Past Meetup

Alternative Funding Sources - Microlending / Crowdfunding / EB-5 Program

This Meetup is past

15 people went

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This free event is being organized by Alex C. of the Women Business Starters Meetup group. I will be participating as a panelist. As the venue requires full names of attendees, please register at EventBrite ( instead of, or in addition, to RSVP'ing here. Please read on for more information:

Every new business is concerned about funding. But did you know that there are alternative methods to get such funding. Nowadays, every group out there talks about angel funding and vc funding, but realistically most start-ups won't get funded this way. We've gathered a great panel of speakers that can inform you about Microlending, Crowdfunding, and a federal program known as EB-5 that might help your business find it's first capital source.

What is EB-5? - Excerpted from the USCIS Website:

USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.


Erica Dorn - is the Community Development Manager at the U.S. Microfinance Institution, Accion. In addition to managing the Loan Operations team at Accion, she focuses on consulting and financing small businesses along the food supply chain. Prior to joining Accion in 2009, Erica founded a non-profit that funded small business in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina and later served as the first U.S. based Kiva fellow. Erica has a degree from Colorado State University and is a Coro Leadership New York Fellow.

Stella McGovern - co-founder, ( brings expert insight on the topic of crowdfunding. Armed with statistics and firsthand knowledge, she will explain what it takes to run a successful campaign and discuss the most common mistakes made by those who fail at crowdfunding.

Owen Gu - is a licensed lawyer in New York and New Jersey, with the firm Zhang & Attorneys, L.P. He was born in Beijing, China and received his Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honors) from Queen’s University in Canada. Subsequently, he was awarded the St. Thomas More Full Tuition Scholarship to attend St. John’s University School of Law in New York City where he earned his Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.). He joined Zhang & Attorneys, L.P. as a business development attorney with a focus on developing Chinese markets and advising Chinese corporations and individuals on U.S. immigration and corporate law. He has experience dealing with EB-5 cases and it's investing/funding details.

Alexandra Chou, CPA - owner of Infin8 Enterprises, LLC, a firm specializing in tax, financial, and business planning services for entrepreneurs and small businesses. She has experience dealing with start-up business, primarily those within the 6 months - 1.5 year mark. She spent several years working for a Big 4 accounting firm and an international Investment Bank. She will help moderate the panel.

RSVPS - Accepted through Eventbrite only (


Hive 55

55 Broad Street, 13th Floor



6:00pm-6:30pm - Networking with speakers

6:30-8:00pm - Moderated Panel Questions

8:00-8:30pm - Q&A from the audience