Tag: Capital

Business – First Capital Bank of Kentucky – Louisville, KY #starting #own #business

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Allow the business expertise of First Capital Bank to be your most important financial resource. We work with our clients to develop a keen understanding of their businesses and personal lives, as they are often closely interwoven. We can then evaluate financial hurdles and opportunities intelligently, recommending solutions that make sense on a personal and professional level. We respond to our business customers by designing an approach that asks the right questions and provides the solutions necessary to meet the unique needs dictated by today s changing business climate. Allow our experienced, knowledgeable and highly qualified team to provide you with the most responsive financial products and services available to you and your business. Check out our options, use our helpful financial tools, and schedule a visit with us today. We re eager to help you get started.

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Thank you for your interest in First Capital Bank of Kentucky. We strive to make ourselves available to you, via email, telephone, postal mail and in person at any of our branch locations. or use the secure form found on our Contact Us page.

First Capital Bank of Kentucky
293 N. Hubbards Lane
Louisville, KY 40207





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Capital One Spark Cash Review #business #search #engines

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If your business needs a straightforward cash rewards credit card, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a solid option. It offers 2% back on all of your purchases and there’s no annual spending cap. There’s also a signup bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $59 after that, and no foreign transaction fees. There are business cards without annual fees, but this isn’t a bad fee — you can make it up by spending just $2,950 a year. The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is ideal for businesses that don’t require frequent travel, and for spending that is high and/or varies throughout the year.

Want to learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business? See our full review of all the Spark cards for additional information.

NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while cardholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.

Write a review

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Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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Why The SBIC Doesn – t Work For Venture Capital Anymore – Feld Thoughts #small #business #help

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Why The SBIC Doesn t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry.

I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 2002 time period. On paper, only one is in positive return territory as a fund, but the SBIC leverage is a substantial negative factor for the LP investors in that particular fund. And, in the other two, I don’t expect to ever see any of my capital back because of the SBIC leverage. Furthermore, I don t believe any of the GPs in any SBIC-backed fund would ever take money from the SBIC again.

So I’m speaking from at least a little experience albeit indirectly with the SBIC, as I ve never been a GP in a fund that had SBIC leverage.

The article starts off saying that “Matthew Varilek has traveled across the state, proselytizing the potential benefits of the Small Business Investment Company Program.” As a partner in one of the most visible VC firms in Colorado and an LP in many of the Colorado VC firms, I’ve never heard from Matthew or anyone from the SBIC. Matthew, if you really want to have a deep discussion about why the SBIC program isn’t effective for VC funds anymore, feel free to give me a shout. I’d be happy to meet with you.

Next, there is the wonderful PR quote about the SBIC that says “Since the program s inception, SBIC success stories include the funding of companies such as Apple, Costco and FedEx when they were burgeoning small businesses.” The SBIC was instrumental in the creation of the venture capital business. The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 helped catalyze many of the VC firms created in the early 1960s. When I first heard about VC firms in the late 1980s, and my first company (Feld Technologies) started writing portfolio management software for some Boston-based VC firms, many of them had funds with SBIC leverage, although even by the late 1980s this was changing and many of them had shifted away from the SBIC. If you want to see a fun quote on it, read A History of Silicon Valley which quotes:

“ …many venture capital pioneers think the SBIC program did little to advance the art and practice of venture investing. The booming IPO market proved the model of investing in new companies, as some SBICs cash out at attractive levels. SBICs did give a boost to early venture firms, and some like Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, profiled below, thought the new law made the US “see that there was a problem and that [venture investing] was a way to do something… it formed the seed of the idea and a cadre of people like us.” Bill Draper, the first West Coast venture capitalist, has been more blunt: “[Without it] I never would have gotten into venture capital. it made the difference between not being able to do it, not having the money.” Many believe SBICs filled a void from 1958 to the early 1970s, by which point the partnership-based venture firms took off. The US government, however, lost most of the $2 billion it put into SBIC firms.

So, while Apple, Costco, and FedEx benefited, the PR would be more credible if the SBIC was trumpeting iconic companies created after 1990 or even 2000, especially where the lead investors (rather than follow on investors) had SBIC capital.

