Don’t Waste Your Time with CYBF Loans

cybfThis post has gone through a couple iterations before being posted. It started out as a rant, moved to a rant disguised as constructive criticism, now it’s settled down to something a little more readable. I’m still going to say it how it is, but the earlier versions were 80% incoherent rambling, 20% content. Hopefully this is a bit more legible.

First, a little background. My startup, GooseChase, was recently selected for the first ever Spin Master Innovation Fund. Along with 7 other companies, we were selected to receive what was touted as “the financing, mentoring and support to transform our bright, big business idea into a big business”. On the surface it looks solid – $50,000 financing, mentoring and a weekend workshop to get you going. But I have to say, the process for this specific fund, and I assume most of CYBF’s programs, is an absolute mess. Based on my experience, I honestly can’t encourage anyone else to apply to a CYBF program in good conscience.

The first strike

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It all started with the application process. Anyone that knows me knows I absolutely hate business plans. I think they are an utter waste of time and aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. The act of planning is critical, but writing out a 20+ page business plan is nonsense. That’s why I, and many other entrepreneurs, use Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas. It’s short, but you get everything down that you need to without wasting your time. Admittedly, for non-software based businesses that require full-out production facilities, outsourced manufacturing, etc., you might need something a bit bigger. But maybe another page or two, not 30+ pages. With that in mind, imagine my thoughts when I found out the business plan instructions were 13 pages long. Yes, that’s right. The INSTRUCTIONS. It was so long it needed a full-out table of contents. Pages upon pages were dedicated to explaining the exact structure you needed to follow.

When it was all said and done, it took my co-founder Max Spear at least a week to finish it. It was 42 pages just to get everything they wanted in there. What a waste of time. With the Lean Canvas, the content could have been written in a couple of hours and it would have had all the same info. The best part of it is neither Max nor I have opened it back up since then. In fact, by the time it was even finished it was outdated! I’m not even joking. It was actually outdated by the time it was completed.

The second strike

The next thing that got under my skin was the ridiculous application rules for co-founders. Based on the terms of the program*, it gave the impression that if a subset of the team has a majority stake, only those members need to apply as they can speak for the team. After following through with that, we were informed that everyone in the company had to apply. Why? I still don’t know! We were only assured that it was “in the rules”.

Instead of fighting it, we decided to concede this relatively minor point and have everyone apply. This meant each one of the five of us had to come up with two references and fill out a lengthy online form to proceed. The reference form was 12 questions long, not a trivial exercise, especially when you consider it had to be done by 10 people. At this point, I was on the verge of bailing on the whole application. To be honest, if Max hadn’t already spent so much time on the business plan we probably would have.

The third strike

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After we got all our references in, things went surprisingly well for a little bit. We went into Spin Master’s offices, pitched GooseChase, and ended up getting selected. We were even mentioned in a National Post article on the fund. Everything was rosy for a while, but it all came crashing down in a hurry. One piece of the down-turn was the mentor orientation program, Ment2B.

What exactly did CYBF think would happen with this program? Picture the brutally cheesy, outdated, boring, moronic online training modules that big corporations use, merge that with a late-night infomercial and a bad business 101 class and you’ll get an idea of this thing. 2+ hours of forced discussion (we’d actually had a good non-structured discussion before starting this beast) with absolutely no benefit to either side. The number of times I heard “the importance of mutual trust” became nauseating. Mutual trust IS important, but you don’t get that from going through a forced orientation. You get that over time and from actual discussions, not forced ones.

This was a pure waste of time, but I could live with it. The loan terms on the other hand…

The final straw

First, the backstory. We knew going in that this was a $50K collateral-free loan. Personally, I don’t think loans are overly valuable for new entrepreneurs, especially those that charge interest from the beginning, but I do get the logic. If a company is successful, that money is better used to reinvest in future entrepreneurs. Whatever, that’s not the issue here. The issue is the ridiculousness of the loan terms. I got halfway down page one and did a double take. This supposed risk-free loan was requiring PERSONAL GUARANTEES from all the co-founders**. That means if our company doesn’t succeed, and let’s be honest most don’t, all of our credit ratings are screwed unless we pay it back from our own pockets. For me personally, I think I have a net worth of about zero so that’s not going to happen, but some of our team members have substantial assets. That means they are on the line for the entire thing or else all of our credit ratings are screwed. Even if the risk was proportional to equity percentage, I’m not going to put my credit rating on the line when there are alternative ways to raise money without risking my future.

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Looking at it from CYBF’s perspective, why would a self-professed “go-to place for young entrepreneurs” want to potentially screw over Canada’s best and brightest for the rest of their lives? The fact of the matter is the majority of new businesses fail in the first few years. Often not even by any personal shortcomings, just the nature of entrepreneurship is risky and the market forces can change at any time. So why would a charity like CYBF not just forgive the loans if the company goes under? Comparable loans from OCE do that. Why wouldn’t they? I still haven’t gotten a good response on this. Even two CYBF-affiliated people I’ve talked to were confused by this. They were under the impression that it was a no-risk loan too!

Talk about a mess. The sad thing is I think the Spin Master program still has value and I’d like to stay a part of it, but I’ve been told that the loan and Spin Master program is a package deal. If I don’t take the loan, I don’t get the program. Hmm, so you’ll only help me if you can screw me at the same time? That doesn’t sound like something I want to be part of.

As a workaround I’m trying to take the loan and then pay it back on the spot. That way I’ll only be out the $150 ($50) administrative fee and get to stay in the program, but I’ll be shocked if they’ll let me. Why would they? That would be actually helping an entrepreneur succeed.

A final plea

CYBF. Your application requirements suck. Your mentor orientation process sucks. Your loan terms are trying to screw me. What gives? I’m just an entrepreneur trying to make it. And here I thought you wanted to help.

 

Edit: I’m happy to announce that after talking with CYBF, it turns out that we ARE able to pay the loan back right away and we’ll be able to stay in the program. This is obviously great news for us and we are very excited to be a part of the Spin Master Innovation Fund going forward.

With that said, I still believe that there are some major adjustments to the program that are required to make it attractive for future entrepreneurs. I hope that this can serve as the beginning of a discussion that will lead to real change. Entrepreneurs, let CYBF know what is broken AND how to fix it! CYBF, listen to the applicants and consider changing your process to be more favourable to entrepreneurs. There has to be a model out there that works for both sides.

 

* Terms of application with respect to corporations with more than two shareholders:

“In addition to meeting the basic criteria, if there are more than two shareholders and no one majority shareholder, shareholders who meet the age criteria must collectively hold the majority of the voting shares, be involved in the day-to-day management of the business, and take direct responsibility for operational liability.”

** Applicable loan terms with respect to personal guarantees:

  1. I have personally guaranteed the subject CYBF loan. Accordingly, as a result of CYBF contractual agreement with Equifax (Credit Bureau), my personal payment record with CYBF will be reported to Equifax on a monthly basis until my liability with CYBF is paid.
  2. Should the loan be in arrears or in default, CYBF as a result of its agreement with Equifax (Credit Bureau) will be reporting my Personal Information to that agency. I also understand that each of the undersigned are jointly and severally liable for the outstanding liability and the reporting of information to the Credit Bureau will apply to all applicants.

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  • http://www.cybf.ca CYBF

    Andrew, thank you for your feedback. We are listening and we are always reviewing opportunities at CYBF for improvement. We are pleased that you are still a Spin Master Innovation Fund recipient and we look forward to seeing you and your partners at the Launch Pad!

    • Codi Beam

      Please modify your program so that it functions properly, and as it presents itself to operate..

  • Fraser

    The BDC wanted that personal guarentee to apply to our *investors*. Just crazy.

    • Vince

      Yeah BDC should change their model to fit software companies. I’ve passed this feedback to them and I’m hoping they’ll change it around, as I know they are anxious to start some more investments in the KW tech industries.

  • Vince

    I agree: I don’t think that a personal guarantee from all the ‘co-founders’ is reasonable, especially since the term ‘co-founder’ is highly objective. The lead of this program should consult with the applicants to find something more acceptable. I’m sure CYBF wants to be helpful, so I think you can work things out with them.

    MaRS has had some amazing programs and they’re focused around getting to know the business personally before making any investments and grants. We’ve had a tonne of support from them.

  • Bobby Fischer

    So let me get this straight you want my tax dollar to support you if your business fails? How is is that teaching you or any young entrepreneur to be responsible? We should just forgive your loan? Sorry but I can’t disagree with you more. No risk, no glory. You have to be willing to fail if you want to succeed. I get the long nonsense paperwork but sitting through two hours of someone yapping about a mentor (who will help you for two years) and you’re complaining??? Let me get my hanky out.

    • Murda Croox

       Hey there “Bobby”.. are you on a salaried position for the conservative government doing “Internet P.R.” or what?

