SBEC Access to Capital 2017

Learn how to overcome the unique financing challenges
that face startups and small businesses.

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We have planned an incredible morning with two educational sessions: Access to Capital Panel and Capital Workshop. The program will be moderated by Joe Platnick, Director Emeritus Pasadena Angels.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 8:00 am to 10:30 am
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
Garden Room
3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA 90503

Access to Capital Panel

Many entrepreneurs are unaware of the numerous options available for financing a startup or small business. Enter “SBEC Access to Capital 2017” to answer key questions. This seminar will help company founders and executives learn how to overcome the unique financing challenges that face growing companies. Our panel of experts will provide information on various sources of capital for small businesses and their advantages and disadvantages, including Angel & Venture Capital, Commercial Banks, Small Business Administration (SBA) Lenders and Government Grants and Loan Programs.


  • Joe Platnick, Director Emeritus of Pasadena Angels (Moderator)
  • Mark Hiraide, Partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
  • Casey Lubin, AVP, Relationship Manager at Plaza Bank
  • Merrietta Fong, CPA at Servatius O’Brien & Fong

Capital Workshop

Looking for hands-on advice for your own business? You will have the chance to speak with our panelists about each of the possible options to see how your business may find capital to fuel your growth.


$15 per person (Early Bird purchase before November 1, 2017) *
$30 per person in advance *
$15 per student (with valid student ID) *
$15 per senior (over 65) *
$40 at door
* online service fees not included

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Even better than advertised! Excellent panel, excellent information. Breakfast was great, venue was excellent, very good networking.

—Bob B., Torrance

This was an incredible event! I learned so much today and I’m much better prepared. Now, I know exactly what the angels are expecting.

—Kimberly M., Brentwood

Our Expert Panelists

Joe Platnick (Moderator)

Joe is a Faculty member and Business Advisor for the Goldman Sachs Foundation 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Since 2004, Joe has also been Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, one of the largest angel investment groups in the US that provides long-term human and financial capital to early-stage technology companies. Founded in 2000, Pasadena Angels has provided over $65 million of early stage capital to more than 175 Southern California companies.

Joe has also been a member since 2008 of the Loan Committee for a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) revolving loan fund managed by Los Angeles County.  The EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund Program supplies small- and medium-sized commercial/industrial businesses located in LA County with the financing ($25,000 to $1.5 million) needed to start or expand their business.

Joe’s career has included a number of executive, board, and sales/marketing management positions with both Fortune 500 and startup companies. He has also been a Partner with the Asia-Pacific Venture Capital firm, Pan Pacific Capital Ltd. He is also a board member of the South Bay Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC).

Joe has been a frequent blogger and speaker on entrepreneurship for many organizations and events, including Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles County Technology Week, University of Southern California, and MIT Enterprise Forum.

Mark Hiraide (Crowdfunding)

Mark Hiraide is a partner at the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, known among his colleagues for his expertise in corporate and securities law. He offers unique insight and perspective to his clients because of his former position as an SEC attorney and because he has handled both business transactions and courtroom litigation for more than twenty years as a corporate and securities lawyer. Mark was a Branch Chief in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in the SEC’s LA Office, an Attorney-Advisor in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance in Washington, DC, and was appointed by the United States Attorneys Office to prosecute a major criminal securities fraud case.

He is an authority on crowdfunding and the federal JOBS Act. He is the author of ThomsonReuters’ Crowdfunding: Practical Guide to the SEC’s Final Rules for Raising Capital and the legal treatise, Representing Start-Up Companies. When Congress enacted the JOBS Act, Mark testified before the Securities Subcommittee of the US Senate Banking Committee about crowdfunding, Reg A and Reg D, SOX, IPOs and other securities-law issues relating to the JOBS Act. In California, Mark is working to enact a state crowdfunding law he drafted.

Mark represents start-ups to middle-market companies, the investment bankers, broker-dealers and investment advisers who help them find and secure capital, the investors who invest their money in companies, and the executives, board members and entrepreneurs who run the companies. In short, his clients are involved in all aspects of securities offerings and securities litigation.

Merrietta Fong (CPA)

Merrietta Fong brings more than 25 years of public accounting experience to the firm’s varied client list. She is an expert in business consulting, audit, and corporate and personal taxation. Sensitivity to her client’s personal goals has made her a trusted advisor to many seeking to sell their companies or crafting a succession strategy.

Merrietta and the team at Servatius, O’Brien & Fong regularly work with clients in a variety of industries including distribution, technology, construction and entertainment. She also has extenisve experienc with audits, reviews, compilations of financial statements for all types of non-SEC enterprises; audit of employee benefit plans; tax preparation; and international tax consulting.

Merrietta has dual bachelor’s degrees in French and Spanish from DePauw University and was a student in residence at Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. She also has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Merrietta is a member of the AICPA and the California Society of CPAs. She is also active on the boards of a number of nonprofit and humanitarian organizations in the area.

Casey Lubin (Banking)

Casey Lubin is the Vice President – Relationship Manager of Commercial Banking  at Pacific Premier Bank with ten years experience in the banking industry. She started her career at California First National Bank focusing on commercial lending including equipment financing. She then moved to relationship banking with Wells Fargo where she focused on businesses with revenues of $2-$20MM. After spending two years working for the Blackstone Group she joined Plaza Bank, which was acquired by Pacific Premier Bank. She leads a team of seasoned bankers who specialize in small to mid tier size business banking and lending, including SBA, and treasury management services. Casey is active in the community including roles with Rainbow Services, LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, Walk with Sally and recently founded Michelle’s Table Scholarship Program which provides college scholarships for young women.


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City of Torrance

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