Cory McCollow and his wife Silvia used their loan to open the doors to their Oakland restaurant, Nido, which means nest in Spanish. It was the perfect location for their Latin American inspired dishes created with local produce, and their bar that is both classic and innovative.Cory said. “Nido restaurant would not exist without Veteran Launch’s lending and technical assistance support.”

Cory manages the business side of the restaurant, making use of the discipline and focus that he sharpened during his time in the military academy. Even now, with the restaurant in full swing, Cory retains his position in the Coast Guard and spends most of his off hours at Nido with his wife.

Silvia, who is the head chef, manages the kitchen and develops the menu. Her resume is a who’s who of East Bay restaurants.

With their $147,000 loan from Veteran Launch, the McCollows made improvements to the restaurant space, purchased kitchen equipment and furniture, and obtained working capital. Cory said that as first-time business owners and a start-up business it was hard for them to find funding. “There were no lenders other than Veteran Launch willing to give us a second look,” Cory said. “We needed capital to finance leasehold improvements as well as acquire equipment, furniture and fixtures, and the acquisition of start-up inventory and supplies.“