Basics of Startup & Small Business Funding

This informal presentation will cover the basics of startup and small business funding. Learn about traditional lending and venture capital. We’ll have representatives from Silicon Valley Bank, and Caerus Investment Partners to talk about requirements for different sources of funding, best practices in identifying and approaching potential investors, pros and cons of different funding options, and some basics on crowdfunding. Come ready with your questions!

This class is perfect for:

  • Tech startups
  • Anyone interested in how to prepare for different types of funding


Heather La Freniere develops relationships with mature technology companies across the Midwest in her role as Director in SVB’s Corporate Finance team. She helps companies build scale by leveraging SVB’s full suite of financial products and services, as well as accessing SVB’s deep network of executives and investors in the technology industry.

Prior to SVB, Heather was Executive Vice President for Gibraltar Business Capital, a private equity-backed specialty finance company, acting as head of Sales & Marketing for the organization. Prior to Gibraltar, she held various roles at Wells Fargo Capital Finance (WFCF) including originating new structured loan opportunities primarily in the middle market (including asset-based, enterprise and recurring revenue) and working with the Channel Finance/Supply Chain Finance team structuring A/R and A/P programs for large IT vendors and resellers. Prior to WFCF, Heather was in investment banking with ABN Amro and Mesirow Financial, a Chicago-based boutique, focused primarily on debt capital markets advisory work. Heather started her career with Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo) and completed the bank’s credit and sales training program and an MBA while part of the program.

Heather has a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA in Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Aaron Gillum is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Caerus Investment Partners. He has over ten years of experience in tech start-ups and strategy and turnaround, and restructuring consulting to Fortune 500 and middle market companies. A recipient of the 2011 Turnaround Managements Association’s, Turnaround of the Year and M&A Advisor’s 2012 Top 40 Under 40: Aaron assists portfolio companies with strategic planning, sales, and marketing strategy.

Aaron earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and B.A. in economics and public policy from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors. He also active with Future Founders Foundation and Big Shoulders Fund.


When & Where
Thu, Apr 20, 2017 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM