Contact: Darlene Crane
T: 510-886-4483
E: info@allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com

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Just Announced: 3 Startups Present Their PItch on 6/18

We’ve just announced the 3 startup founders presenting at the BACC Forum “Pitching a Company, Not a Product.” Each company will present their pitch and get feedback from our panel of investors and other successful entrepreneurs. The presenting companies include:

  • Jackie Gutierrez, HemHeist – Gutierrez, is the Founder of HemHeist, an ecommerce site with fashion to promote a healthy and positive image for women over 25.
  • Alvaro Armirez,  eHarvestHub – eHarvestHub  provides an affordable and easy to use cloud platform for Mid to Small fresh produce growers, which lowers distribution costs and allows them to connect directly with retailers.
  • Bri James, Scrumpt – Scrumpt provides busy parents with all of the ingredients and instructions needed to make healthy, easy-to-assemble lunches and snacks for their little ones.

I hope you can join us! For details about this event, or to register, please visit our event page on Eventbrite.

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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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