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EntreBank to Focus on SMBs When it Opens in Minnesota

EntreBank, which is focused on lending to entrepreneurs and small businesses, is going against the grain on consolidation, a report says.

The bank is set to open next week in Bloomington.

It will be the first “de novo,” or brand new, bank in Minnesota in 14 years. It was founded by a group of leaders of other local banks around the area. Those people say it’s because of the current landscape, where smaller banks are usually bought up by bigger banks.

“A lot of the good business banks have been swallowed up,” said Daniel Boeckermann, the driving force behind EntreBank, per the report. “And once they’re swallowed up by one of these larger organizations, in spite of what they always say, they change. And they’re no longer a true entrepreneurial bank, people who work with entrepreneurs and are willing to help them achieve their vision and objectives.”

But he says he sees more of a need for lending in the market, particularly with the pandemic’s shift to the economy, where those who lost their jobs have sometimes started their own businesses.

Boeckermann is one of several members of the team behind EntreBank, now including CEO Tim Viere from Merchants Bank, President Todd Hovland from MidWestOne Bank (formerly Central Bank), Chief Financial Officer Erik Knutson from Drake Bank, and Chief Credit and Marketing Officer Melissa Johnston from Highland Bank.

The bank is set to open March 21. It has 14 employees already and plans to operate out of a temporary space until its actual headquarters are completed in September.

PYMNTS wrote that traditional credit scores have been becoming something of a relic in the wake of the global pandemic and economic woes.

Read more: Small Businesses Need Credit, Lenders Need a Better Way to Assess That Risk

The report says the old barriers to capital have been coming down.

Instead, companies like FlowCast have been working on the issue, using available data and digital processing to get a real-time picture of a business’s financial health.

After that, they plan to decide whether to loan the company working capital. FlowCast is behind Tillful, a company looking at transforming underwriting through finding new metrics for smaller companies.

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