Microfinance—it's small amounts of money and advice; it's saying "yes" to somebody's dream; and it's a whole lot of fun, as evidenced by our "Speed Coaching" event held last night at the HUB San Francisco. Opportunity Fund partnered with The Boston Beer Company (makers of Samuel Adams beer) to put on the event. Through their Brewing the American Dream charity program, Sam Adams supports Opportunity Fund’s small business microlending.
Last night's event was a sold-out success, with 125 local food and beverage entrepreneurs, 34 coaches and 6 judges on hand for a fast-paced evening with experts from marketing, packaging, accounting, legal, finance, social media, public relations and more doling out advice in 20-minute slots. The entrepreneurial excitment was palpable. The night kicked off with a "Pitch Room" contest where six lucky business owners competed for a trip to the national finals in Boston and a chance to win a $10,000 grant for their business. Entrepreneurs hawking hummus, coffee, lemonade and more had two minutes to convince the panel of six celebrity judges, including San Francisco's own Phil Jaber of Philz Coffee who sat in one of the judge's chairs. Cole Meeker of Sea of Change Trading Co., which produces dried seaweed snacks, was the lucky winner. Congrats, Cole!
"Opportunity Funded" entrepreneur Paul Cruce, owner of the Holy Cow mobile coffee truck, competed in the "Pitch Room" contest and was overjoyed to meet his coffee brewing hero, Phil Jaber of Philz Coffee.
A number of friends from the Opportunity Fund family helped out as coaches last night, including Sonia Wadhawan of Google; Scott Neihaus of Summit Partners; Steffi Wu of Zero Cater; and Sarah Rocio of Health Advances. Speed Coaching is a high-impact opportunity to help small business owners get the benefit of free, expert business advice. By giving a few hours of their time on one evening, our coaches had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with small business owners seeking advice. This was a truly amazing opportunity for these aspiring and current small business owners to learn from experts. Thank you, coaches!
KTVU Channel 2 reporter Heather Holmes was at our "Speed Coaching" event. Click here to watch the story that aired on the 10 o'clock news last night!