In This Issue:
- Message from Managing Director, Noah Harris
- Veteran Launch Takes on San Francisco Small Business Week – May 27
- Veteran Company Spotlight: The Waffle Experience
- Veteran Launch in the News
- Networking Happy Hour with Noble Brewer
May is Military Appreciation Month, and it has been one of our busiest months at VETERAN LAUNCH. In this month that recognizes the specific contributions that active duty military and veterans make in our communities and our country, we are honored to support veteran small businesses.
To date we have funded over 20 veteran businesses, lending them nearly $2.5 million.
In our position as a trusted nonprofit in the veteran space, we are able to bring together many organizations and veterans, creating a positive effect for these businesses. We are learning the importance that this type of convening has for the veteran business community.
As we finish up the month of May we are participating in three networking/convening events: two around San Francisco Small Business Week and a third veteran business event in Sacramento.
Thank you for your continued support and help in getting the word out about VETERAN LAUNCH!
Managing Director, Veteran Launch
VETERAN LAUNCH Takes on San Francisco Small Business Week – May 27
Meet Our Clients: The Waffle Experience
The Waffle Experience offers a large menu for breakfast and lunch, all centered around waffles. If you’ve never tried a burger on a waffle or a salad with a waffle base, these guys have you covered. It is hard to tell what is more unique about The Waffle Experience restaurant: their breakfast and lunch creations labeled “Two Hands Required” or the story behind the restaurant.
The restaurant was started by three US Marines who served together in Operation Desert Storm. They credit their camaraderie during their time aboard aircraft carriers and around fighter jets as a major asset in starting and growing The Waffle Experience. This team has brought their respective skills together build this successful restaurant concept. Chef Michael Donoho had the inspiration, after working in France and alongside culinary greats like Emeril Lagasse and “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto. Dominic Dolar who brings considerable coffee expertise as a master at craft roasting. Jeffery Belaski serves as general manager, leading the business side of the organization.
Their first restaurant is already open in Natomas, CA and VETERAN LAUNCH is helping to fund their second location in Folsom, CA. “Working with Mike McGrane and VETERAN LAUNCH was great from the beginning,” says restaurant owner Mike Donoho. “They bring a mission focus to what they do, and I knew right away they were focused on our business success.”
The Waffle Experience joins a number of veteran-owned restaurants funded by Veteran Launch. “The fact that VETERAN LAUNCH has supported other veteran-owned restaurants helped influence our decision,” added Mike. “In addition to our financing, VETERAN LAUNCH is bringing assistance on cost-cutting and ways to help increase revenue for our restaurant. That support means a lot.”
VETERAN LAUNCH in the News
Last week the Veteran and Military Owned Businesses Association (VAMBOA) posted a profile of Veteran Launch, written by Debbie Gregory. We want to share an overview of her profile about “smart” money.
What makes a small business loan “smart”?
- Attractive interest rates: VETERAN LAUNCH is part of Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance), a nonprofit organization that’s been serving entrepreneurs since 1979. As a nonprofit, our goal is offer the best services possible to the veterans we support.
- Advising throughout the loan process (and beyond): VETERAN LAUNCH is staffed by veterans with experience serving small businesses. They guide our clients through the loan process, step-by-step, and support them as best as possible to operate a lasting business by connecting them to trusted advisers who can support them through the life of their business.
- The network of other veteran-owned businesses: VETERAN LAUNCH is connecting with more veterans every day, as well as professionals and companies committed to supporting veterans. Access to this growing network can serve your business as you continue to grow.
Networking Happy Hour with Noble Brewer
On Wednesday, May 11, VETERAN LAUNCH and Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance) hosted a networking event for our small business clients to connect with each other and with our team. The event was hosted at our office in Oakland, with beer and wine provided by Oakland-based, veteran-owned business Noble Brewer.
We are happy to have supported Noble Brewer with both start-up capital and most recently with growth funding. Noble Brewer is the world’s first online, homebrew subscription service. They select award-winning home brewers, connect them with breweries to produce their recipes, and share those with their subscribers.