Cincinnati, Ohio-based local lending platform SoMoLend is extending its reach to the St. Louis market by offering a $1,000 prize to a St. Louis company with the best business loan application. Contest entry is open now and will close January 15, 2013. In addition to the cash prize, the winning company will also be granted a mentoring session with SoMoLend CEO an founder, Candace Klein.
SoMoLend will be launching its entry into the St. Louis market with a party at Washington University in St. Louis on December 5. SoMoLend has already partnered with several St. Louis financial institutions in anticipation of the December launch. Recently, the startup entered into a strategic lending alliance with New York-based GATE Global Impact, as well as expanding into other Midwest markets.
SoMoLend was founded in 2011 by Candace Klein, who is a lawyer with Ulmer & Berne LLP and a former lobbyist. Klein is also the founder of the Bad Girl Ventures, a 501c3 microlending program for women entrepreneurs. SoMoLend evolved out of Bad Girl Ventures because, as Klein puts it, “I then launched SoMoLend because I was unable to find financing for the remaining 276 companies who applied for BGV, and wanted to find a way to help them as well.”
SoMoLend is poised for major growth above and beyond many other local lending platforms, because of Klein’s legal background and her ability to score key corporate partnerships, including a partnership with KeyBank. Keybank has committed to lending $1 million to $50 million on the SoMoLend platform in the first year of operations.