success stories

Abraham Lopez of YucaTech Technology Solutions

Abraham Lopez made a promise to his 10-year old son Johny in 2007, “Someday, we’re going to open an electronics business.” For an immigrant from Yucatan, Mexico, with little English language skills, no technical skills or money, it was a tall order. In May of 2013, after receiving training and advising at Renaissance Marin, Abraham fulfilled his promise by opening...
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Abraham Lopez Final (2)
Jorge Flores of Don Polvorón

Jorge Flores was working as a phone distributor when his brother Oscar proposed the idea of starting a family business. In 2006, the brothers opened Don Polvorón Panadería y Pastelería, a bakery which offers traditional Latin American dishes, customized specialty cakes and delicious baked goods. As the business grew with his clientele expanding and orders pouring in, Jorge realized he...
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Don Polvoron
Laurel Gunnarson of The Didi Jewelry Project

Laurel Gunnarson was 15 years old when she first traveled to India. She was immediately enraptured by the people, the culture and the beauty of the country. While in India, Laurel worked at homeless shelters and community-based organizations, primarily serving HIV-positive women facing much adversity. When she returned to the Bay Area, she wanted to find a way that women...
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Didi Jewelry
Morsinah Katimin of Sajen Jamu

In 2010, thanks to the bestselling book and later movie “Eat, Pray, Love,” a little-known traditional Indonesian drink jamu became popular for its healing properties. The local media, including SF Gate and Independent, immediately found a Bay Area connection to feature — a small San Franciscan business Sajen Jamu that makes this restorative beverage. For Morsinah Katimin, owner of Sajen...
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Sajen Jamu
Heidi Gibson of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

As an MIT trained engineer with 20 years of experience working in the software industry Heidi Gibson would seem at first glance an unlikely candidate to oversee a growing grilled cheese empire. The events that took Heidi from Silicon Valley to the helm of one of San Francisco’s favorite foodie destinations are anything but ordinary and plenty cheesy. Heidi and...
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Heidi Gibson