Start-Up Funding Challenge: $500,000 awarded to 16 Bay Area Start-Up Entrepreneurs!

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 by


We are excited to announce the winners of Opportunity Fund's 2013 Start-Up Funding Challenge!


From gluten-free Chinese food to a new fitness workout studio, the entrepreneurs selected this year for financing to launch their businesses represent the great diversity of ideas, innovation, and talent in the Bay Area entrepreneurial environment. Finding affordable financing for a start-up can be really difficult; that's why Opportunity Fund set aside $500,000 in capital to fund local start-up entrepreneurs, who are either launching their businesses or have less than a year of sales. At 7.5% interest and no loan fees, the Challenge aims to offer financing that is hard to come by for most start-ups at an affordable rate.


“Opportunity Fund is in the business of saying ‘yes.’ We love working with small businesses in California, and start-ups are especially exciting because we get the chance to be in on the ground floor. There’s nothing like the passion and excitement of an entrepreneur the day we tell them their loan is approved,” said Eric Weaver, Founder and CEO of Opportunity Fund. “And we can’t make these investments in Main Street businesses without support from the community.”

Among the start-ups getting funding is Take 5 Coffee Shop in Berkeley. Owned by Glynis Fairley and Karen Rosen, the mothers of 5 foster children, Glynis and Karen are opening a coffee shop a few blocks from their house in a rapidly transitioning neighborhood. Take 5 Coffee received a $25,000 loan to help open the coffee shop and purchase the espresso machine. Glynis and Karen also won the "Impact Award" for the vital role this business will play in the community, which earned them a tablet from Microsoft and PayPal funds from eBay.
(Click here to watch videos from other Start-Up Funding Challenge winners.)
“We really could not be making our dream come true without Opportunity Fund believing in us,” said Rosen, one of the coffee shop owners and a winner of the Start-Up Funding Challenge. “We saw an opportunity to provide a coffee shop in this area of Berkeley and now we can bring this vision to life. Our neighbors have been so eager for us to open – they were even drinking our coffee from a small table out front when we were still under construction inside the shop.”

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's Start-Up Funding Challenge!! Be sure to support these new ventures by visiting them in person or online. 


Cardio Barre
Fitness Studio
San Francisco


Lucky Bolt
Food delivery service
San Francisco

Telefon Project
Smartphone app


Ivy's Garden Foods
Gluten-free Chinese food
San Jose


Tutti Frutti
Frozen yogurt

Himalayan Beanz
Coffee shop
Rhonert Park


MH Bread and Butter
Bakery Cafe
San Anselmo


A & R
Martial arts studio
San Leandro - coming soon!


Juanita's Polynesian Delights
Polynesian bakery and cafe


Canopy Valley
UV protection fabrics
San Jose


Burnt Rice
Korean fusion restaurant
San Jose


Take 5 Café and Gallery
Coffee shop and art gallery
Berkeley - coming soon!


Childcare by Elsa
Home-based childcare


Opportunity Fund’s Start-Up Funding Challenge is made possible by our long-standing relationship with Bank of America, which provided a matching grant of $112,500 to access loan capital from the Small Business Administration to fund these start-ups. Additional support was also provided by Microsoft and PayPal.


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