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Crafting help for Small Businesses

Sam Adams brings Brewing American Dream competition, coaching to San Diego to help Small Businesses

Crafting help for Small Businesses

Crafting help for Small Businesses

Small Businesses:  Back in 1984, when Jim Koch started brewing beer out of his kitchen, he thought he had the recipe for success — a quality product and passion.

But when he officially founded the Boston Beer Co., he realized his recipe for Samuel Adams Boston Lager was missing a couple of ingredients.

“I had a JD from Harvard, an MBA from Harvard, yet I didn’t know how to set up a payroll, how to make a sales call, how to negotiate a lease, how to get PR, 20 things like that that were very important,” Koch said in an interview.

He also didn’t have any financing. “Nobody would give me a loan when I started Sam Adams. Every bank turned me down,” he said.

 “That’s what it’s like to be a very small business.”

Today, Sam Adams notches $950 million in annual sales and though that represents just 1 percent of total beer sales in the U.S., the company is a giant in the craft beer world.

“Brewing the American Dream”

What: A pitch room competition and speed coaching opportunity for food and beverage small business owners.

When: Monday, July 25, 4:45 p.m. (for chosen pitch room contestants); speed coaching, 7-9:30 p.m.

Where: Marina Village Conference Center, 1936 Quivira Way, Mission Bay

Register: The deadline to apply for the pitch room competition is Wednesday. Go to btad.samueladams.com/about/pitch-room. Business owners can register for speed coaching through the day of the event atbit.ly/29I77sS.

Info:btad.samueladams.com

Despite its size, Koch insists the company remain committed to its modest roots and in 2008 launched the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, which provides microloans and mentoring to small business owners in the food and beverage industry.

On July 25, the program will come to San Diego for one of four regional pitch room competitions and free speed coaching sessions with experts in the fields of marketing and e-commerce, packaging, sales and distribution, business financing and law.

Small Business owners chosen for the pitch competition — think “Shark Tank” without the shark-ish behavior — will have two minutes to pitch a panel on their product or business concept to win a chance to move on to the final round in Boston, in December. The national winner takes home a $10,000 business grant, plus personalized coaching sessions from Sam Adams executives and employees.

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