May 22, 2009

SBA Launches ARC Loan Program to Help Struggling Small Businesses

I just received an email from the SBA Director in Utah that announced the new “ARC” loan program for small businesses.

Beginning on June 15, SBA will start guaranteeing America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans.  ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000 available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing qualifying debt.  This is an incredible program … ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA, and have no SBA fees associated with them.

According to the SBA:
“These ARC loans can provide the critical capital and support many small businesses need to make it through these tough economic times,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “Together with other provisions of the Recovery Act, ARC loans will free up capital and put more money in the hands of small business owners when they need it the most. This will help viable small businesses continue to grow and thrive and create new jobs in communities across the country.”

I agree… it’s a good start.

As with all SBA loans, ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not SBA directly.  For more information on ARC loans, visit

May 19, 2009

Introducing…Online Speedpitch

Each month, FundingUniverse hosts an Online Speedpitch Event in which it showcases 4-6 entrepreneurs and their companies in front of 10-20 accredited angel investors and venture capitalists.  The event has turned out to be a huge success.  Investors can get a close look at 4-6 deals in under an hour and entrepreneurs are able to develop meaningful relationships with several qualified investors.

The format of the event is similar to our live Speedpitch Event.  Pitches are done live over the web in an online webinar format.  Entrepreneurs go through their concise PowerPoint presentation for four minutes after which the time is opened up to the investors to ask questions for three minutes.  Once this question and answer period is over the investors are surveyed and asked to express their level of interest in the deal and we move on to the next presenter.  At the end of the event, the results of the surveys are compiled and delivered to the entrepreneurs to help them follow up with each interested investor to pursue further conversation.

The entire event lasts about 45 minutes-1 hour depending on the number of entrepreneurs selected to present.  Thanks to the quality of the investors who attend these events and the devotion of the entrepreneurs to improve their pitches, each of our participants has been able to generate the interest of investors through this event.

In our most recent Online Speedpitch Event, FundingUniverse showcased the following companies:

At the end of the event, each presenter had interested investors to follow up with.  In fact, one presenter pitched well enough that he got two term sheets in less than a week after the event while another was able to develop a strategic partnership with an investor!

FundingUniverse’s Online Speedpitch Events are held each month.  To be considered to pitch to our investors, please send an email to mangumz at with your executive summary attached.

UPDATE: we just received word that an investor from the last Online Speedpitch Event flew in from across the country to meet with one of the entrepreneurs this week to discuss funding their deal!

May 15, 2009

Utah Angel Group Summit 2009

Brock's presentation on the State of Angel Investing in Utah

While I’m getting to it a little bit late, I thought that it would be provide a report on the first annual invite-only Utah Angel Group Summit that FundingUniverse hosted with each of Utah’s Angel Groups (Utah Angels, Olympus Angels, Park City Angels, Dixie Angels, Salt Lake Life Science Angels, and others).  As the exclusive sponsor, we had a fun time and were glad to receive such great feedback from each of the angel groups.  It was a fantastic day with great topics and plenty of networking.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Richard Sudek, Board of Governors for the Tech Coast Angels (largest angel group in the US), was our keynote speaker.  He did a great job talking about best practices and the do’s/don’ts they TCA has learned over the years.
  • Fortunately, I was able to take 30 minutes to present “The State of Angel Investing in Utah” to the group.  We have partnered with students at BYU to gather and analyze 51 angel investments that have been made in Utah over the past 18 months.  It was great data and interesting to see various trends, investments sizes, valuations, etc.
  • We had a fantastic panel in the morning focused on Investment Best Practices moderated by Greg Warnock (prolific angel and VC).
  • In the afternoon, Hal Widlansky led a panel to talk about the current climate and Structuring Deals in 2009.

Can’t wait to start sharing some of the content that we have gathered during research project — stay tuned for that!  Here are a few picture highlights:

Richard Sudek

Richard Sudek


Group Shot