“Having no previous knowledge that the SBDC existed, I was amazed that such resources were available and was very impressed by both the consultant that helped me as well as the overall offerings of the SBDC. It’s a great resource for the community and I’m thankful that it exists.”
CARE for the Bay Area is a new medical clinic and embryology laboratory providing personalized care for people attempting to build families. A full range of reproductive technologies is provided in a warm comfortable setting. CARE focuses specifically on treatments that are designed to reduce the cost, emotional stress, technological intervention, and ethical dilemmas often associated with infertility treatment. CARE for the Bay Area offers a full spectrum of infertility services, including medical tests to diagnose infertility, medical advice and treatments to help a woman become pregnant, and services other than routine prenatal care to help to prevent miscarriage. In only the first months of operations, CARE was able to provide successful outcomes for six families.
Karen Purcell, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician with several years’ practice in the field and saw the need to open a clinic that had a different tone and approach to treating patients with infertility. However, opening a clinic of this type requires a significant investment of capital given the laboratory equipment needed and the high level of training and competence for the embryology staff. After most of the initial planning was completed, Dr. Purcell’s marketing consultant referred her to the Silicon Valley SBDC to help polish the business plan and secure an SBA loan for the venture. Having the resource of the SBDC provided education and resources needed for the process as well as to help move the venture forward.
Dr. Purcell met with an SBDC Business Advisor to address her need for proper organization, presentation of the business plan, and the financial numbers associated with it. A thorough third-party review of the business plan is all the more important when dealing with a highly specialized industry such as fertility treatment. If a business plan is to be submitted to an outside audience, business processes must be explained in a straightforward manner.
The SBDC assisted with structuring the operation’s narrative so that lenders would easily understand how the company would serve patients effectively and profitably. He additionally helped identify different banks that were interested or open to funding an SBA loan for a medical start-up as well as helped determine their fees and lending requirements. Through every step of the loan process the Business Advisor was a willing partner in pushing the financing process forward.
The most important accomplishment to come out of the SBDC assistance is the incalculable impact on dozens of Bay Area families in only the first year of CARE’s existence. The SBA loan acquired was in the half million dollar range and led to three full time jobs so far.