    • Masterspin

      Really dude? you’re an idiot. Have you ever heard of government grants, SRD etc..? LOL at your comment about your tax dollars supporting start-ups.

  • Meredith cross

    Wait. Let me get this straight. CYBF is a charity – and you say they should just “write off the loan”? How exactly is that “helping entrepreneurs”?

    • http://andrewcross.ca Andrew Cross

      Meredith & Bobby,

      Thanks for your comments and I actually understand your perspective. A couple years ago I probably would have had the same opinion. But I want to try and offer a bit more info about why this doesn’t actually work for high-tech startups and how a forgiven loan is a much better program.

      1) If a business succeeds, that actually helps the economy on the whole, not just the owner. It’s not valid to think of it as “my tax dollars” helping “you succeed” as there’s much more at play than that. As an example, if a company is given $10K by the government to help it get off the ground and it’s actually successful, that company will be paying much more than the $10K in taxes year in and year out going forward. This ends up resulting in a net gain for the government and eventually you.
      2) Entrepreneurship is inherently risky. But that doesn’t mean you take on all the risk you can, you have to evaluate the risk on a cost/benefit basis. For a high-tech startup, the odds are pretty firmly against you. If you look at investors, they have to invest in a broad range of companies just to get that one hit that makes the losses on the other 10 profitable. Now obviously every entrepreneur thinks they are going to be the one that breaks the mould or else they wouldn’t be in the game, but CYBF’s loan terms are more in line with that of a bank than a charity. I agree it’s important to place the safeguards in place to ensure financing is only provided to serious, responsible entrepreneurs, but when a venture just doesn’t work out (and the odds are that most don’t), it is much more in line with the definition of a charity to GIVE help than demand repayment. Charity Definition: “an institution or organization set up to provide help, money, etc., to those in need”. An entrepreneur who has sunk his entire life savings and dedicated years of his life to a venture would qualify as someone in need to me, especially for a charity focused on helping young entrepreneurs succeed.
      3) I agree, the 2 hours of a poor training module is a small price to pay for two years of assistance from a mentor. That doesn’t mean the process can’t be substantially improved though.
      4) A charity writing off bad loans would be helping entrepreneurs because it would let them continue their life without the burden of a terrible credit rating or being down $50K+. This issue would only come into play when the entrepreneur is down and out and their company is floundering. I would think it would be obvious that such an act would be “helping entrepreneurs”. Now I agree that if this is the case, the selection criteria needs to be rigorous and be very relient on character, which is the impression I, and others, were under about this program. But if you have determined that someone is a serious entrepreneur and will take every measure possible to succeed, I don’t see why a charity wouldn’t forgive someone when they are in need.
      5) This idea of supporting entrepreneurs without personal guarantees is not a revelation. OCE has a new entrepreneur program that provides financing for entrepreneurs without personal guarantees. MaRS will actually provide cash to young companies for some of their programs.

      With the high-tech industry, it’s often boom or bust. If it goes boom, I have no doubt that entrepreneurs will realize that they have received some substantial help along the way and give back. Take a look at Ted from Kik who gave $1M to the VeloCity program at the University of Waterloo to support new entrepreneurs. However, if it goes bust, let the entrepreneur walk away without a ruined future.

      • Mason Freeman

         Andrew, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. I completely agree, and I think it’s atrocious for such a large foundation funded with tax dollars to be such a mess. These programs have the potential to effect a massive and positive change, but they certainly don’t seem to be.. Disgusting that the entire Canadian deficit exists because Canada borrowed 75 BILLION to GIVE to PRIVATE banks… (we were many billions of dollars in SURPLUS before the “Canadian bank bailout”.. It’s disgusting to see “con” puppets in this forum “trolling” you with idiotic comments.. Keep up the good work!

  • Bobby Fischer

    Hi Andrew. I’m not buying it.
    1. A charity or NFP’s purpose is to help a group of people within their mandate and still be fiscally responsible. They’re not Santa Clause. OCE & MaRs would never dream of having a “forgive a loan” policy. Loans are forgiven as a means of a last resort.
    2. An entrepreneur’s life is not ruined if they get a bad credit rating or even if they go bankrupt. Most
    successful entrepreneurs have failed their first time around (bad credit and all) — but they’ve learned from their mistakes and bounced back.
    3. For someone who wants to be an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time talking about a sense of entitlement – the antithesis of a making it on your own.
    4. With CYBF you didn’t get three strikes – you hit a home run (with some foul balls). When you graduate to the majors , if you continue with the same attitude, you won’t even make it up to bat.

