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Go Union: How I Got My Funding Gary Hicks, president and CEO of, describes how he secured financing from a credit union to launch his job-hunting site.

By Michelle Goodman

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Two years ago, I was running a consulting company specializing in ERP solutions. I was ready to expand and was trying to figure out how I could market our skills to companies across the U.S. The job sites out there weren't working for us. So I came up with a method that matches job-seekers and employers purely based on skills. Rather than post résumés on our site, job-seekers build profiles of their skills. And instead of relying on keywords, employers search for the exact skill set a position requires, which greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to find qualified candidates.

I started looking for funding three-quarters of the way into 2009. I went to banks first. I had a little bit of cash I planned to put in, too. I'd read a lot about SBA funding and figured I'd put down 15 percent and get a loan for the rest. I quickly realized that kind of arrangement does not exist.

I approached eight banks over the course of several months. I kept hearing, "Wow, this idea is huge. We want to help fund this." But they all needed at least 100 percent collateral, whether it was an SBA loan or not. I had one bank tell me I was going to need 120 percent collateral. I didn't want to put everything up. I have a very good credit score. It didn't make sense to me to have no leverage at all in the deal.

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