[MIAMI] – Bank of America, in partnership with StartUP FIU and The Underline, announced the 10 winners of the inaugural Miami Small Business Bootcamp during a ceremony at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The winners ranged from a mom-and-daughter duo specializing in Argentinian treats to the creator of a tandem bike for riders with special needs. Each received an invitation to showcase their products and services. Taking place at the Small Business Holiday Village at The Underline for two consecutive weekends. From, December 10-12 and December 17-19. Each winner also received a $2,000 stipend to supplement their small business’ operations.
Small Business Bootcamp
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 strengthen the entrepreneurs’ skills in a variety of subjects. Ranging from team building and leadership development to raising capital. In addition to navigating the supply chain system.
At the end of each week, bootcamp participants were given the opportunity to pitch their business to an esteemed panel of judges, including representatives from FIU, Bank of America, The Underline, Black Angels Miami, and Whole Foods. The 10 winners were selected based on a variety of 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 empowering small businesses with the right tools will help make a direct impact on our local community and economy,” said Gene Schaefer, President, Bank of America Miami. “The focus of this collaborative effort is to drive positive impact where it is needed most, inspire Miami’s entrepreneurial spirit and accelerate sustainable growth.”
The full list of Bank of America’s inaugural Miami Small Business Bootcamp winners includes:
- Courtney Kohout of Courtney’s Cookies: Organic, vegan, low-glycemic cookies
- Ivo D’Aguiar of Nidus Foods: Personalized meal delivery service
- Jenifer Schwartz of Maven Baker: Traditional French pastries and guilt-free, freeze-dried cheesecake
- Jeremie Etienne of InSeason LLC: Wellness service provider
- Maurice Williams of Status Plus Productions LLC: Streetwear clothing and accessories
- Natacha Metayer of JNCY Jewelers: Customized rings and jewelry for the minority bridal community
- Paula Chavez of Paula’s Bake Shop: Traditional Argentinian alfajores
- Randa Quraan of Socially Loud: Integrated marketing/brand consulting service
- Rose Jean of T-Shirt Mayhem Corp: Customized apparel printing
- Shelley Patterson of Bikes for Every Body LLC: Manufacturer and distributor of The Buddy Bike®, an alternative tandem bicycle for riders 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’s small businesses thrive at every stage of the entrepreneurial process, from concept and creation to launch, promotion and beyond,” said Emily Gresham, assistant vice president of Research & 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.”
“We are so honored to partner with Bank of America and FIU to bring small businesses and entrepreneurial opportunities to The Underline,” Meg Daly CEO/Founder of Friends of The Underline said. “The open-air economy is proving to be one of the best ways to provide equitable access and experiences to all — including Miami’s emerging businesses.”
Underline Holiday Village
The Underline Holiday Village will be open to the public on December 10-12 and December 17-19 from 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The village will be set in the Brickell Backyard’s Promenade Station Grove, in front of the Brickell Metrorail Station North Entrance, SW 1st Ave, and SW 9th Street. Visitors are encouraged to take the Metrorail to Brickell Metrorail Station, exit north and walk toward the holiday lights and vendor carts. Those who wish to drive can use public parking lots at Brickell City Centre and Publix Mary Brickell Village.
Addressing Racial Equality
This initiative was created as part of Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. The effort aims to open doors for local small businesses. Especially by further accelerating Bank of America’s commitment to address racial equality and opportunity in Miami’s local communities.