  • Markos

    “but the earlier versions were 80% incoherent rambling, 20% content. Hopefully this is a bit more legible.” – hate to break it to you Andrew buddy but your still ranting, and rambling.
    Like most, I have to agree to disagree with you here.  I am a current applicant for the CYBF program and personally i couldn’t ask for things to be going more smoothly then they currently are.  I think this “forgiveness loan” mumble jumble your speaking of is just absolutely ridiculous.  No young business would ever take a program seriously or themselves for that matter if they knew they could just blow off the money and not have to worry about it if they fail.  Even though CYBF is a charitable foundation they still have bills to pay, and if they were to just right off these loans, how would they be able to fund the next start up which could result in an economic hit, creating more jobs for a community.  Lets be real here, entrepreneurship and small businesses ARE currently driving our economy so for an organization like CYBF to be available to this growing trend there has to be growth on both ends.  To me, it sounds like your just another young gun, who thinks he really truly gets it all but to be honest you just sound unprofessional and unrealistic.  Nothing in this world is free.

    As for the business plan, lets take a moment to think about it.  A business plan is really more of a guideline for the business owner.  It serves no real purpose in the physical success of the business BUT it does show a few things.  For one it creates a clear path to look back on whenever you may be stuck and most importantly it shows DEDICATION.  Dedication to YOUR business.  Dedication to the PASSION you hold for YOUR business.  For me, writing a business plan was the best part and as an entrepreneur, putting all the pieces together gets me more and more excited each and everyday.  How can you expect to be approved for a loan (or in your case, free money that falls from the sky) if your not even willing to sit down and really think about how your business is going to operate?  How do you expect to be approved for a loan by any lender if you can’t show them that you are willing to put in the work needed to develop a concise plan that outlines your goals and objectives and clearly explaining those goals with viable risk assessments.  To me you just sound like a spoiled child and my apologies if I’m being to Frank.  I just really thought to myself “is this guy for real?”

    • http://andrewcross.ca/ Andrew Cross

      Markos, thanks for the comment. I’ll cede the point that it is still structured a bit too much like a rant. If I was to rewrite it, the tone would be less “rant-esque”, but it would still have the exact same points.

      Let me address a few of your comments:
      1) “No young business would ever take a program seriously or themselves for that matter if they knew they could just blow off the money and not have to worry about it if they fail”. If the companies receiving funding will just slack off if they don’t have to pay it back, the wrong companies are getting funded. Put another way, a company that won’t take themselves seriously shouldn’t receive funding regardless of the terms. That’s why the selection process must be stringent enough that all the semi-committed people are filtered out. 

      2) “if they [CYBF] were to just right off these loans, how would they be able to fund the next start up…?”. This doesn’t apply for the Spin Master loan. With that specific loan, there was no collateral, just your credit history. So either way CYBF wouldn’t be able to get the money back to “help fund the next startup”. 

      3) [Business Plan Paragraph]. I believe you misinterpreted my point on business plans. As mentioned in the article, I strongly believe that PLANNING is a critical step in a business. What I do have a problem with is spending a week writing a perfect 30+ page business plan that wil never be read again. Using the lean canvas forces you to think through the EXACT same steps as a business plan, you just don’t have to waste time with all the pretty pieces of formatting, sentence structure, etc. It’s all the benefit of a business plan without the fluff.If you look at the application process for all the top incubators/accelerators (YCombinator, TechStars, etc.), beautifully formatted business plans are nowhere in sight. That’s because it’s a waste of time! You still need to know your stuff to answer the application questions and nail the interview, but they want you spending that extra time hacking away or talking to customers. Based on their track records, I think they know what they are talking about.

    • Why So Cross?

      Quote:
      1) “No young business would ever take a program seriously or themselves for that matter if they knew they could just blow off the money and not have to worry about it if they fail”. If the companies receiving funding will just slack off if they don’t have to pay it back, the wrong companies are getting funded. Put another way, a company that won’t take themselves seriously shouldn’t receive funding regardless of the terms. That’s why the selection process must be stringent enough that all the semi-committed people are filtered out.

      Andrew, I would argue that the personal guarantee is an control set in place by CYBF to weed out companies that should not receive the funding.

      If you are fully committed a personal guarantee that doesn’t require full repayment of the loan seems like a steal to me.

