University Hosts Seminar for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
“Funding Entrepreneurs: Resources for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners to Help Find Them Money” was held on December 6 in The Duncan Family Sky Room at the Mac Mahon Student Center. Industry experts discussed how and where business owners and entrepreneurs can obtain financing for their companies, ideas, products and services. The event was facilitated by the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation and hosted by the Institute for Urban Revitalization through Entrepreneurship, the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership and the Department of Business Administration at Saint Peter’s University.
Students and small business owners from the surrounding community heard from a panel of business experts, featuring Daryl H. Bryant, founder and CEO of StartupValley, who has spent the last 15 years working in the internet and technology sectors; Steven Gomez, assistant executive director at Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides microloans, small business counseling and training services throughout northern New Jersey; Christine Caruso, senior venture officer for the technology and life sciences division of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Marie C. Mascherin, chief lending officer for New Jersey Community Capital; Philip Wagnenti, vice president and relationship manager at M&T Bank; and Anthony O. Pergola, Esq. ’92, vice chair and a founder of Lowenstein Sandler’s Tech Group, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Peter’s University, founding board member and co-chair of Angel Vine VC and founding member of Grape Arbor VC.
In terms of investing in a small business, Pergola said, “How many good, new ideas are out there? There really aren’t any. It’s all about people in my world. Almost every company I made an investment in had a pivotal person heading it.”
Attendees also learned why a business plan is essential to getting a loan, different kinds of loans available to small business owners, lending fees and the various resources available to entrepreneurs.
“All of our Principles of Management students this semester did a realistic business pitch project borrowing from the format of ABC’s popular series ‘Shark Tank,’ where student teams had to pitch their business ideas to potential investors (simulated by classmates), asking for an investment in exchange for equity in the business,” said Mary Kate Naatus, Ph.D., assistant professor of business at Saint Peter’s University. “This live panel of financial experts was the ideal culmination of the project because the students were able to hear firsthand what each type of investor specifically looks for when choosing entrepreneurs to invest in and approving different types of funding.”
“Students also appreciated the opportunity to network with professionals, our Board of Trustee member Anthony Pergola and community members and entrepreneurs,” she added.
“Funding Entrepreneurs: Resources for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners to Help Find Them Money” was held as part of the Institute for Urban Revitalization through Entrepreneurship, a joint venture of Saint Peter’s University and Rising Tide Capital. The program, which recently launched, brings together representatives from the Jersey City government, higher education, the medical community and other corporate citizens to discuss critical issues that relate to economic growth and revitalization.