Panel offers insight for entrepreneurs looking to make dreams, reality
Randy Rudasics, manager of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, is hoping a panel discussion next week will give promising entrepreneurs insight into the loans and financing options that can make their business dreams a reality.
“It’s mostly to create awareness about the variety of options that small businesses and entrepreneurs have to fund their business,” Rudasics said of the online panel discussion.
“I think most people are aware of banks — and we have good, really good small-business banks in our community — but they may not know about these other micro lenders, and I know they don’t know about this new state program, the Colorado Startup Loan Fund.”
The new fund is offered through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. It will be just one of the topics addressed during Northwest Colorado Funding Panel from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. There is no charge to be a part of the online discussion, but participants will need to register at NorthwestSBDC.org.
The Colorado Mountain College’s Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center is putting the event on, along with the Steamboat Springs Chamber and Northwest Colorado Small Business Development Center.
“It’s an online only panel discussion,” Rudasics said. “We’re going to offer folks 10 minute overviews of what it’s like to seek funding through a commercial bank and through one of two microlenders who do smaller entrepreneurial loans.”
Those microlenders are Kiva.org and the Northwest Loan Fund out of Summit County. The session will also offer an introduction to the new Colorado Startup Loan Fund, which is coming from the state through private lenders.”
Rudasics said he will be one of the speakers for the panel that also includes representatives from Alpine Bank, Kiva, B:Side Fund and Northwest Loan Fund. Ashley Pynes from the Colorado Small Business Development Center is scheduled to offer an overview of the Colorado Start Up Loan.
Rudasics thinks the Colorado Start Up Loan program is a great opportunity for local startups because it includes a lending feature, but also offers small grants to help cover some of the basic startup costs.
Rudasics said the event is open to anyone who wants to take part in an opportunity to compare options and hear directly from local lenders and program managers about what they are looking for from applicants.
“This is a public forum so anybody can attend,” Rudasics said. “We’re targeting small businesses and entrepreneurs, which is who I serve in Routt County, but it’s really open to anybody because all these organizations that are attending represent most of rural Colorado, not just Routt County.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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