Greater access to capital is critical to continuing the growing momentum in the Dayton startup community. Funding can’t just be for high-growth or technology-based startups – businesses of all types need to have opportunities for funding. To provide another outlet to support Dayton small businesses, Start Downtown introduces Kiva Dayton – a collaborative effort between several startup ecosystem partners to utilize the international platform of Kiva as a lending outlet for local small businesses and startups.
Kiva is like crowd-funding, but instead it’s crowd-lending – after your loan is repaid, you can use the same dollars to support another small business. Loans are 0% interest and are repaid by the small business over a period of 6-36 months depending on the loan size. Businesses that apply for lending through Kiva have 30 days to reach their fundraising goal. If they don’t reach their goal, they don’t receive funding. The Kiva Dayton team includes several local startup ecosystem advocates, including fellow entrepreneurs, small business counselors, economic development professionals, mentors, professional service providers, and more.
Help fund this project:
Jay Nigro – Event Lites
For the past seven years, I have owned a successful event entertainment business. I saw an opportunity in the event market for a unique event decor product. Doing market research, Lighted Marquee Letters have become popular in Europe and Canada. This was key factor when deciding to launch Event Lites.
The business model for Event Lites is to have inventory to satisfy the needs of many different clients from weddings and private events to non-profit functions. Some examples include LOVE, R&S (weddings), 40 (birthday parties/anniversaries), and YWCA (non-profit).
The future goals of Event Lites is to expand into surrounding markets including Cincinnati and Columbus.
A loan of $5000 will be used to purchase the majority of the remaining inventory of lighted letters needed. Each letter is manufactured locally through a well known carpenter. Letters currently cost between $250 to $300 per letter. This will double our current inventory.
Our current business model is to build the letters as needed. With this loan we will be able to have the majority of letters in stock and ready to use at events. This is key to be flexible with our clients.