M&T Bank Small Business Lab –
In partnership with Carver Federal Savings Bank

Harlem, NY

A successful event was held at Harlem Commonwealth Council and partnering with Carver Federal Savings Bank. from March 30, 2023 – May 4, 2023.  We are looking forward to more upcoming labs in this area!

 

Innovation Lab Overview

The M&T Multicultural small business Lab celebrates and empowers local multicultural owned small businesses through education and a spirited competition. For the Harlem edition, we will be partnering with Carver Federal Savings Bank. The location for this 6-week program will be at the Harlem Commonwealth Council.:

Harlem Commonwealth Council
361 W 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

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/Latino, Asian American) – in accordance to local demographics.

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

Schedule

  • 6-week course presented by M&T Bank experts and community partners 
  • Beginning March 30th, 2023
  • Course ends May 4th, 2023
  • In-Person Attendance
  • 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday evenings

Curriculum

  • 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: 3-minute live pitch with a 2-minute Q&A
  • Prizes:
    • 1st place - $16,000
    • 2nd place - $12,000
    • 3rd place - $7,000

Highlights from this event

2023 Harlem Innovation Lab Winners

Erica Watson

Mixtresses Beauty Bar, LLC

MixxTresses Beauty Bar & Hair Lounge, LLC, founded by Erica Watson, provides hair extensions, products, replacements services, and expert knowledge to help customers embrace, celebrate, preserve, and become educated about the beauty and maintenance of textured hair. After the program, Erica’s business was announced as the first-place winner in the pitch competition, landing her business a $16,000 prize.

 

Alton Weekes

CELLFUL, LLC

Chief Juicing Officer, Alton Weekes, founded Cellfull Organics, a cold-pressed juice company that helps customers detox, cleanse, and restore body systems by liquefying fruits and vegetables for efficient bodily absorption. Cellful Organics hopes to improve the focus, mental clarity, energy, and immune systems within the Black community. After the program, Alton’s business was announced as the second-place winner in the pitch competition, landing his business $12,000 prize.

Britney Wallace

The Bodega Lounge NYC, LLC

The Bodega Lounge NYC, LLC led by Britney Wallace is located in Flatbush area of Brooklyn and provides a safe space community for creatives of color to build connections.  This bodega will feature produce, brands, vendors and artwork by creatives of all identities. After the program, Britney’s business was announced as the third-place winner in the pitch competition, landing her business a $7,000 prize.