Want Funding? Let The Experts Guide You!

We were thrilled with all the wonderful feedback we received from our Los Angeles Access to Capital:Money to Mainstreet event last month. In addition to the Town Square, where we created space for hundreds of conversations between lenders and small business owners, we had incredible sessions throughout the day in our Town Hall. We Live-streamed the sessions to small business owners all over the country (and the world!). However, we knew not everyone could attend the event or view the Live-stream in real-time, so we recorded the panels and posted them below for you to enjoy (and learn from!).

The Panel Topics Included:

Straight Talk: Getting Traditional Loans in Today’s Economy
Off the Beaten Path: Is Alternative Funding the Route for You?
Startups Start Here: Strategies from LA Entrepreneurs
Accessing Capital for Women & Minority-Owned Businesses
Crowdfunding: Should You Be In with the “In Crowd?”

Straight Talk: Getting Traditional Loans in Today’s Economy

Moderated by Jane Wells of CNBC, the panel included executives Bryan Moeller, SVP and Director of Small Business for Los Angeles, from Wells FargoShane Pierson, VP of Business Development, from Pacific Premier Bank; and Troy Bosch, SVP for Small Business Banking, fromBank of America. They discussed the common oversights business owners make when applying for loans, how to correct them, and what banks need to see on loan application documents to have a higher chance of approval. During the Q&A session, Moeller gave his card to a contractor looking to build an apartment complex.

Off the Beaten Path: Is Alternative Funding the Route for You?

The Alternative Lending panel featured a variety of non-traditional lenders. Kathryn Petralia, Co-Founder and COO of KabbageLevi King, President and Co-Founder of LendioPatrick Freeman, Director of Universal Payments and Partnerships for American Express Merchant Financing; Antonio Pizano, Manger for Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union; and Marco Lucioni, VP of Lending for Opportunity Fund; participated in the panel. In addition, the crowd heard from CoolHaus co-founders Freya Estreller and Natasha Case, who used alternative lending to expand their business. Moderated by Tammy Halevy from Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the panel discussed how non-traditional lenders are often tailored to helping small businesses in specific ways banks cannot, and the specific areas their companies serve.

Start Ups Start Here: Strategies from LA Entrepreneurs

The startup panel was comprised of successful entrepreneurs from various companies, including John Suh, CEO of LegalZoomJeff Stibel, CEO and Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.; Tony Westfall, Co-Founder and CEO of Invino; and Andrea Belz, Strategy Advisor for Tribogenics. Moderated by Ashish Soni, Executive Director of Digital Innovation at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the panel shared their inspirations for founding their companies, and how they raised the capital necessary to get started and expand.

Accessing Capital for Women & Minority-Owned Businesses

Moderated by Jane Pak, CEO of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ LA chapter, this panel discussed the options available for women and minority business owners. The panelists, Mark Wilson, President and CEO of eVerifile; Melissa White, South Valley District Manager for Wells Fargo; and Victor Parker, District Director for the Los Angeles SBA; discussed opportunities that women and minority business owners could take advantage of, as well as the challenges they face. Wilson responded to a question from the audience regarding challenges and how to overcome them, stating, “There are challenges to being a woman- or minority-owned business, but you still need to compete on merit,” which received a round of applause.

Crowdfunding: Should You Be In with the “In Crowd?”

The Crowdfunding panel discussed how the SEC’s decision on the JOBS Act will affect the way small businesses will be able to raise capital. The panel, comprised of Candace Klein, Founder and CEO of Bad Girl Ventures and SoMoLendChance Barnett, Co-Founder and CEO of CrowdfunderKate Drane, Engagement Lead for IndiegogoRick Weintraub, General Counsel and COO for CommunityLeader; and Lorenzo Maggiore, President of SKELL INC, who successfully funded his “Bug-A-Salt” on Indiegogo; was moderated by Jason Nazar, Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc. The discussion included how to create a crowdfunding campaign with a higher chance of success, and what businesses should begin doing now to take full advantage of crowdfunding if and when it becomes a more-accessible way for businesses to raise capital.

What do you think? For obvious reasons we’re very interested in doing more of these events next year and would love your feedback!

  • Which panels did you find most helpful and why?
  • Is there a topic around access to capital that we could/should include?


  1. […] Anyway, I’m not sharing this just because the event went over incredibly well, or because they did a write-up covering the event. I’m sharing it because there’s another whole page of video highlights of the Access to Capital event, which includes video. […]

  2. […] team, we chopped up the video to highlight the various panels from the day and posted them here: Want Funding? Let The Experts Guide You! Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle […]

  3. […] Want to dive deeper than just great quotes?  Watch the presentation in full here: Let the Experts Guide You. […]

Speak Your Mind