  • An Interested Reader

    Andrew, I think you have many good points in your article, and many are accurate…. including the difficulties involved in the extensive application process.  and I say this as someone who administers the CYBF program for a community partner.

    But I have to admit that you lose me when you talk about the loan being forgiven should your venture not succeed.  I ask a simple question: who foots the bill when this money is written off?  And furthermore, how do you expect the fund to sustain itself when the growth of the fund (through the nominal CYBF interest rates) is far less than the write offs being experienced?  The only answer is through further funding from either private contributors or via tax revenue.  Does this seem reasonable?  If you wish to borrow the money and accept the risks associated with entrepreneurship and potential success, you also have to accept the burden associated with failure.  In my eyes, and this is my opinion both as a commercial lender as well as an average individual, if you borrow the money, you repay it.

    Just thought I would contribue my 2 cents to the debate.  I wish you success with your venture and the CYBF programs, and better luck for your Leafs ;-) .

    Cheers

    • http://andrewcross.ca/ Andrew Cross

      Hi,

      Thanks for your level-headed comments. I fully understand your point and from a financial “money-in, money-out” perspective, it makes perfect sense. But the part that falls apart with the Spin Master program in particular is the loan is touted as a no-risk loan. In this case, that means that they won’t come after you to repossess your house, belongings, etc. so they aren’t going to get that money back anyway, but your credit rating will be botched. So, if you aren’t getting the money back anyway, why screw over the entrepreneur by severely damaging their credit score?

      The response to this is always that it incentives the entrepreneur to pay back the loan more if their credit rating is on the line, but I strongly disagree. If you are funding the type of entrepreneurs that will just goof off when they don’t have to pay it back, you’ve funded the wrong people. If someone truly wants to grow the company into something, they’ll work night and day and pay it back.

      For a real-life example, I received the no-risk OCE New Entrepreneur Loan around the same time as Spin Master. With this loan, if you don’t meet certain conditions of “success” in a certain amount of time (usually a couple years), the loan is forgiven. I can guarantee you that I am not working any differently because of the terms of this loan vs. CYBF’s. If I fail, it’s not going to be because the loan was going to be forgiven so I slacked off.

      At the end of the day, when you fund the right people, the terms of the loan won’t make a difference in their success. There’s still a lot of people that will fail, but if CYBF isn’t going to get the money back anyway, I don’t see why the credit rating of the entrepreneurs needs to be trashed.

      • An Interested Reader

        Hey:

        I agree with you and disagree.  I think fundamentally, all business loans should be personally guaranteed and the requirement should be that if the company doesn’t repay the money, the individual does.  As mentioned earlier, I inherently believe that if you are able to accept the spoils of success, you also need be able the consequences of failure.

        That said, there are two counterpoints.  First of all, if CYBF is touting this loan as “no risk”, then I fully agree with you, a personal guarantee should not be attached to the loan as reporting to your credit does negate the “no risk” promise.  That simply flies in the face of what has been offered and promoted.  Second, and perhaps more important, is the way the institution handles the personal guarantee.  I can tell you from the view of the organization I work for, the personal guarantee is meant to tie the borrower to the loan should the company fail to repay the debt.  We simply look to the client to continue pay (either in full or on reduced terms) if the business cannot.  We do not take a gurantee with the aim of damaging credit or harming the entrepreneur.  And I can tell you from experience that if you work with the entrepreneur to honour the guarantee, but under terms that are manageable for the client, it can be a win-win.  This is evidenced by our organization’s write-off rate of less than 5% and the lack of negative reporting to credit we have to do.

        In the case of your CYBF loan. it ultimately boils down to one fact: if you have no designs on repaying the loan, reporting to your credit is not going to make a difference, how well the organization works with you to assist repayment will.

        • http://andrewcross.ca/ Andrew Cross

          Seeing as my big issue was being blindsided with a personal guarantee at the last second, I’m glad you can appreciate where I’m coming from. 

          But beyond that, I still have a problem with the idea of personally guaranteeing loans for high-tech businesses. Look at the level of funding that’s required to make a difference. For high-tech, $50-100K is the very low end of seed funding. That’s no trivial sum to pay back personally if the company goes under. It’s a very different situation than a bakery or hair salon that would be able to get something up and running with <$25K.

