A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast. The topic that morning was Finding Capital in a Recession. The place was packed and it made sense. We’re in a recession and people are looking for money, so why not find out how to get it. Anyways, I happened to be there because my friend was seeking money for his new business opportunity, a new brand of tequila. That’s a whole different story that I will hopefully talk about in the future.
So, it was a while back and I was half paying attention as I ate my breakfast and twittered from the table. I’m going to try and recall some points that I found interesting.
During a discussion on applying for loans from lenders, one of the panel members advised on not having your credit pulled as you bounced from bank to bank, because it would hurt your score. One woman explained that it was not necessary to have your score pulled and that you could apply for loans with a previous credit score pulled. At the time of due diligence, they would eventually find out if that score still qualified you for the loan.
They also talked about making friends with the bank manager. Explaining that it was easier for the bank manager to make adjustments or assist you based on a history of banking with them. This will not guarantee you receive a loan, but will give you a better chance if you are close to qualifying.
Having assisted a previous start-up with seeking funding, I knew my friend probably should stay away from the banks and focus on venture capitalist. They can invest on different criteria other than credit lines. They take these risks, because they usually request a piece of the company in exchange for helping you. It has its advantages, because along with the money, you also get the knowledge of the investment team as support to grow your business. There was an Angel investor there that my friend was able to meet and they actually are meeting again next week to discuss his business venture.
Cole Harmonson, Far West Capital
Shirley Sheffield, BiG Austin
Will Penny, Wachovia
Barbra Boeta, PeopleFund
Debra Dimando, Small Business Administration (SBA)
Jason Villarreal, Capital CDC
Adeline Rem, Celtic Bank
Moderated by Susan Baughman
Business Development Manager
Clark, Thomas & Winters
A Professional Corporation
Hall T. Martin, Austin Entrepreneur Network
On a side note – The networking breakfast was held at:
Casa Chapala Mexican Cantina and Grill
3010 West Anderson Lane, Suite D
The food was good. I had the Migas, beans, and tortillas.
Overall, I was impressed with the networking breakfast held by the GAHCC and I will attend future events.