There is an old joke that says a banker is someone who rushes to give you an umbrella when it’s sunny out, but he will demand you return it the minute it starts to rain.

Unfortunately, there is more than an ounce of truth to that joke. Traditional banks are very conservative and they don’t generally like to give out cash to the companies that really need it — the companies that are starting up, launching new product lines, entering new markets, or growing so fast that it’s tough to keep up with demand.

That’s where we come in.

About the founders’ backgrounds

We are entrepreneurs first. Startup Capital & Expansion Funding is one of eight companies we have launched (not all together). We were together in the mortgage business in the early to mid 2000s, running a residential mortgage brokerage that I (Brett) and a partner sold to Bridge Investments before the 2008 downturn. We have also been involved in two technology startups and a company that imports chemicals from China. The latter company grew to $10 million in annual sales. We have paid our dues in corporate America, as well, holding positions in some of the U.S.’s most well-known banks and law firms. But, Startup Capital & Expansion Funding occupies a special place in our worlds.

How it all began

The company was originally launched by me (Brett) in 2009 as GrowCo Factoring & Financial in Houston, Texas. GrowCo was a direct factor and also partnered up with other factoring companies that “got it.” That’s always been the key – some lenders just don’t want to do deals, they’re always looking for reasons not to put their money to work. We have the opposite mindset and we only work with partners that think like we do – be smart but look to put your money to work and help good businesses grow. We are convinced that approach will pay off in spades. It has to-date.

In 2015, I (Brett) began to add additional products to the GrowCo portfolio, including business loans and lines of credit. I have personally been active as an angel investor and maintain a robust network of angel investors and venture capitalists. When Rudy told me (Brett) he was interested in “getting the band back together,” we formed Startup Capital & Expansion Funding, LLC and Rudy moved to Austin to lead our newly-minted company.

The products and services we offer

We still offer invoice factoring (we buy accounts receivable for immediate cash) to growing companies. We also offer merchant (credit card) cash advance, business loans, lines of credit, Small Business Administration loans, and other non-collateralized and asset-based loans. And, we are always interested in evaluating possible investments and making referrals to other angel investors and venture capitalists in our network. Through our affiliated-company, The Startup Shepherd, we provide mentoring and consulting. Additionally, Brett provides legal services to entrepreneurs through The Cenkus Law Firm.

Why we do what we do

We love business and we love finance. Startup Capital & Expansion Funding is a platform that allows us to use our experience and knowledge to help businesses access the capital they need to get where they are going. Frankly, we think we are pretty darn good at doing this. Meanwhile, we get to spend all day meeting and talking to entrepreneurs that are doing some cool things and helping to change the World. It’s rewarding and inspiring work.

Our promises

We are a direct lender and we also partner with other lenders to be sure we are accessing a broad array of financial products for our customers. When we decide to partner or entirely refer out your deal, you don’t have to worry about paying more because we are involved. We don’t tack on extra broker and referral fees. If we are paid, we are paid by the lender that closes your deal.

When we lend, invest, or purchase accounts directly, you will experience the ease and flexibility that come with working with a relatively small company while benefiting from the years of experience and all the knowledge we have about financial products and markets.

We promise you will never feel like a second-class citizen, like we are the big shots with the money and you need to fall in line. Yes, there are underwriting guidelines and legal stuff we have to take care of, and we know a lot about business finance so we’d hope you’d take our lead on what needs to happen in order to get the money you need. But, we promise to always treat you well and explain clearly what’s going on and where we are in the process.

If you need cash to launch or grow, give us a call at 512.910.2700. Let’s talk about your business and goals and see how we can be of service.


Rudy Ramirez
Brett A. Cenkus