          The part that is also neglected a lot in these conversations is the tangible benefit Canada receives when an entrepreneur is successful. Jobs, wealth and an innovative culture are created when someone is successful. That's why Dalton McGuinty (regardless of your views on him) is a big supporter of tech. It's one of the few sectors that continues to grow and add real value to the economy. Yes, a successful entrepreneur will enjoy the spoils of success (although the end result is rarely that impressive if you run the numbers based on risk, time investment, etc. – interesting read here: http://blog.asmartbear.com/value-time.html), but so does the country. That's why de-risking of entrepreneurship for the RIGHT people is a good thing.

          Consider someone working on their business has two options: 
          -One is to go after a niche market that has a good chance of succeeding, but will cap out at $500K a year. With that, they can afford a couple employees. We'll say it has a 50% chance of succeeding. 
          -The other is a highly ambitious goal of taking on Google with a social graph search engine. This has a 0.5% chance of success, but if it succeeds, that's a massive win with billions of added value to Canada each year.

          When you require personal guarantees on a loan, you are pushing people down the path of option 1. In and of itself, these add value to the country, but not even close to the value of option 2. Option 2 will fail 100 times more often than Option 1, but when done on a large scale, that strategy will ultimately be more beneficial to the country as a whole.

          That's why personal guarantees stifle innovation in high-tech. It pushes people towards the "safer" way. Safe is good, but it's the big success stories that make a real difference. We should be encouraging people to think big and take risks, not make sure we can pay back that loan.

          • Baker

            Andrew – only one point – a bakery would have a hard time getting started for less than 50 – 100K as well. There’s a lot of startup costs equipment wise (trust me, I’m doing it right now).

  • Katie

    On a debt management plan we renegotiate your monthly unsecured debt payments down to a level you can afford

     

  • Inconvenient Truth

    In order to raise money CYBF has created the illusion that they have an impact at the national level. Their Board is chaired by a super-rich guy who attracts other super rich people to the Board. These folks feel important hanging out together but they don’t have a clue about the real impact and nature of CYBF at the ground level. Their role is to raise money for this “charity” often by leveraging their political connections to suck money from government. Thes folks have a cherry pie and ice cream view of CYBF and feel that they are “giving back” to the business community.
    The operational reality is that CYBF’s need for a “national profile” eats up most of what they raise, with only a small fraction actually making it into the hands of young entrepreneurs. Worse yet is the fact that CYBF’s organizational culture and lending philosophy came straight out of the CIBC. Loans are approved by Beacon Scoring before being handed off to Loan Review Committee’s who pretend to “approve” it. Most loans are declined before their application ever gets to the local folks. Later, if a client begins to struggle,rather than trying to work with them to get back on track, they list their loan with a collection agency and destroy their credit rating. They have the same degree of empathy toward their clients as the banks do toward theirs. Sound like an agency you want to support or deal with?

  • Dave

    Oh Boy, I should have read this before.

    CYBF people don’t even understand a model. I asked them how do you value a model. The answer in a nut shell: the length of BP.

    I talked about Disruptive Innovation; they had no clue. I brought up Blue Ocean Strategy; their eyes were spinning.

    I showed them my website prototype which is a month away from launch; they said this is in R&D stage.

    Finally, a foundation, helping businesses, needs a clear process for eligibility evaluation; it took them a month to tell me that my product is in the R&D stage.

  • Skippy Little

    In my opinion, burning through money without due diligence is really poor business practice. Your own net worth is zero, making you high risk. Not everyone is honest or ethical – reminder is Enron. You have to pay your dues to buy your shoes.

  • Sarah

    Hey! I just read your blog after i was doing a search for the CYBF program. I am interested in slowly building my own music lessons studio as a start up. I have a little bit of business knowledge from marketing myself as a musician for years but feel I would like some business mentorship and guidance. If you wouldn’t recommend this program (because the loan is inseparable from the mentorship), do you have any idea’s of other mentorship programs?

  • treptalks

    Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. CYBF and BDC loans are not for everyone….the interest rates and re-payment terms should be carefully considered before taking out a loan on personal signature. The interest rates and repayment terms are not the best for these loans (especially the BDC portion, if you choose to take that).

    But at the same time, for some entrepreneurs this money can be very useful in getting the business off the ground and becoming cash flow positive. At the end of the day, it is not FREE money. The entrepreneur needs to have an excellent clarity on the potential risk/rewards before signing up.

  • Piou Salta

    Unfortunately the Cybf program process are not effective.People there have not the proper knowledge to fund new business

  • Jesse James Richard

    BDC is a joke.