2017 Hurricane Recovery: Get information about disaster assistance, or find out how you can help.

Success Stories

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

A Tasty Caribbean Bistro Nestled in the Redwoods

Gaby Long had had a successful career in corporate America.  In her career, she learned the value of determination and persistence.  She learned how to do a lot with a little, and she moved up the ladder, but when she asked herself, “Are you happy?  Are you doing what you want to do?” She found the answer was a resounding, “No.”

Cooking had always made Gaby happy.  She had learned how to cook watching her mom and her aunts, all of whom sold desserts and pastries or juices in Barbados.  Caribbean food doesn’t have set recipes with measurements.  Gaby had learned to cook based on smell and looks.

She decided to open Humboldt County’s only Caribbean restaurant, A Taste of Bim, in 2015.  The menu would offer authentic recipes drawn from Gaby’s experience growing up in Barbados (nicknamed Bim in local slang).

Gaby started working with a counselor from the North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the summer of 2015, with the goal of securing... Read More