Peter Adams, head of Rockies Venture Club, is quoted a few times. I like and respect Peter, so this isn t aimed at him, but rather at the clear lack of understanding of the capital dynamics around VC funds.

It looks really great on the surface, said Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club, a nonprofit aimed at connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Then when you dig into it, there were some problems. Adams, who has been involved in many of the meetings with the SBA and members of the investment community, said the greatest concerns voiced by investors and venture capitalists involved management team qualifications, investment track records and the addition of debt to the equation. No. 1 for us is they want a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before, he said. I can see where they re going with it, but the VC industry in Colorado has been fairly decimated through the economic downturn.

Peter is right about the context, but has two fundamental things wrong here. First, the VC industry in Colorado wasn t decimated through the economic downtown. It was decimated because of lack of performance between 2001 and 2009, just like much of the rest of the VC industry around the US. There s nothing special about Colorado in this mix, and it has nothing to do with the economic downtown. This dynamic has been reported thousands of times so I don t need to go through it again, but we don t have to look back very far to hear the drum beat from the media, LPs, and everyone else about how VC is dead. And if you re curious, it wasn t too long ago that Silicon Valley was also dying .

The other problem here is the need of the SBIC to invest in a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before. Any VC firm that fits this qualification is unlikely to have difficulty raising money in today s environment, and subsequently has no need for the SBIC leverage. And, more importantly, the only firms that will look for SBIC leverage are one s that don t have this, which is a classic adverse selection problem.

Then there s this:

The recession also then plays into requirements that the management team members have been involved in a meaningful number of successful exits during a four- to six-year period. From 2008 to 2013, that was not a good time for exits, Adams said.

Huh, what? At Foundry Group, our significant exits (at least 10x capital returned) since we raised our first fund in 2007 include AdMeld, Zynga, MakerBot, and Gnip. We ve had plenty of other exits, but these are the big ones. One of those companies, Gnip, is Boulder-based and another from our older funds (Rally Software) also generated a greater than 10x return for us. Techstars (which we helped start) have also had a steady stream of significant exits, including local Boulder companies like Filtrbox, GoodApril, and SocialThing. And then you ve got plenty of Boulder / Denver monsters on paper some in our portfolio (like SendGrid and Sympoz) and others like Zayo, Ping, Logrhythm, and Datalogix. Finally, if you look across the country, the exits have been awesome the past three years.

It keeps going. There s talk about the angel cliff (e.g. we need funds to invest between angels and VCs nope, been there remember gap capital not so effective) and the SBA rules and regulations (which I believe are toxic and inhibiting to a successful VC fund.)

One of the other problem is SBA and SBIC s behavior in governance of the fund. The paperwork is silly and the overhead is non-trivial. The control over distributions and negative incentives to hold or distribute capital often generates bad decisions when companies go public. And at least one close friend who is a partner in an SBIC fund has now found a new LP to buy out the SBIC so they could actually invest capital in their winners, rather than be limited by the SBIC s constraints on the amount of capital you can invest in any particular company.

The SBIC could be a powerful force for good in the venture capital industry. But it has to approach things very different and based on my experience with the SBA over the past decade, I don t see it happening unless there is real leadership somewhere in coordination with leaders in the VC industry. I m certainly willing to help, if only someone bothered to reach out to me.

UPDATE: It turns out my partner Seth Levine had met with Matthew a while ago. Seth said Your blog was right on and much of the type of thing I related to Matt and some senior guys he brought in. The gist of my conversation with them was pushing them to consider a different model that the current one basically led to lowest common denominator GPs and sub-optimal returns. Plus the SBIC leverage could be crushing. I don t think they have a ton of flexibility around this but they at least listened to the feedback. I m going to see a bunch of them in a few weeks I agreed to help judge a business plan competition they were hosting. Like you I m not a huge fan of the program as it has existed but I give the new guys some credit for both reaching out and trying to be proactive about thinking through this.

