Wake Tech Small Business Center

Business May 31, 2023

Wake Tech Small Business Center – RALEIGH, N.C. (May 3, 2023) – Wake Tech celebrated small business owners and budding entrepreneurs who are making the dream of small business ownership a reality.

Wake Tech’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business hosted the first Bizzy Awards to recognize young entrepreneurs who have completed Wake Tech’s Entrepreneurship for Trades and Skilled Professionals (ESTP) course and LaunchWakeCounty program.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

Wake Tech Small Business Center

The ESTP course teaches early stage entrepreneurs how to start a business. LaunchWakeCounty helps support and develop these entrepreneurs with increased training and community support. To date, LaunchWakeCounty has graduated nearly 800 small businesses.

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The first annual Bizzy Awards recognized LaunchHolly Springs as Program of the Year and Silver Lake Construction as Business of the Year. Lonette Mims, Wake Tech dean of Professional Services and campus leader for the Western Wake campus, won the Launch Rally Award for her continued support and advocacy for LaunchWakeCounty.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

The event also featured Wake Tech’s Main Street Entrepreneur Accelerator Competition. Three student entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges, while three LaunchWakeCounty alumni presented their business development plans. Each contestant walked away a winner. Students received grant money and business owners received house money.

Shaw University student Blaise Dampier won a $25,000 grant for his business NMEA Technologies, which creates educational software for colleges and universities. Dampier plans to begin plans this summer.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

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“I’m really grateful to have won this funding,” Dampier said. “This is an integral part of our next step, which is to contract developers to work on our mobile app to help improve student life.”

The top prize, $25,000, was awarded to Stephanie Chiles. Her bakery, Made with Grace, sells specialty cakes and pastries. Flowers is a graduate of LaunchWendell. She plans to use the funds to upgrade equipment and storage space and rent commercial kitchen space to make more Dominican-style desserts.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

“I am very excited and honored to receive this funding,” Flowers said. “As a new business, the support means the world! I’m so thankful for Launch and the community that surrounds it.”

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Shaw student Devin Versteegen received a $7,500 grant for his business idea, DT Photography. He plans to use the funds to rent photography and cinematography equipment. Wake Tech student Amari Thompson received a $2,500 grant for Marie the Hairologist, a natural hair care business Thompson hopes to open in Raleigh.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

LaunchHollySprings graduate Amy Bishop received $7,500 for Sawdust and Clay, a small business that allows artists to buy and sell their creations. Janice Collier won $2,500 for Janice Collier Designs, which sells handmade and organic children’s clothing. Collier graduated from LaunchHollySprings.

The entrepreneurship competition is the culmination of the Main Street Entrepreneurs Accelerator (MSEA) program, an innovative initiative to help budding entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses. Participants complete a series of small business training sessions on a variety of topics and receive training and advice to improve their business skills.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

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“Wake Tech offers great educational programming and MSEA is next level! It puts real capital to work for small businesses within our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Chris Weeks, director of entrepreneurship at Wake Tech. “Having a battle plan with money to go with it is a proven way to support small business, and we’re excited to celebrate another year of the MSEA initiative.”

The MSEA program is made possible by a personal gift from Mike Conlon, founder and CEO of Affordable Communities Group LLC, and a grant from Wells Fargo. Also a board member of the Wake Tech Foundation, Conlon has committed more than $1 million to support Wake Tech’s small business programs. He received the Conlon Vanguard Award at the Bizzy Awards and was recognized for helping to develop a thriving small business community in the region.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

“I appreciate this honor,” Conlon said. “I love entrepreneurship. The judges and I were very impressed with the business plans we saw tonight.”

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Raven Edwards, who received $20,000 for her business, Kraven Juice, in the first MESA Pitch Competition last year, says her business has grown more than 100 percent. Edwards, whose business sells specialty juices, has served as a coach for many of the students participating in the MSEA program this year.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

The MSEA program is open to student entrepreneurs at Wake Tech, Shaw University, and Saint Augustine University, as well as qualified small business owners in the community. For more information, please visit Main Street.

