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Five in Five: Gerry Barañano of Tech Future’s Group

By Sarah Vickers-Webb
Production Director
Santa Cruz Tech Beat

July 9, 2020 — Santa Cruz, CA

Director explains how Tech Futures Group helps small tech businesses at all levels of formation

Over the past few weeks, Santa Cruz Tech Beat has published several articles featuring SBDC and its tech-focused initiative, Tech Futures Group (TFG). For this week’s Five in Five, we interviewed TFG Director Gerry Barañano to learn even more about how the program can help tech startups.

TFG is one of three initiatives designed to extend the reach of the Northern California SBDCs to niche entrepreneurial groups, in this case tech startups. The program works with small tech businesses of all kinds and at all levels of company formation, from helping people how to secure intellectual property right to their new idea to helping small companies pivot operations to gain traction.

“Our sweet spot is in between,” said Gerry. “A team, not an individual, somebody who has beta product or better, a good understanding of the product market fit, because they’re in a really good position to start raising money and really take off.”

Those who apply and are accepted to TFG are paired with an entrepreneur-in-residence who provide “CEO level to CEO level advice.” TFG then brings in specialty advisors if needed to consult on specifics, such as intellectual property, finance and accounting, financial modeling, and biomedical issues.

“We are extremely successful and figuring out what you need when you need it and we have an integrated model of advising. So, the entrepreneur in residence manages the account, and then brings in specialty advisors as you need them, with your discussion. And we’re all great people.”

Watch the interview to learn more about how TVG can help small tech companies start, grow, and succeed.

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