12 Things We’re Excited for in 2023
With only 12 months to make a difference, here are the dozen things Founders First Capital Partners is excited about for the New Year, in no particular order.
- CES in Las Vegas
Founders First Capital Partners CEO Kim Folsom has a long history of attending CES in Las Vegas every year. CES is the perfect place to kick off the New Year. And it’s a great opportunity to see the latest tech innovations, not to mention having the chance to meet with the companies and founders behind them all. As well, it allows for us to meet with some partners and prospects in person that we’ve only had meetings with via Zoom.
- Short Month, Big Goals
The shortest month of the year means we have to work harder to meet our goals. We love a challenge so you know that our team will not slow down just because we’re short a few days compared to the rest of the year. Prediction: February 2023 will be Founders First’s strongest month.
- Conference Season
We love conference season. Although, there’s really two seasons per year, one in the spring and the other in the fall. We love them both and can’t pick a favorite. (You can’t make us!) Kim is a phenomenal speaker and spends most of both conference seasons flying all over the US spreading the Founders First mission and empowering other diverse entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.
Founders First is known for providing informative and helpful webinars to prospects, partners, investors, brokers and clients. In 2022, we presented webinars around being fund ready, the power of partnering with a revenue-based lender, how to grow your business and impact investing for an inclusive economy, among others. We plan to ramp it up in 2023 and provide even more value through webinars.
Founders First provides the S in ESG. That’s the social element. At the end of 2022, we started working with different corporations to help them meet their ESG and/or CSR (corporate social responsibility) goals. We’re excited to further that work and support companies of all sizes as they engage in their corporate responsibility initiatives.
Crumbl Thursdays (and sometimes Wednesdays) have become a regular occurrence in our San Diego headquarters. We enjoy the rotating cookie flavors and debating which cookie is the best for that week. We’re working in a hybrid workspace so when we come together, we try to make it memorable. Cookies definitely help.
The culture committee at Founders First initiated a call for volunteering across the company. There was such an overwhelming response that it’s definitely something we’ll continue to do again. Staff across the country helped out in food banks, clothing drives, water conservation efforts and the humane society. Looking forward to continuing community outreach in the New Year.
Every year it seems that the world gets a little smarter. New technology means Founders First has the opportunity to innovate and streamline our funding process. We use technology to find the people who need our growth capital and to ensure that we get their requests processed and paid as quickly as possible. This is beneficial on all sides.
- Growing Diverse Businesses
Founders First Capital Partners was founded on the idea of providing growth capital to diverse-led businesses, ensuring they have just as many opportunities as the majority. Each year, since the company was founded in 2015, we have grown our portfolio and are looking to propel even more companies in 2023 as we continue to build an inclusive economy.
- Grant expansion
Founders First operates as two entities: Founders First Capital Partners provides growth capital for diverse-led businesses and Founders First CDC offers grants and business accelerator programs. In 2023, Founders First CDC is excited to launch the National Pride Grant for LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses. The pride grant provides small businesses the chance to receive one of 25 grant packages totaling $25,000. This is a great opportunity to serve LGBTQIA+ small businesses throughout the US.
- Philanthropic Organizations
Founders First is lucky to be supported by top philanthropic organizations like Surdna Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Spring Point Partners, Pivotal Ventures (a Melinda French Gates company), and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, among others. This backing allows us to provide loans to diverse-led businesses that are non-dilutive and less restrictive than others. We are so thankful for those who believe in our mission and are hoping to add more to our roster in 2023.
- Perfecting the Hybrid Space
As an organization, we have always operated under a hybrid model with hubs around the nation. This year, as we continue to grow, we will keep finding ways to build rapport across time zones. Reaching people in person and virtually has become a bit of an art form. It’s not always easy but we use tactics beyond the typical Zoom meeting to keep connected.
In 2023, Founders First Capital Partners is committed to building on our mission toward an inclusive economy. While that likely won’t be solved before the year is over, we know we’re making strides.
Tracy Fuga works in Business Development and Marketing for Founders First Capital Partners where she oversees efforts to connect diverse founders with capital to grow and scale their businesses.