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Success Stories

This Dentist Learned About SBA’s 504 program through Word of Mouth

Dr. Mussie Sibhatu received his Doctorate degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Dentistry. He specializes in prosthodontics, or rehabilitating broken teeth.  Dr. Sibhatu gained advanced training in full mouth rehabilitation of complex dental cases, placing and restoring implants, removable dentures and cosmetic dentistry.  He provides both general and specialty care to his patients.

Dr. Sibhatu decided to open his practice, Laurel Smile Dentistry, in the Laurel District because he had lived in Oakland before going to dental school. After practicing for a few years in Arizona, he wanted to come back to the Bay Area. When the opportunity to purchase a practice on MacArthur Blvd presented itself, Dr. Sibhatu jumped at the chance.

“I always heard about the SBA loans they provided to small business,” he said. He began his process by approaching a bank to consider a 7(a) loan. After careful... Read More

Mindful Test Taking Success Story

Mindful Test Taking Success Story

After running a successful life coaching business since 2010, John Hankey recognized a market opportunity to help individuals reduce test taking anxiety with proven relaxation techniques, launching Mindful Test Taking in November of 2016.

Challenges included launching and investing in an unproven business concept, scaling operation to meet market demand and securing funding for expansion.

John worked with the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to develop a business and financial plan, then on implementing it, including securing the required permits/licenses.  SBDC advisors also guided John through the process of procuring and deploying independent contractors when he discovered quite a bit of demand for his service.  Finally, the SBDC helped John to secure funding to continue growing the business.

Mindful Test Taking launched and had 20 clients within a few months.  The business plan gave John the... Read More

SonoMotion Success Story

SonoMotion is a clinical trial staged company that is developing non-invasive solutions for the treatment of kidney stones.  The company’s first product, Stone ClearTM, can be used to relieve kidney stone pain by moving the stone away from the ureter and eliminating urinary obstruction that is the primary cause of the pain.  

Break WaveTM is the company’s second product and it is a new way to non-invasively break large kidney stones using 1/10th the focal pressure of existing techniques.  The much lower focal pressures and lack of fluoroscopy has the potential to eliminate anesthesia from lithotripsy procedures and to transform the 700,000 lithotripsies done in the US annually from the surgical suite into an office-based procedure.

SonoMotion approached Tech Futures Group when they needed input and guidance on terms, deal structure and negotiation strategy for convertible note and Series A financing. 

Tech Futures Group is a program of a non-profit organization... Read More

Besha Success Story

Besha, Inc. (Besha) started in 2016 by Rebeca Sanchez, sells all natural collagen supplement products online. These products are manufactured using a patented formula developed in Germany. Customers use the products to benefit their skin, hair, nails and joints. Collagen supplements are a very fast growing segment of the health and beauty supplements market.

In 2015, Rebecca Sanchez wanted to start an online business selling natural collagen supplements.  She also needed advice on how to launch a business with minimal capital investment. She met with a business advisor for a non-profit agency, but left the meeting feeling disillusioned. The advisor did not believe in her business idea.  

Rebecca then contacted the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and was connected with Ron Barrett, a business advisor who has started several companies and has significant finance and marketing experience. 

After Rebecca’s first conversation with Ron, she... Read More