Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Small Business Success Story -GKIDS Inc
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways. This Success Story from the Manhattan SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report.
GKIDS is the distributor of top-caliber, award-winning animated films from around the world. Founded in 2006 by Eric Beckman, past releases include many award winners and Eric is a founder of the New York International Children’s Film Festival. The company has scored four Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations – the most for an independent distributor – with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, and Ernest & Celestine in 2014.
As his business grew, Eric found that many NYC banks were unable to understand his industry and financing needs. GKIDS purchases rights upfront and receives the revenue in future periods. The revenue stream was fairly consistent and predictable but banks were unwilling to open their minds to his industry. The demand for GKIDS products were increasing and further investment was needed. Eric explained these difficulties to Advisor Rawle Brown at the Pace University SBDC, who was impressed with Eric’s depth of experience and industry knowledge.
Rawle reached out to several local bank contacts and received a similar response. Eric decided he was too busy to spend more time on financing and eventually put his capital raising plans on hiatus. Several months later, Rawle was introduced to Roy Berman from City National Bank (CNB), a West Coast bank that was well versed in the film and creative industries. Rawle connected Eric to CNB and the synergy was immediately apparent. CNB approved a line of credit for Eric and they are currently working on other aspects of financing. Eric looks forward to growing his business with the assistance of CNB.