Multicultural Small Business Labs

Buffalo, NY

A successful event was held at Canisius College from November 15, 2022 – December 20, 2022.  We are looking forward to more upcoming labs in this area!

Innovation Lab Overview

The M&T Multicultural Innovation Lab celebrates and empowers local multicultural owned small businesses through education and a spirited competition. For the Buffalo edition, we will be partnering with the Canisius College. The location for this 6-week program will be at the Canisius College Science Hall:

Canisius College
Science Hall
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208

Program Eligibility

Open to existing Multicultural small business owners and hopeful Multicultural small business owners in the planning/concept phase (e.g. Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American) – in accordance to local demographics.

  • Been in business less than 36 months
  • Average annual revenues of $150K or less


  • 6-week course presented by M&T Bank professionals and community partners
  • Beginning November 15th, 2022
  • Course ends December 20th, 2022
  • In-Person Attendance
  • 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday evenings


  • Business Planning (1 session)
  • Credit Fundamentals (2 sessions)
  • Marketing & Branding (1 session)
  • Networking & Community Resources (1 session)
  • Business Valuation (1 session)
  • Virtual self-service coursework to be delivered through M&T Tech Academy (where available)


Pitch Competition

  • First Round: 2-minute video with written answers
  • Second Round: 5 finalists will conduct a 3-minute pitch with a 2-minute Q&A
  • Prizes:
    • 1st place - $10,000
    • 2nd place - $6,000
    • 3rd place - $4,000

Highlights from this event

An African American man in front of a class teaching
An African American female in a blue top speaking
African American man with glasses with a light blue collared shirt and a blue tie speaking
African American women with a black hoodie speaking with her hands over her chest

2022 Buffalo Innovation Lab Winners

Head shot of an African American female holding her hand up to her chin

Porsha Ari Parson

Ari Parson PR 

Our first place winner Ari Parson PR, led by Porsha Ari Parson, earned the $10,000 top prize. This business is a marketing and public relations agency that develops communication strategies for professional brands and organizations. Ari Parson PR's vision is to ensure growth and influence for the brands it serves through creative publicity and target marketing campaigns.

Head shot of a African American professional man in a blue suit

Dante Griggs

Kipper Moving and Transportation

Our second place winner, Kiper Moving & Transportation LLC, co-founded by Dante Griggs, delivers commercial and residential moving, labor and transport services to various sectors in New York state. Its mission is to provide competitive pricing, top-rated service, and creative solutions with flexibility for customers. 


Head shot of a young African American professional in a blue suit

Mubark Abdallah

Mobe Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Our third place winner, Mubark Abdallah, leads Mobe Kitchen & Bath Remodeling LLC, a kitchen and bathroom renovation business.