UPDATE 2: Matthew Varilek reached out to me and we are setting up a time to talk.





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Office of Capital Access #dog #walking #business

#sba grants

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Office of Capital Access | Resources

Please visit the SBIR Website as managed by SBA’s Office of Investment Innovation for complete and thorough details on the SBIR/STTR Programs.

Competitive Opportunity for Small Business:

SBIR and STTR are highly competitive programs that encourage small business to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from commercialization opportunities. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

These two programs target the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R D funds for small business, SBIR and STTR protect the small business and enable it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. This program funds the critical startup and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.

Since its enactment in 1982, as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, this program has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards. Their contributions have enhanced the nation’s defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and manipulate data.

Eligibility:

Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR or STTR programs. Complete details on eligibility can be found on SBIR.gov but in quick synopsis your small business firm should include:.

  • American-owned and independently operated
  • For-profit
  • Principal researcher employed by business
  • Company size limited to 500 employees

    The SBIR System:

    Each year, eleven federal departments and agencies are required by SBIR to reserve a portion of their R D funds for award to small business.

    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Energy
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Department of Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • National Science Foundation

    These agencies designate R D topics and accept proposals.

    Three-Phase Program:

    The SBIR and STTR Programs are structured in three phases:

    Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.

    Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.

    Phase III. The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

    SBA Role:

    The US Small Business Administration plays an important role as the coordinating agency for the SBIR program. It directs the 11 agencies’ implementation of SBIR, reviews their progress, and reports annually to Congress on its operation. SBA is also the information link to SBIR. SBA collects solicitation information from all participating agencies and publishes it quarterly in a Pre-Solicitation Announcement (PSA). The PSA is a single source for the topics and anticipated release and closing dates for each agency’s solicitations.

    For more information on the SBIR Program, please visit http://www.sbir.gov .

    All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.





Comstock s magazine – Business insight for California s Capital Region #business #consulting #firms

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In The Penalty

Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

Sep 2, 2016 Sena Christian

From Corporate Jobs to Brewery Owners

Proprietors of Big Stump Brewing Company juggle traditional careers with new venture

The phrase “typical day” is not one Larissa Meltz and Alex Larrabee have uttered recently and, as they get closer to their expected Labor Day weekend opening of Big Stump Brewing Company at 1716 L St. in Midtown Sacramento, their schedules will likely only get busier.

Sep 2, 2016 Jennifer Snyder

SacAnime and the Rise of the Pop-Culture Convention

Biannual Sacramento anime event takes place Sept. 2-4

While pop-culture conventions may be all the rage these days, that hasn’t always been the case.

Sep 1, 2016 Willie Clark

Buzzwords: Hardball

To be uncompromising in your methods or dealings, especially in business of politics

So while the word — and the practice — might make you roll your eyes, playing hardball can be useful and even necessary when the stakes are high. But please, use sparingly both verbally and in action.

Sep 1, 2016 Robin Epley

Trending on Twitter

Sightings Happenings Around Town

Volunteer with Unseen Heroes

Net Numbers

Raised for Glory

Poll: Are Your Bosses Expectations Too High?

Farm to Fan

Youth Sports Should be a Kid’s Game

Dilemma of the Month: Unrealistic Performance Goals

Why Connecting with Strangers on Social Media May Not be Smart

Farm-to-Fork Offers Veggie-Studded Lineup

Knock it Off

Game Face

Healthy Competition Builds A Gold-Medal Team

Artists to Take Center Stage at Sacramento Mural Festival

Sacramento to Host California Craft Beer Summit

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110 Small Business Ideas With Low Investment Capital #business #insurance

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List of creative and unique small business ideas you can start with little capital.

Small business ideas abound around us. Are you looking for small business ideas in Hindi or India? Perhaps you are in a different region. You may be looking for small business ideas in UK, Philippines or Nigeria. We have researched various small business ideas you can start with low investment. Before you continue reading this article, let me give you a hint that it is going to be a long list of small business ideas. However, for you to make most of it, you should not just rush the article by scrolling from the top to the bottom. Even if you are looking for a specific business idea, you may stumble on other good business ideas that may catch your interest. Perhaps a particular business idea does not appeal to you, that does not mean you should not read it. Who knows whether by reading it, something may spark up in you that will lead to the birth of your own new business idea. When looking for business ideas, you need to keep your mind open. Otherwise, certain opportunities may just be passing you by. Therefore, you should be willing to read to digest and not just to have a glance at the list of the business ideas. Or else, it will be like magical words; the more you look, the less you see.

