PHOTO From left to right – Lawrence Kretikos, Secretary Mike Kennealy, Evan Kretikos, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, MA State Representative Vanna Howard, and MA State Representative Tom Golden

Brothers Lawrence and Evan Kretikos connected with us at the Entrepreneurship Center in early 2020, after having completed EforAll in Lowell. Lawrence and Evan felt good about their business vision but knew they needed additional support to launch their business, including additional business technical assistance and business funding.

Lawrence and Evan wanted to build a fun, affordable restaurant and bar in downtown Lowell in order to continue to serve their community and specifically to expand their work as DJs. They had spent the past several years DJ’ing in local bars and restaurants in Lowell and the surrounding towns, however, every time the bar they DJ’d in received disciplinary action or other issues regarding alcohol, they were negatively impacted. Their goal was to take ownership of their music careers by creating their own space that they could manage with the highest level of professionalism.

As Covid-19 hit, the two brothers felt that their vision was strong enough that they wanted to continue building this business. Throughout their entire business plan process, they took advantage of every resource they could access and were great students.

The Entrepreneurship Center worked closely with Evan And Lawrence for six months, helping them further refine their vision.  They were referred to Middlesex Community College’s Launch Your Business Now program, where they participated in the Entrepreneurship In Action class, which focuses on start-up operations planning. After participating in the class, they were eligible to receive support from the Entrepreneurship Center’s STAT program, which provided funding for consultants to help them in the areas of finance, marketing, operations, and wellness. They also received technical assistance from the City of Lowell’s Economic Development and met with SCORE. In late 2021, they took advantage of the SBA debt relief program by securing an SBA Microloan from the Entrepreneurship Center.

The Entrepreneurship Center @CTI provided extensive technical assistance, which ranged from site selection, lease review, site visits, and landlord negotiates. Additional assistance was provided to help the brother’s secure and manage a silent partnership agreement. In 2021, The Entrepreneurship Center @CTI provided over 25 hours of technical assistance to Trend. They received over $17,000 in business grants across all programs.

Trend opened their doors to the public on July 15, 2021, after over two years of planning. They were visited by Lt. Governor and Secretary Kennealy, as well as the entire delegation and nearly 30 other local community members, as part of a state tour of Massachusetts down towns, coordinated by the Entrepreneurship Center.

Trend represents the best of what the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI can offer partners.  Evan and Lawrence were able to seamlessly take advantage of all of the resources available to them in the local ecosystem. The Entrepreneurship Center intends to continue to support Trend with additional technical assistance regarding food quality and restaurant operations, as well as any other resources that become available, including the MGCC digital capacities grant.