KingsCrowd: "Bridging the Small Business Funding Gap"
Our CEO George Cook was featured in KingsCrowd's Founder Profile series and shared his thoughts about bridging the small business funding gap and the Regulation Crowdfunding ecosystem.
George, can you give us a little background on yourself and how you came to found Honeycomb Credit?
George: I'm actually a sixth generation community banker - my family has been running a community bank in rural Appalachia for about 130 years. Growing up in the family business, I saw the value of relationship banking and local investment. But I also realized that community banks are disappearing at an alarming rate and the data clearly show that this is disproportionately impacting small businesses.
This trend was really nagging me and I kept thinking about it while I was back in school getting my MBA at Dartmouth. That is where I met my co-founder, Ken Martin. Ken has a successful investment banking career but he also has owned and operated a few small businesses. Despite his strong finance background he was seeing firsthand how difficult it was to get traditional financing for a small business. We put our heads together on how to bring the community banking model back in scalable, tech-enabled way and Honeycomb Credit was born.
What market gap are you servicing with this platform?
George: In short - Main Street, Middle America. Banks are retreating from small business loans and the merchant cash advance companies that have taken their place are charging crazy rates (often up to 100% APR). We are creating a way for business owners to borrow fair expansion loans. At the same time, we're allowing retail investors to put their hard earned dollars to work in their own community, while supporting businesses they know and love (and earning a competitive rate of return while they’re at it!).
Check out the full Q&A on KingsCrowd here.