Tech Futures Group

Building tomorrow’s business today.

Tap into the power of the region’s top tech leaders to chart your future.

The Tech Futures Group helps tech startups in Northern California with strategic resources and end-to-end support needed to get in front of the right people, in order to get the right funding and excel in a fast-paced, complex, and highly competitive market. 

We provide highly sought-out insight and hard-to-find funding resources along with end-to-end support for innovators and tech startups to enter in and accelerate their marketplace position and scale long-term success. By pairing startups with top-tech advisors, the Tech Futures Group provides a guiding force to help each small business client realize their potential. Advisors immerse themselves within each client’s organization to identify key challenges and work closely with clients on all aspects of business, including team, network, idea development, VC pitch planning, financial modeling, IP issues, and more from day one, at no cost or equity commitment.

By the numbers: Since 2012, the Tech Futures Groups has assisted more than 500 California-based technology startups with the insights, expertise, and specialized capital resources needed to get ahead—and stay there. Businesses that have come to the Tech Futures Group have significantly outperformed their California peers in winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) government grants. In this highly competitive grant program, 15% of Phase I California state applications receive funds. 57% of TFG client applications were funded. In 2016, clients earned an average of $15,729 more on Phase I grants and $47,883 more on Phase II grants than their California peers.

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Phase I California state applications receive funds


TFG client applications funded


Average Phase I grants earned over California peers


Average Phase II grants earned over California peers

Restaurant Program

Food. For your business.

Learn from the successes and failures of restauranteurs who’ve come before you.

Our Restaurant Program was developed and launched in 2018 in response to a growing need for reliable resources for the hospitality sector. Led by serial restaurateur Louise Dawson, a team of experienced restaurant and hospitality veterans share collective industry insights, do’s and dont’s and practical how-to’s. 

Nowhere else can you tap into a network of seasoned experts in the hospitality business who are actively interested in your success. Through personalized, no-cost advising, and purpose-built training designed to equip you with a customer-first, owner-proud, resilient, growth-mindset, our Restaurant Program experts are here for you. They know more than most what a competitive, cutthroat market is like in a business with thin margins and variable costs. In addition, our experts speak five different languages including Spanish, Vietnamese, French, Mandarin, and English.

By the numbers: In FY2019, the Restaurant Program helped 59* SBDC clients access over $35,335,241.01* in capital investment which contributed to the establishment of 35* new restaurants throughout 3* cities in Northern California. 

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2019 SBDC Clients


Capital Investment


New Restaurants

Finance Center

Finance, Simplified. 

Funding your future with practical, foundational information and actionable insights. 

Our Finance Center understands how to secure the right capital for your business. We are committed to connecting entrepreneurs with the best financial resources — whether you are starting your very first venture, or if it’s time to take your business into the next phase of growth. 

With a 40+ person team, our toll-free call center brings clarity to a mix of complex financial information serving as conduit to a library or capital resources, credit options, federal, state, and private capital options, and cash flow strategies for your business. Our team of experienced advisors shares expertise ranging from shark-proofing your business pitch, to help you present your idea as bankable and lendable to investors, to the ABC’s of cashflow, to legal structure, exit planning, and more.  The Finance Center also provides an open door for access to a vast network of professionals, and power-packed business training and resources around credit, private equity, and alternative lending platforms, designed to help you get your idea off the ground, into the marketplace – all at no cost to you. 

By the numbers: Since 208, the Finance Center has helped 98 businesses receive over $53 Million in capital to start, grow, and strengthen their business. In response to COVID-19, each hour of advising with the 833-ASK-SBDC team produced an average of $5,319 in funding per client. 

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No. of Businesses Since 2018


Capital Investment


Average Funding Per Client (COVID-19)


Realtime Business Answers. 

A rapid-response real-time hotline that keeps you ahead of cascading new business opportunities and challenges.

ASK SBDC is a rapid-response, go-to resource, providing an interactive platform launched by NorCal SBDC in March of 2020. Originally launched in response to COVID-19 to provide local businesses with real-time updates and information from the US Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration as it pertains to CARES act and small business finance, the resource is evolving to provide a much broader business hotline for help.

As part of the NorCal SBDC network, ASK SBDC’s more than 60 employees and advisors are committed to clarifying the complexities of business. This includes federal loan products, all resources available including CARES Act, small business grants, and alternative capital options. Additionally, ASK provides a range of actionable resources including no-cost advising and educational small business training and webinars. 

ASK SBDC’s four primary touchpoints — an interactive website, weekly LIVE updates, featuring real-time audience question and answer session, direct email, and a toll-free hotline with both English and Spanish counselors — provide seamless client service when it’s needed most in real-time. 

By the numbers: Since the launch of the initiative, ASK SBDC has hosted more than 40 Small Business Town Halls using Zoom’s video conferencing platform, providing real-time Disaster Relief Loan Updates and answering thousands of questions from 14,000 small businesses across Northern California who attended the weekly live stream The launch of the ASK SBDC toll-free call center gave access to more than 3,622 small businesses to receive 400+ counseling hours at no cost – and helped secure $53 Million in CARES Act funding, averaging $563,800 per business. 

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Small Business Town Halls Hosted


Disaster Relief Loan Updates & Questions


Average CARES Act Funding Per Business


Counseling Hours (At No Cost)

On-Demand Learning

Business insights when you need them.  

Access a library of recorded content to address countless business problems and opportunities.

In addition to in-person or virtual counseling from our business experts, we have a vast library of content that answers some of the most common issues facing any small business. Insights, on your schedule.

Full Webinar & Training Library

Learning tailored to the needs of Small Businesses

Industry-Tailored Cohorts

Webinar cohorts designed for the restaurant and hospitality industry

A Variety of Webinars

Previously recorded webinars ranging from finance to marketing and everything in-between

All Things Small Business

Webinars designed for all small business needs from seasoned small businesses to start-ups