We are surrounded by worthy small businesses that permanently differentiate Austin.
My friends, family, and colleagues vote as best we can with our disposable income for the kind of city we want to live in. We give charitably, we do a lot of pro-bono, and we volunteer whenever and wherever possible. But we can do more.
I always thought to myself that if the right local, non-venture opportunities came my way, I’d get involved. Think: restaurants, coffee shops, apparel boutiques, movie houses, fitness studios, breweries, consultancies of many types, CPG, manufacturing…
I just never saw those deals, and truthfully, I never went out of my way to find them either.
Small business are not typically a good fit for equity investing, and I don’t have the expertise or the ability to source, evaluate, and underwrite loans.
Able is the world’s’ first collaborative lender. They help small businesses get credit for what they do best.
Able’s loans range from $25K to $250K. If your friends, family and fans (aka your “Backers”) cover 25% of the loan, Able funds the rest.
The idea is that loan underwriting is best done collaboratively — that certain social signals should be weighted more heavily than traditional measures of risk.
Remember the old saying that the bank will only give you a loan once you no longer need it? Small business capital has always been expensive capital, and it has always been inefficient capital. That stops now.
Able was founded and is run by my good friends and clients Will Davis and Evan Baehr. They have already loaned money to a hair salon, a non-toxic soap company, a popular food trailer, a stylish apparel company and more.
Check out Able’s explainer video for more: http://vimeo.com/100742934
I’m proud to pledge my backing to at least five deserving small businesses in Austin. I’d love to hear your story. In the coming weeks, other Austin-based business leaders will commit to the same. I’m the sacrificial lamb, so to speak.
We know that creating a successful financial environment for small businesses in Austin is as important for our collective happiness and well-being as any equity investment or philanthropic gift. Able is a new, compelling way to keep Austin weird, and part of a portfolio of activities that together guarantee a vibrant future in 512.
Able is one of those rare, true win-wins. I beat the market betting on local businesses we love, and those businesses beat the bank with working and growth capital when they actually need it. Even better, there’s no predatory fine print. Able is more than fair for both sides.
If you are a local business that deserves credit, I want to hear from you. Together we can unlock an even greater sum from Able, at rates you won’t find anywhere else.