A lot of people usually ask me; what are the most lucrative small businesses to start? This article may not be able to provide specific answer to this question because the most lucrative small businesses is relative. What is considered the most lucrative small business ideas in India may not be profitable small business ideas in UK. However, from the list of small business ideas covered on this page, you will be able to identify the one that will help you start your dreamed small business. Nevertheless, list of creative and unique small business ideas discussed in the next eighteen pages is broad enough to cover the enquiries we received. You need to be patient enough in order to digest it. For people that may be willing to read in detail, I have dedicated a page within this article to help the readers come up with small business ideas they can start almost immediately.

If you are looking for small business ideas with low investment capital, affiliate marketing is probably one of the quickest and cheapest small business ideas to start making money online. The reason is that, you don’t have to create any products yourself. Your task is to link up a buyer and a seller. You will be paid a commission on the sale that has been referred by you. In some cases, you don’t need to sell products to earn a commission. We have different affiliate programs and they use different payment terms. Examples are; Pay per sale, pay per lead and pay per click. It is good home business ideas for men and women. The advantages of affiliate marketing are numerous. Few are listed below:

  • It is cost effective as you don’t need to bother yourself about production costs.
  • The market is global
  • Becoming an affiliate is free
  • Both storage and shipping are taken care by the seller
  • The seller handles customer complaints for you
  • It can be run as a side business
  • You can run the business from home

Animal Feed Production

One of the lucrative small business ideas you can consider is animal feeds production. People eat meat, chicken, turkey and eggs every day. But before it gets to that level, there is need for rearing. All these livestock require feeds for them to grow. If you can formulate a diet that combines different feedstuffs that meet the energy and protein requirements of animal, animal feed production can be a good small business idea for you. Animal feed production can be operated as home business. However, you should ensure that you don t infringe the zoning rules governing your area. You should also ensure you obtain permits before you start the business. If you are searching for small scale manufacturing business ideas, animal feed production is a small scale business idea that can grow to become a big company. Because of the associated costs involved in production, it will be good if you can get the feed ingredients at good prices. Buying in bulk can make you enjoy discounts. However, this requires money except your suppliers are ready to sell to you on credit. Getting your formula for the mix of ingredient right will result to the production of feeds that are rich in protein, energy and vitamins. These are vital basic nutritional elements a good animal feed is expected to contain. You can sell your products through distributors, wholesalers or retailers. You can even sell directly to local farmers.

If you are good at child caring, babysitting can be among the list of small business ideas you can consider. Why should you consider this as a business idea? It is because of the unique advantages it has over other small business ideas. These include the following:

  • It is not seasonal
  • It is recessional-resistant
  • It is business idea you can start without investment
  • It is a good home business

Baby sitting is a good home business idea for women and teen. Nevertheless, it is important that you consider the responsibilities involved and the consequences before you start this business. As a babysitter, you will be responsible for a change of diaper, bathing and the safety of the baby. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself before hand. Also, you need to determine the kind of kids you will be comfortable with. Can you look after newborns or kids with special needs? It is important that you ask necessary questions before you accept a babysitting job. As a beginner, you can secure your first sitting job by telling people within your neighbourhood about your new business idea. Kids can be very playful and sometimes annoying. Therefore, you need to be an entertainer. You don t need to have all the skills required before you start the business, you will learn from parents and other babysitters as you go on.

If you are good at baking cake, bread or donuts, you will not only gain satisfaction, you can turn it into a money making venture. This is among small business ideas one can start as home business. There is growing need for baked products. Many people like eating freshly baked food but in actual fact, many of them don t know how or have time to bake it. Baking is one of the small business ideas with low investment capital. You don’t need extra capital to rent a space. It is flexible enough. However, except you already have the equipment needed for your new business idea, you will need to buy appliances like ovens, refrigerators, pans and other utencils. You can decide to run it as a counter service bakery where individuals can walk in and pick baked products. Alternatively, you can make it a specialty service. In this case, you need to specialise on a particular kind of baked product. If you can establish yourself as a specialty, people and bigger eateries will start contacting you for business. As your baking business begins to grow, you will need to start producing in larger quantity. If you want to sustain the growth, it is advisable that you don t compromise on quality. Also, getting adequate feedbacks from your customers will help you ensure that you are meeting their needs. As long as you maintain the quality of your products, people will continue to patronize you. Baking requires a lot of time both in production and marketing. Therefore, you need to know the right time you need to hire a staff to assist you. We classify baking among home based small business ideas for women.

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Comstock s magazine – Business insight for California s Capital Region #free #business #email

#sacramento business journal

#

Comstock’s

Get Social

In The Penalty

Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

Sep 2, 2016 Sena Christian

From Corporate Jobs to Brewery Owners

Proprietors of Big Stump Brewing Company juggle traditional careers with new venture

The phrase “typical day” is not one Larissa Meltz and Alex Larrabee have uttered recently and, as they get closer to their expected Labor Day weekend opening of Big Stump Brewing Company at 1716 L St. in Midtown Sacramento, their schedules will likely only get busier.

Sep 2, 2016 Jennifer Snyder

SacAnime and the Rise of the Pop-Culture Convention

Biannual Sacramento anime event takes place Sept. 2-4

While pop-culture conventions may be all the rage these days, that hasn’t always been the case.

Sep 1, 2016 Willie Clark

Buzzwords: Hardball

To be uncompromising in your methods or dealings, especially in business of politics

So while the word — and the practice — might make you roll your eyes, playing hardball can be useful and even necessary when the stakes are high. But please, use sparingly both verbally and in action.

Sep 1, 2016 Robin Epley

Trending on Twitter

Sightings Happenings Around Town

Volunteer with Unseen Heroes

Net Numbers

Raised for Glory

Poll: Are Your Bosses Expectations Too High?

Farm to Fan

Youth Sports Should be a Kid’s Game

Dilemma of the Month: Unrealistic Performance Goals

Why Connecting with Strangers on Social Media May Not be Smart

Farm-to-Fork Offers Veggie-Studded Lineup

Knock it Off

Game Face

Healthy Competition Builds A Gold-Medal Team

Artists to Take Center Stage at Sacramento Mural Festival

Sacramento to Host California Craft Beer Summit

Buzzword: Placemaking

How Oak Park Promise Vows to Improve the Neighborhood

Encounters with Keepers at the Sacramento Zoo

Rise Up Belize! Aspires to Help Children

Vacation Like a Freelance Boss

Republic FC Relies on Fan Feedback for Stadium Plans

Get Social





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Capital One Spark Cash Review #business #loans #with #bad #credit

#business credit cards

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Credit Cards

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Insurance

Credit Cards

Banking

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Nerdwallet Review

If your business needs a straightforward cash rewards credit card, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a solid option. It offers 2% back on all of your purchases and there’s no annual spending cap. There’s also a signup bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $59 after that, and no foreign transaction fees. There are business cards without annual fees, but this isn’t a bad fee — you can make it up by spending just $2,950 a year. The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is ideal for businesses that don’t require frequent travel, and for spending that is high and/or varies throughout the year.

Want to learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business? See our full review of all the Spark cards for additional information.

NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while cardholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.

Write a review

Some of the reviews on the NerdWallet site were purchased through a third party provider. Users who post a review directly on the NerdWallet site will not be compensated in any way. Please see our Terms of Use and Posting Guidelines for more information.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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Office of Capital Access #writing #business #plan

#sba grants

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Office of Capital Access | Resources

Please visit the SBIR Website as managed by SBA’s Office of Investment Innovation for complete and thorough details on the SBIR/STTR Programs.

