Access to Capital Phoenix: Success!

Our first Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet event in Phoenix on March 26th was a success!  We had a blast there, and we’re so grateful to all the 150 attending businesses in Phoenix who let us come and share some of our small business insights with them.

The event started out with some networking and transitioned into the first panel on Traditional vs. Alternative Loans.  The panel included speakers:

- Robyn Barrett, managing owner and founder of alternative lender FSW Funding

- Chris Webster, City President of Commerce Bank of Arizona

- Roberto Valdez, Regional Senior Lender at Accion

- Mark Young, Executive Vice President at Arizona Bank & Trust 

- and Craig Jordan, Lender Relations Specialist at the SBA Arizona district office.

There were two more presentations during the day, “Types of Startup Equity” with Gordon McConnell, assistant Vice President for Innovation, Entrepreneurship Venture Acceleration, and Assistant Professor of Practice at Arizona State University and “Leveraging your Business Credit to Increase Funding Opportunities” with Cynthia Benitez.  We were also thrilled that Peter P. Greene of Which Wich was able to join us as our small business case study!

After the panel discussions, the rest of the day was devoted to 1-on-1 meetings between lenders and small business owners. Many attendees and lenders alike cited the 50 meetings with 13 lenders that took place as their favorite part of the day.

Panelist Chris Webster observes that prior to the event, “Most people were not familiar with the many financing options potentially available to them” and that the event was highly educational in this regard. Robyn Barrett agrees, noting, “This was a great event where so many different types of lending options were represented and available for businesses to meet. That alone was worth the price of the ticket!”  She also hopes this isn’t the last event we hold in Arizona and we hope to come back, too!

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Mass Mutual Financial Group, Microsoft, LegalZoom, and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity for making this event possible! 

We’ll be making more stops throughout the country during our Access to Capital tour this year, so follow us on Twitter at @AccessToCapital and like us on Facebook to stay updated on where we’re going next!

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