© 2023 Wake Technical Community College | 9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603 | Main Tel: 919-866-5000 Wayne Loots Dean, Department of Business and Industrial Services Ken Dillo Director of Small Business Center Fred Gebarowski Director of Entrepreneurship

Wake Tech Small Business Center

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Us Wayne Dean of Business and Industrial Services Ken Dillo Small Business Center Director Fred Gebarowski Director of Entrepreneurship You Wake Up Technical Community College Discussion Local community colleges should be an important part of your region’s entrepreneurial development and your chamber’s small business improvement initiative. Hear how one community college is working with its local chamber to protect the economic sustainability of its community. Speakers: Wayne Loots, Dean of Business and Industry Fred Gebarowski, Director of Entrepreneurship Ken Dillo, Director of the Small Business Center

“We have three economic development goals” Creating an environment where businesses can succeed Helping existing businesses grow Attracting new businesses to our community BIC IMPACTS ON THESE SPECIFIC AREAS 2 and 3 The Business and Industry Division aims to serve needs identified by customers. Wake County and tailor programs to those needs. Employees provide personalized training and services to help Corporate America, entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, the unemployed, underemployed and individuals become more productive, competitive and employable. Make people more valuable to themselves, their families, their employers and the communities in which they live.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

Serves on the SBA National Advisory Council Serves on the Entrepreneurship Committee Director of Entrepreneurship Development has been created

Workforce Continuing Education

DEAN Host Secretary Director of Special Industry Training Director of Small Business Center Operations Assistant Director of Manufacturing and Construction Director of Entrepreneurship Business and Industrial Services Director of Special Business Training Coordinator of Special Training Director of Corporate Training Senior Wayne Consultant Project Update for

Wake Tech Small Business Center

70,000 served in 2008, 17,000 in master’s programs 53,000 continuing education Total number Dr. Scott must approve the post

Research Triangle Regional Partnership. North Carolina Women’s Business Center SCORE North Carolina State University Chapter NC Department of Commerce NC Department of Agriculture NC Port Authority World Trade Association NC Department of Revenue Military Business Center NC Military Business Center Wake County Economic Development Small Business Technology Development Centers Small Business Administration US Department of the Treasury Department of Wake Tech IRS employees serve on local chamber boards.

Wake Tech Small Business Center

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Lean Manufacturing Management Six Sigma Project Management American Management Assn AchieveGlobal DDI American Payroll Assn Leadership Foreign Language Expertise Skilled Trade PLC Operations Specialists Lawyers Marketing Specialists US CPAs SBA Bankers Human Resources International Specialists Logistics Quality Technical Skills are primarily diverse in the NC industry.

Manufacturing technology intensive (software manufacturing, Internet services outside NC support areas, Bio-technology) Regional or national warehouse or distribution centers Regional or national customer service or data processing centers or central administrative office units. Air Courier Services $13,000,000 in Over 5,000 New Job Training Commitments

Wake Tech Small Business Center


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On-the-job Skills Training Management and Supervisory Training FIT is aimed at employees who need to update their skills and knowledge due to technological changes. Certificates require annual renewal and renewal. Welding Plumbing HVAC Carpentry Tony is developing a 500 hour mechanical trade program for high school graduates and others. Trades include plumbing, pipe fitting, welding and HVAC. Bill has developed a three-level progressive IST Industrial Systems Technician training program with WTCC’s Vocational Technology Department that we will pilot with John Agra Foods this spring. 3-YEAR PROGRAM 400 HOURS/YEAR. To meet the critical need for industrial system technicians,

Wake Tech Small Business Center

Bob Barker Co. Employee training supported by the NCCCS program (FIT) reflects what is happening in the sector. The greatest need for training is first-line supervisor training and electronics training. Manufacturing has a significant number of workers who may be retiring, and companies are recruiting a new generation of supervisors. We are currently working with five major manufacturing companies in this field. The second biggest demand is e-learning. It represents the low-tech, high-tech state of American manufacturing

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