Competitive Opportunity for Small Business:

SBIR and STTR are highly competitive programs that encourage small business to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from commercialization opportunities. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

These two programs target the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R D funds for small business, SBIR and STTR protect the small business and enable it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. This program funds the critical startup and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.

Since its enactment in 1982, as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, this program has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards. Their contributions have enhanced the nation’s defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and manipulate data.

Eligibility:

Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR or STTR programs. Complete details on eligibility can be found on SBIR.gov but in quick synopsis your small business firm should include:.

  • American-owned and independently operated
  • For-profit
  • Principal researcher employed by business
  • Company size limited to 500 employees

    The SBIR System:

    Each year, eleven federal departments and agencies are required by SBIR to reserve a portion of their R D funds for award to small business.

    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Energy
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Department of Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • National Science Foundation

    These agencies designate R D topics and accept proposals.

    Three-Phase Program:

    The SBIR and STTR Programs are structured in three phases:

    Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.

    Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.

    Phase III. The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

    SBA Role:

    The US Small Business Administration plays an important role as the coordinating agency for the SBIR program. It directs the 11 agencies’ implementation of SBIR, reviews their progress, and reports annually to Congress on its operation. SBA is also the information link to SBIR. SBA collects solicitation information from all participating agencies and publishes it quarterly in a Pre-Solicitation Announcement (PSA). The PSA is a single source for the topics and anticipated release and closing dates for each agency’s solicitations.

    For more information on the SBIR Program, please visit http://www.sbir.gov .

    All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.





Why The SBIC Doesn – t Work For Venture Capital Anymore – Feld Thoughts #business #accounting #software

#small business investment company

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Why The SBIC Doesn t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry.

I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 2002 time period. On paper, only one is in positive return territory as a fund, but the SBIC leverage is a substantial negative factor for the LP investors in that particular fund. And, in the other two, I don’t expect to ever see any of my capital back because of the SBIC leverage. Furthermore, I don t believe any of the GPs in any SBIC-backed fund would ever take money from the SBIC again.

So I’m speaking from at least a little experience albeit indirectly with the SBIC, as I ve never been a GP in a fund that had SBIC leverage.

The article starts off saying that “Matthew Varilek has traveled across the state, proselytizing the potential benefits of the Small Business Investment Company Program.” As a partner in one of the most visible VC firms in Colorado and an LP in many of the Colorado VC firms, I’ve never heard from Matthew or anyone from the SBIC. Matthew, if you really want to have a deep discussion about why the SBIC program isn’t effective for VC funds anymore, feel free to give me a shout. I’d be happy to meet with you.

Next, there is the wonderful PR quote about the SBIC that says “Since the program s inception, SBIC success stories include the funding of companies such as Apple, Costco and FedEx when they were burgeoning small businesses.” The SBIC was instrumental in the creation of the venture capital business. The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 helped catalyze many of the VC firms created in the early 1960s. When I first heard about VC firms in the late 1980s, and my first company (Feld Technologies) started writing portfolio management software for some Boston-based VC firms, many of them had funds with SBIC leverage, although even by the late 1980s this was changing and many of them had shifted away from the SBIC. If you want to see a fun quote on it, read A History of Silicon Valley which quotes:

“ …many venture capital pioneers think the SBIC program did little to advance the art and practice of venture investing. The booming IPO market proved the model of investing in new companies, as some SBICs cash out at attractive levels. SBICs did give a boost to early venture firms, and some like Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, profiled below, thought the new law made the US “see that there was a problem and that [venture investing] was a way to do something… it formed the seed of the idea and a cadre of people like us.” Bill Draper, the first West Coast venture capitalist, has been more blunt: “[Without it] I never would have gotten into venture capital. it made the difference between not being able to do it, not having the money.” Many believe SBICs filled a void from 1958 to the early 1970s, by which point the partnership-based venture firms took off. The US government, however, lost most of the $2 billion it put into SBIC firms.

So, while Apple, Costco, and FedEx benefited, the PR would be more credible if the SBIC was trumpeting iconic companies created after 1990 or even 2000, especially where the lead investors (rather than follow on investors) had SBIC capital.

