The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University is collaborating with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) to present a Finance Forum for startups and small business owners on July 21 at Bird Library.  The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the LaunchPad and the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons and features speakers are from EGF.  A not-for-profit Community Development Financial Institution, EGF promotes economic development and job creation in New York State by providing access to alternative sources of capital, small business loans, and business advisory services.

The event concludes a Small Business Financial Seminar Series presented by EGF finance experts in partnership with the LaunchPad. Previous workshops focused on Financial Management and Access to Capital.  Attendees learned how to make informed financial decisions, analyze business financials, and utilize tangible tools for evaluating the financial health of the company.  They also explored how to secure funding at the best terms possible, how lenders evaluate their business, and about personal and business credit, and credit repair.

“Financial management and access to capital are two critical issues facing small businesses, and this series is designed to provide critical tools, resources, and strategies that can be implemented in the business the very next day,” said Steve Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund. “It’s a very practical crash course to help business owners succeed in accessing capital and managing the firm’s finances.” Cohen was previously Executive Vice President and Deputy Commissioner at Empire State Development, where he headed the Department of Small Business Services and Community Economic Development.

The program agenda is:

8:30 a.m.          Networking and light breakfast refreshments in the LaunchPad, Room 120, Bird Library

9:00 a.m.          Program in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Room 114, Bird Library

Exploring The Capital Continuum:  What types of capital are available, and what’s right for you?

Experts will discuss sources of capital for new businesses, capital for growing businesses, alternate sources of capital, and capital comparison sources.  They discuss the “true cost” of capital and other critical considerations when seeking funding.

9:30 a.m.        “The Art of the Pitch”

Applications are being accepted to be one of the “Three Most Promising Pitches” to pitch to a funder’s panel. A panel scorecard will be provided in advance to help refine pitches.  Funders will critique and provide feedback loop that all participants can learn from.  Ideal presenters will have at least one year in business, have positive cash flow or be close to break-even, and have opportunities to grow their business and secure additional capital.

10:30 a.m.       Funder Feedback

Attendees can meet one-on-one with a financing expert who will create a personalized action plan, connect with funders and capital providers on specific product recommendations, and learn how to build the strongest possible application. There will also be an opportunity to visit with the resource panel and meet with representatives from the SBA, SBDC, Tech Garden, WISE Women’s Center and the Blackstone LaunchPad.

The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Register on-line:

Events partners include The U.S. Small Business Administration, SBDC, Tech Garden, WISE Women’s Business Center and Whitman School of Management, and the Central New York Technology Development Organization.

About the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University:

An experiential, campus program that is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni, the LaunchPad is designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path, and help develop entrepreneurial skills through individualized coaching, ideation, and venture creation support.  The LaunchPad at Syracuse University is located on the main level of Bird Library, placing entrepreneurship at the center of academic life, and incorporating it into the resource network of Syracuse University Libraries.  The LaunchPad helps connect Syracuse University’s rich array of entrepreneurship initiatives with a national network providing support for aspiring entrepreneurs.

To sign-up and become part of the network, log on to: