Bank of America, in partnership with StartUP FIU and The Underline, announced the 10 winners of the inaugural Miami Small Business Bootcamp at a recent ceremony at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
The winners, ranging from a mom-daughter duo specializing in Argentinian treats to the creator of a tandem bike for cyclists with special needs, each received an invitation to showcase their products and services at the Small Business Holiday Village at The Underline for of them. consecutive weekends, December 10-12 and December 17-19. Each winner also received a stipend of $ 2,000 to complete their small business operations.
Prior to being selected, the winners participated in a small business bootcamp at StartUP FIU, alongside 30 other local entrepreneurs. This two-week bootcamp aimed to build the skills of entrepreneurs in a variety of topics, from team building and leadership development to raising capital and navigating the supply chain system.
At the end of each week, bootcamp attendees had the opportunity to pitch their business to an esteemed panel of judges, including representatives from the FIU, Bank of America, The Underline, Black Angels Miami, and Whole Foods. . The 10 winners were selected based on various criteria including their unique value proposition, economic feasibility, marketing and growth strategy, entrepreneurial spirit and overall presentation.
“Together with StartUP FIU and The Underline, we know that empowering small businesses with the right tools will help have a direct impact on our local community and economy,” said Gene Schaefer, President of Bank of America Miami. “The goal of this collaborative effort is to generate positive impact where it’s needed most, inspire Miami’s entrepreneurial spirit and accelerate sustainable growth.”
The full list of inaugural Bank of America Miami Small Business Bootcamp winners include:
Courtney Kohout of Courtney’s Cookies – Organic, Vegan, Low Glycemic Index Cookies;
Ivo D’Aguiar of Nidus Foods – Personalized meal delivery service;
Jenifer Schwartz of Maven Baker – Traditional French pastries and freeze-dried cheesecake without guilt;
Jeremie Etienne of InSeason LLC – Wellness Service Provider;
Maurice Williams of Status Plus Productions LLC – Streetwear Clothing & Accessories;
Natacha Metayer of JNCY Jewelers – Personalized Rings and Jewelry for the Minority Bridal Community;
Paula Chavez from Paula’s Bake Shop – Traditional Argentinian Alfajores;
Randa Quraan of Socially Loud – Integrated Marketing / Branding Consulting Service;
Rose Jean from T-Shirt Mayhem Corp – Custom Clothing Printing,
Shelley Patterson of Bikes for Every Body LLC – Manufacturer and distributor of The Buddy Bike, an alternative tandem for cyclists with special needs.
“We are grateful for the support and partnership of Bank of America and The Underline in our mission to help South Florida small businesses thrive every step of the way of the entrepreneurial process, from concept and creation to launch, to promotion and beyond, “said Emily Gresham, associate vice president of research and economic development at FIU and co-founder of StartUP FIU. “Congratulations to the winners of the Miami Small Business Bootcamp. We look forward to seeing their future growth and success. “
Meg Daly, CEO / Founder of Friends of The Underline, said, “We are very honored to partner with Bank of America and CRF to provide The Underline with small business and entrepreneurial opportunities. The outdoor economy is proving to be one of the best ways to provide fair access and experiences to everyone, including Miami’s emerging businesses.
The Underline Holiday Village will be open to the public from December 10 to 12 and December 17 to 19, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The village will be located in Brickell Backyard’s Promenade Station Grove, opposite the north entrance to Brickell Metrorail station, SW First Avenue and Ninth Street. Visitors are encouraged to take the Metrorail to Brickell Metrorail station, exit north, and walk towards the holiday lights and vendor carts. Those who wish to drive can use the public parking lots in downtown Brickell and the Publix Mary Brickell Village.
This initiative was created as part of Bank of America’s five-year, $ 1.25 billion pledge to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. The effort aims to open doors for local small businesses by further accelerating Bank of America’s commitment to addressing racial equality and opportunity in local Miami communities.
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