Locavesting: What led you to start Honeycomb?
Honeycomb is George Cook’s idea, it’s something he was noodling on for several years. The genesis to launch was George and I coming together at business school at Dartmouth. I was an investment banker at Barclays and tapped into tech trends, but I realized my real passion was small business. I launched a chain of coffee shops in Washington DC and a juice company, so I’m familiar with being a small business owner in America, versus a high flying venture-backed company that will IPO, and how hard it is to raise capital, even for someone like me with a financial background.
George comes from six generations of small community bankers. The bankwas founded right after the civil war and they have owned and operated it ever since. We really have the lineage to talk about the issues that have happened in community banking. We lose one community bank every day in the US! George was watching the effect that was having on small business lending. Why is technology making consumer lending better, but small businesses still struggle?
Out of that came Honeycomb.
LV: You are rooted in Pittsburgh. Will you remain focused on that city?
Pittsburgh used to fly under the radar. We were thrilled to get accepted into the AlphaLab program, an accelerator that grew out of (Benjamin Franklin Technology Partner‘s) InnovationWorks, a public-private partnership to promote startups in Pittsburgh. It taps into the world class engineering talent at Carnegie Mellon University and the innovation happening in Pittsburgh. Not only is it nationally ranked, but very aligned with our mission—we don’t want to be a Silicon Valley solution for Main Street America. George and I are building a product for Main Street America.
We are firmly planted in Pittsburgh and our core focus is building market share in the western Pennsylvania market. But we do have an expansion plan that includes expanding to areas with similar demographics to Pittsburgh. We’re thinking carefully about growth strategy with our advisors.
Finish reading the full article HERE