Peter Adams, head of Rockies Venture Club, is quoted a few times. I like and respect Peter, so this isn t aimed at him, but rather at the clear lack of understanding of the capital dynamics around VC funds.

It looks really great on the surface, said Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club, a nonprofit aimed at connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Then when you dig into it, there were some problems. Adams, who has been involved in many of the meetings with the SBA and members of the investment community, said the greatest concerns voiced by investors and venture capitalists involved management team qualifications, investment track records and the addition of debt to the equation. No. 1 for us is they want a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before, he said. I can see where they re going with it, but the VC industry in Colorado has been fairly decimated through the economic downturn.

Peter is right about the context, but has two fundamental things wrong here. First, the VC industry in Colorado wasn t decimated through the economic downtown. It was decimated because of lack of performance between 2001 and 2009, just like much of the rest of the VC industry around the US. There s nothing special about Colorado in this mix, and it has nothing to do with the economic downtown. This dynamic has been reported thousands of times so I don t need to go through it again, but we don t have to look back very far to hear the drum beat from the media, LPs, and everyone else about how VC is dead. And if you re curious, it wasn t too long ago that Silicon Valley was also dying .

The other problem here is the need of the SBIC to invest in a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before. Any VC firm that fits this qualification is unlikely to have difficulty raising money in today s environment, and subsequently has no need for the SBIC leverage. And, more importantly, the only firms that will look for SBIC leverage are one s that don t have this, which is a classic adverse selection problem.

Then there s this:

The recession also then plays into requirements that the management team members have been involved in a meaningful number of successful exits during a four- to six-year period. From 2008 to 2013, that was not a good time for exits, Adams said.

Huh, what? At Foundry Group, our significant exits (at least 10x capital returned) since we raised our first fund in 2007 include AdMeld, Zynga, MakerBot, and Gnip. We ve had plenty of other exits, but these are the big ones. One of those companies, Gnip, is Boulder-based and another from our older funds (Rally Software) also generated a greater than 10x return for us. Techstars (which we helped start) have also had a steady stream of significant exits, including local Boulder companies like Filtrbox, GoodApril, and SocialThing. And then you ve got plenty of Boulder / Denver monsters on paper some in our portfolio (like SendGrid and Sympoz) and others like Zayo, Ping, Logrhythm, and Datalogix. Finally, if you look across the country, the exits have been awesome the past three years.

It keeps going. There s talk about the angel cliff (e.g. we need funds to invest between angels and VCs nope, been there remember gap capital not so effective) and the SBA rules and regulations (which I believe are toxic and inhibiting to a successful VC fund.)

One of the other problem is SBA and SBIC s behavior in governance of the fund. The paperwork is silly and the overhead is non-trivial. The control over distributions and negative incentives to hold or distribute capital often generates bad decisions when companies go public. And at least one close friend who is a partner in an SBIC fund has now found a new LP to buy out the SBIC so they could actually invest capital in their winners, rather than be limited by the SBIC s constraints on the amount of capital you can invest in any particular company.

The SBIC could be a powerful force for good in the venture capital industry. But it has to approach things very different and based on my experience with the SBA over the past decade, I don t see it happening unless there is real leadership somewhere in coordination with leaders in the VC industry. I m certainly willing to help, if only someone bothered to reach out to me.

UPDATE: It turns out my partner Seth Levine had met with Matthew a while ago. Seth said Your blog was right on and much of the type of thing I related to Matt and some senior guys he brought in. The gist of my conversation with them was pushing them to consider a different model that the current one basically led to lowest common denominator GPs and sub-optimal returns. Plus the SBIC leverage could be crushing. I don t think they have a ton of flexibility around this but they at least listened to the feedback. I m going to see a bunch of them in a few weeks I agreed to help judge a business plan competition they were hosting. Like you I m not a huge fan of the program as it has existed but I give the new guys some credit for both reaching out and trying to be proactive about thinking through this.

UPDATE 2: Matthew Varilek reached out to me and we are setting up a time to talk.





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