MCC Daily Tribune

Student Entrepreneurs Present New Business Ideas, Receive Access to Mentors and Venture Funding

Nineteen MCC student entrepreneurs pitched new business ideas for Rochester at Launch Your Business! held during Scholars' Day events at MCC's Downtown and Brighton campuses on April 11 and 14, respectively. Judges selected six students to receive MCC Foundation scholarships, free admission to attend program-associated courses at MCC Corporate College, exclusive access to business mentors, and a chance to compete for up to $50,000 in venture funding this fall.

The winners are all enrolled in programs within MCC's School of Business and Entrepreneurial Studies. Leading up to the competition, MCC Business Administration and Economics faculty mentored the students as they prepared their presentations. (Presentation titles are noted below in italics; mentors are noted in parentheses.) Business faculty and local entrepreneurs served as judges. Two winners were selected for each scholarship category as follows:

1st Place: $1,600 scholarship

  • Viola Speed, Rochester's Sugar Mama/Edible Bouquets (Marcia Marriott)
  • Francine Burks, Do You Need a Lift? (Kathleen Borbee)

2nd Place: $1,250 scholarship

  • Mason Broomfield, Lashes by Mason (Sandra McCormack)
  • Oushawndra Chavers, Rosemary Hairapy (Sherry Tshibangu)

3rd Place: $1,000 scholarship

  • Patricia Drumright, You Can't Take It with You: Creating a Public Venue for Private Collections (John Striebich)
  • Joseph Tambe, Crossfit Webster (Kathleen Borbee)

Winners will attend the MCC Corporate College's Launch Your Business! Certificate Series this summer and receive mentorship support leading up to their final business pitch to a panel of business and banking executives later this year.

The Launch Your Business! program is made possible by a $250,000 grant from the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund and the generosity of Chip Weismiller, formerly of Rochester, and his wife, Stuart (Rowayton, Conn.). MCC is one of four U.S. community colleges to receive funding to help students launch community-based businesses.

Other colleges establishing similar programs with support from Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund include Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, Fla.), Middlesex Community College (Lowell, Mass.) and Wayne County Community College District (Detroit, MI).

Launch Your Business! is led by MCC Business Administration and Economics Professors Sherry Tshibangu, chair, and Kathleen Borbee, vice chair, in partnership with MCC's School of Business & Entrepreneurial Studies, MCC Economic & Workforce Development Center, and the MCC Foundation.

McKinsey-Mabry, Kimberly
Business & Community Engagement