I am a small business owner of a startup company. Initially, IPA-IBA's sales person contacted me and offered me that they would secure funding for my business. They said I am Startup Company and they can get financing in order for me to succeed and grow my business. I was interested, and then they sent a person named Larry Flora to my place on March 2nd 2004. I showed him about what we are doing and what we would like to do. He spent lot of time with us in order to understand the business. For the onsite visit I paid him $500.
After finishing the review, he (Larry Flora) told me that total cost for the project would be $24,000 + 3-6% of loan amount. I have to decide now for us to be accepted into the program. He promised us that he would get the funding needed for the business by end of May 2004. I told him that I don't have enough money and I am digging this from my savings and I would not have any money if this doesn't work. He promised me not to worry. His team is highly capable. He also told me that without proper funding my business would fail and I have to decide then within the hour.
Anyway, I signed the contract and send the first payment and after another 2 weeks I sent another check for a total of $24,000.
The first one-week after sending the money they asked me for lot of information and after that I worked very hard to prepare it and sent it to them. They took that information and they added some of their standard text and compiled into a document titled "Indication of Value". Most of the content in the document has the information I prepared. After that they prepared a one-page summary of the company.
To this day, not much happened. I have saved a complete log of conversation with them. They have not arranged anything so far. Not even a phone call from a potential investor. They took so much of money on the promise that they would get me funding and they have not done anything. Right now I am suffering as I used up all of my funds for this in the hope that they would get me some funding.
I complained to Better Business Bureau also. IPA-IBA replied by telling me that the money I paid is for the report they prepared and they would not give any guarantees on obtaining funding. As far as I am concerned, they clearly mislead me. I would not pay $500 to get the report.
Please beware. Don't fall victims of people like these.
Small Business Owner