Silicon Valley Bancshares, which specializes in lending to start-up technology firms, is creating a Web site it hopes will help its customers get out of the garage, into a small office building, and perhaps one day to Wall Street.
Designed exclusively for clients of the Santa Clara, Calif., banking company, the site is characterized as a "financial resource portal." It is meant to be a one-stop shop for often cash-strapped technology firms seeking qualified employees, affordable office space, and even office furniture.
"We think the site will help them save time, energy, and money and help them make better decisions," said Lalitha Swart, executive vice president at Silicon Valley, who began planning the service last May.
Founded in 1983, Silicon Valley is regarded as a pioneer among banks that lend to early-stage biotechnology, computer, telecommunications, and Internet firms. The $3.5 billion-asset company now has offices in 10 states.
Analysts said this latest venture, known as eSOURCE, will help distinguish the banking company from other tech lenders.
"It's a great example of how Silicon Valley Bank goes the extra mile for its clients," said Joseph K. Morford 3d, an analyst at First Security Van Kasper in San Francisco.
The password-protected Web site is to be personalized for each user- depending on their business, revenues, and geographic location-and loaded with financial, legal, sales, and marketing advice.
It is also supposed to connect users to service vendors and real estate providers.
An executive of a Boston-area company, for instance, could get current data on the city's real estate market, what kind of employee benefits similar firms are offering, whether to buy or rent office furniture, and how to relocate a prospective employee from Europe.
Another feature is to include a chat room where company executives can bounce ideas around.
The site should be up and running this month. The company will probably charge its clients a fee for the information, Ms. Swart said.
Silicon Valley customized its Web site using software designed by a client, Redwood City, Calif.-based Broadvision Inc. Broadvision develops interactive software applications for more than 250 companies in the financial services, retail, and telecommunications sectors.