by Jennifer Roe

Last week, Bethesda Green hosted the second in its Finance Workshop Series for green businesses.  A panel of investment-sector experts — Casey Berman, Jason Shrensky, and Greg Merril — moderated by Anthony Millin discussed GrowingBusiness_logowhat investors are looking for and how to successfully pitch a business.  Each panelist highlighted the do’s and don’ts of presenting to an angel investor with real, honest advice.

Many attendees were surprised with the openness of the panel as participants were encouraged to approach angel investors with caution.  Loren Hurst of Loren Hurst & Associates believed the take away message was that unless you need to, “don’t go to them,” adding that the frankness of answers spoke to the integrity of the event.

Entrepreneur Zack Kline of A.I.R. Lawn Care agreed.  He has always believed it is best to keep control of his business and focuses on building the brand rather than looking for investors, however, he found the workshop thought-provoking.

For Laura Yochelson of Inviting Movement into Life, this was her first finance event and a little out of her comfort zone. Nevertheless,  she found it a great opportunity to begin learning what local businesses are trying to do.  Full Plate Ventures’ Cheryl Kollin thought the panelists did a great job of speaking about the realities of investing, however, she is more interested in social enterprise investment and hopes to learn more about it in future workshops.  Overall, the workshop provided a great opportunity for small, local businesses to come together to discuss challenges they share and how to overcome potential investment hurdles.

Plan to join us Thursday, February 28 for the next installment of the Finance Workshop Series: “Sources of Financing and Deal Structure.”

Jennifer Roe is a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh where she received her Master’s in Environment and Development.  She is passionate about building a just and sustainable food system where every individual has the opportunity to lead a successful, healthy life.