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UB’s first annual Entrepreneurs Festival is Thursday in the Student Union

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For anyone considering starting a
business, the University at Buffalo has numerous programs to
assist, including Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, which offers
coaching, mentoring and other hands-on methods to help UB community
members bring their ideas to market.

On Thursday, the LaunchPad is hosting UB’s inaugural
Entrepreneurs Festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student

The event will feature demos of startups run by students and
alumni, networking opportunities, an interview with Pete Cimino who
is co-founder of Lloyd Taco Factory and a Pitch Wars competition.
In addition, Jake and Jordan DeCicco, co-founders of SUNNIVA Super
Co., a startup coffee company, will have a table at the demo event.
Their business was helped by the Blackstone LaunchPad at
Philadelphia University.

“This event is to celebrate our students and alumni
entrepreneurs and to showcase the resources available to students,
alumni, faculty and staff,” said Hadar Borden, program
director at the Blackstone LaunchPad at UB.

Some resources featured at the event will be the 43North
business plan competition, the Z80 Labs business incubator, the UB
Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, and Allstate’s
Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program which is led by
the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial

The growth of entrepreneurship across the nation is not an
accident, Borden said: “It’s all related to economic
development, and that is what many regions need… the
creation of jobs and for it to be sustainable.

“We’re trying to create a culture of
entrepreneurship on our campus,” she said. “Some people
call them change agents. I like to call them

Not everyone is at a point when they can start a business,
Borden said, but the entrepreneurship training can help

“Some will go into large organizations, and they will end
up being that C-suit executive because they are innovators,”
she said.

If some students get inspired by talking to other entrepreneurs,
they may get going with their own ideas, she said.

“This is a bookend to the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology
Entrepreneurship Competition that we host in the spring,”
Borden said. “This is a way we urge our students to get their
ideas going so that they, too, can be part of Panasci. We want to
develop a runway.”

The schedule of events for Thursday is:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Entrepreneurship demos in the Student
    Union lobby. Amber Small, a UB alumnus and co-founder of Jam
    Parkside, a planned community-owned café in Buffalo’s
    Parkside neighborhood, will deliver opening remarks.
  • 1 p.m. — Networking in Room 210 Student Union.
  • 1:30 p.m. — “How I Built This,” an interview
    with Pete Cimino, co-founder of Lloyd Taco Factory, in Room 210
    Student Union.
  • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. — Pitch Wars, Room 210 Student Union.
    Student entrepreneurs pitch ideas to win two spots to Tech Stars in
    New York City.

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