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News & Insights

Meet Our Founders: Charles and Andrea Inokon

Charles and Andrea Inokon

Cadence Cash – MICRO Fall 2023

Published February 14, 2024

As part of our ‘Meet Our Founders’ series today, we introduce Charles Inokon (Co-Founder and CEO) and Andrea Inokon (Co-Founder and COO) of Cadence Cash based in Raleigh, NC. Cadence Cash is an AI-powered growth platform for small businesses, particularly underrepresented entrepreneurs, with customized funding and business advancement solutions.

Q: What problem are you trying to solve and what influenced you to start your company?

A: At Cadence Cash, we are deeply committed to addressing the critical issue of access to capital for small businesses, with a special focus on underrepresented founders. Currently, less than 3% of venture capital dollars are allocated to these entrepreneurs, which underscores a significant gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is part of a broader challenge, as there’s a staggering $100 billion credit gap affecting small businesses, disproportionately impacting 22 million women and minority business owners.

As second and third-generation entrepreneurs, we have both witnessed and personally experienced the hurdles in securing funding for businesses led by underrepresented individuals. Our experiences have been instrumental in shaping our mission at Cadence Cash. We are dedicated to empowering small businesses to thrive on their own terms, which is aptly reflected in our motto: ‘Dream Big. We’ll Finance It.’ Our goal is to bridge this funding gap and create a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial landscape.

Q: What does the road ahead look like for your company?

A: 2024 is shaping up to be a year of significant growth and development for Cadence Cash. We’re thrilled to be part of the Visa Plug and Play Inclusive Fintech Accelerator until June 2024, an opportunity that underscores our commitment to inclusive finance. Our selection to participate in the advanced machine learning and automated underwriting engine development programs at Cornell University and Duke University is propelling our technological capabilities forward. In parallel, we are making strides towards becoming a B Corp, through our participation in NC State’s B-Corp Clinic.

Our product roadmap is expanding too, as evidenced by the launch of our first quarterly grant in January 2024, and we have more innovative products and services in the pipeline. Community engagement remains a cornerstone of our mission. We are excited to host a variety of events this year, fostering education and community building. A highlight will be the return of FundHER in October, an event dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?

A: The most fulfilling aspect of founding Cadence Cash has been the opportunity to build a vibrant community. Engaging with other small business owners and startups has been an incredibly enriching experience. There’s nothing quite like the sense of connection and mutual growth that comes from these interactions. Additionally, witnessing the tangible impact that our loans and products have on our clients’ success stories has been profoundly rewarding. Seeing their trajectories change and businesses flourish because of our support truly encapsulates the essence of why we started Cadence Cash.

 

While visiting Raleigh, Charles and Andrea recommend:

  • As California transplants passionate about sushi and Mexican cuisine, we have a couple of favorites in Raleigh we’d love to share. For an exceptional Mexican dining experience, we recommend La Santa Modern Mexican Food. If sushi is more your style, O-Ku offers some of the finest in town. If you need a coffee break, Sola Coffee is always a great idea. Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth at Sugar Euphoria, where you can indulge in delicious cupcakes, macaroons, and slices of cake. On the cultural side, as a proud Duke alum, Andrea always suggests exploring Duke University’s campus. The Nasher Museum of Art and the Duke Gardens are must-sees. And if you’re a sports fan, catching a Duke football or basketball game is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

 

Support Cadence Cash and Charles and Andrea by:

  • Cadence Cash proudly launched the Beta version of our platform in November 2023 and recently announced our inaugural quarterly grant in January 2024. To support our growing company, we would greatly appreciate if you could spread the word about our services. Specifically, if you know any small businesses in your network seeking funding and growth advancement solutions, please share information about Cadence Cash with them. Your endorsement could be incredibly valuable in helping these businesses discover the opportunities we offer.