|First-of-its-kind free initiative connects business owners with mentors and marketplaces|
April 1, 2023.
BUFFALO NY– The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is pleased to announce the launch of IC Success—a free, year-long program to connect historically marginalized, early-stage entrepreneurs with mentors, marketplaces, and other resources.
IC Success provides new and early-stage entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to launch and grow their businesses—all at no cost.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into IC success receive full access to the business accelerator program, extensive mentoring from business experts, access to connections and customers throughout the downtown medical campus (where 17,000-plus people work), and semi-annual pitch contests where entrepreneurs can earn seed funding.
“We’re here to connect people,” said Juweria Dahir (pictured above), who has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners as BNMC’s Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “For too long, people in historically marginalized and underserved communities have not had equal access to mentors, funding, and other resources—even though they have brilliant ideas and have proven to be amazing businesspeople. Creating these integrated networks eliminates many of the barriers for these entrepreneurs.”
A cohort comprised of 15 talented Buffalo entrepreneurs began the IC Success business accelerator program in January. This intensive 10-week program provides classes on all aspects of running a business, including finance, law, accounting, and marketing. In addition, each participant is matched with three mentors who support entrepreneurs throughout the program, and beyond.
Shéquanda Long, the founder of the educational resource company Teacher Tidbits, is one of the entrepreneurs in the spring 2023 class. “Through IC Success, I’ve met with mentors who are helping me create new products, focus my marketing, and get in front of new customers,” said Long. “It’s truly a game-changer.”[GU1] [MM2]
Underrepresented entrepreneurs face unique obstacles. For example, Black business owners who apply for funding were three times more likely to be rejected by banks than white business owners, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.
“We started this program because there are entrepreneurs all over Buffalo who still don’t feel welcome in the flourishing startup ecosystem here—especially people of color and women, who often face discrimination and other obstacles when building a business,” said Matt Enstice, President of BNMC. “By purposefully integrating networks—and caring for those connections on a long-term basis—we can help communities grow from within, driving the next wave of our region’s economic development.”
IC Success is the latest equity-focused program from BNMC, which has helped drive economic growth and development for more than 20 years. IC Success, which stands for Innovation Community Success, replaces EforAll, a national program that recently left the Buffalo market.
Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott St. | Buffalo, NY 14203
C 716.866.7344 | Mmorreale@BNMC.org
About Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
For more than twenty years, The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus organization (BNMC) has been a driving force in Buffalo’s economic renaissance. Throughout its management of the growth of Buffalo’s premier innovation district, the BNMC has foregrounded smart economic, social, and environmental development, prioritizing health & well-being, and sustainability. Today, the BNMC is focused on the next phase of Buffalo’s ongoing resurgence, cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community, launching the IC Success[GU5] (Innovation Community Success) program to support aspiring entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to help them start or grow a business. Program graduates will form the heart of Buffalo’s growing Innovation Community comprised of businesses large and small in an array of disciplines and leading the region’s next wave of economic development and growth. www.bnmc.org