Monday, April 20, 2009

Cole Harmonson of Far West Capital Talks about Raising Funding

Cole Harmonson of Far West Capital Talks about Raising Funding

Where are you from originally?

Lubbock, Texas

What university did you go to?

Texas Tech University - BBA Finance 1993

What brought you to Austin?

I moved to Austin in 1996 to start the Working Capital Finance Group for a locally owned private bank, State Bank, which I grew and ran until 2007.

What is the idea behind Far West Capital?

In 2007, State Bank and the group I was running were sold to Prosperity Bank. Far West Capital is a continuation of that group, as many of the people that worked together at State Bank are now employed with Far West Capital. Far West Capital was founded by myself and the ex-CEO of State Bank, Don Stricklin.

Far West Capital is a working capital lending company that funds "out of the box" deals by purchasing or lending on the company's accounts receivable. Our clients are generally rapidly growing companies that have an extreme need for additional working capital to ramp themselves to "the next level".

What need does it fulfill?

We help companies by understanding their unique needs and then by customizing a working capital solution to help them grow their business. Our clients need more than an off the shelf "cookie cutter" approach to funding working capital, by listening and providing a very high level of service - we bring a depth of business knowledge that helps our clients become more profitable. Many times that means that we provide introductions and advice that makes a huge difference in the success of our clients. It is more than just - "ok" - let's factor some invoices, we build relationships - and have a long list of successful clients that will attest to our capabilities.

What exactly does Far West Capital do?

We buy and lend on Accounts Receivable, we lend on Inventory and we lend on Purchase Orders.

Who is it for?

We are generalists - as long as you have commercial A/R - and access to additional capital would help you become more profitable - you are a prospect.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting it?

Quitting a job with a very nice compensation package and going for 9 months without a paycheck.

What is the next step for you and Far West?

We have spent the first couple of years building a very, very solid team - and - although we have grown significantly - we opened 3 offices in Texas, I feel as though we are just getting started. So, as the economy is now poised to recover and banks are more conservative than in years past, we are looking forward to continuing to grow our business.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Lots - stay positive - stay focused. Expect the best but prepare for the worst. Be flexible, nothing really goes as planned, so be ready to react to change. Working hard is important - but - you must have balance in your life or you are not your "full self" to those you lead. Last, have fun - life is short - don't be so damn serious - you are not that important. If you want additional free advice, which may be worth what you pay for it, please give me a call - I love to hear myself talk.

Best regards,
Hall T.