$25,000 to $100,000 AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund Grant

The National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE) is proud to present the 2022 AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund. With support from Grubhub, this fund serves to support AANHPI restaurant owners. With the industry facing unprecedented challenges since the pandemic began over two years ago, the AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund is available to help restaurants respond to supply chain disruptions, increased inventory costs, workforce development, and discrimination.

Eligible restaurants across the country will be able to apply for a $25,000 grant, and over 70 restaurants will be awarded in September 2022. Three finalists will be awarded $100,000, $75,000, and $50,000 live at the National ACE Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. September 19-21, 2022.

Applications are being accepted until June 22, 2022. To Learn more and apply, click HERE.

Celebrating Pride Month!

Statement by SBA Administrator Guzman in Recognition of Pride Month

Release Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Release Number: 22-08
Advisory Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Contact: stephen.collier@sba.gov

DENVER – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s cabinet, issued the following statement to highlight the celebration of Pride Month.

“Pride month is a time of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and their contributions in building a better, stronger economy – and it’s also a reminder of the progress we are still fighting to achieve. Equity is a top priority for me and for the Biden-Harris Administration, and we believe all of America’s entrepreneurs deserve a level playing field, regardless of zip code, race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. During COVID, we’ve learned how critical equitable access is surviving and thriving, and at the SBA we are working to build better connections to and for the 1.4 million LGBTQ+ owned businesses in communities across this country. LGBTQ+ businesses already generate more than $1.7 trillion dollars in US economic impact and support tens of thousands of jobs – and that number continues to grow. In order to drive even greater economic empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community, we need to connect entrepreneurs to the capital and resources they need to start and grow their businesses, and the SBA is working to do that each day through our district offices, resource partners, our Community Navigators program, and more.”

-end-

About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

NV Grow Director Kevin Raiford, Staff, and Clients Meet SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in Las Vegas

On Monday, May 23rd, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, opened her Las Vegas visit with a roundtable discussion with Rep. Horsford, SBA Pacific Regional Administrator Elmy Bermejo, SBA Nevada Director Saul Ramos, local leaders & business owners, and NV Grow Director Kevin Raiford/staff, Blackstone LaunchPad champion NuLife Kicks, Pastadesso, & other clients/entrepreneurs to discuss leveraging equity and access, and to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster.

In recognition of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, Administrator Guzman and Rep. Horsford also visited AAPI-owned Sun’s Thai Food, a local family business that benefitted from a PPP loan that helped sustain their operations during the height of the pandemic. At the Sun’s Thai Restaurant, they were greeted with traditional Thai dance, lots of deliciously prepared authentic Thai food, and were serenaded by one of the NV Grow staff member, Gabriel Interrante, who is a promising musician.

MONDAY, May 23rd: SBA Administrator Guzman to Visit Las Vegas to meet with Local Leaders and Small Businesses

PRESS OFFICE

Release Date: May 20, 2022

Release Number: MA22-26

www.sba.gov/news
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LAS VEGAS – On May 23, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, will visit Las Vegas. Administrator Guzman will participate in roundtable discussions with Rep. Horsford, Rep. Titus, local leaders, and local business owners to discuss increasing equity and access to opportunities to help uplift and support underserved and disadvantaged small businesses.

In recognition of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, Administrator Guzman and Rep. Horsford will visit AAPI-owned Sun’s Thai Food, a local family business that benefitted from a PPP loan that helped sustain their operations during the height of the pandemic.

Administrator Guzman will meet with Andrea Vigil, COO of Allegiant Electric, LLC, to congratulate her on her recent award, 2022 Nevada Small Business Person of the Year. With the help of the SBA, Andrea was able to utilize two PPP loans, an EIDL loan, and skills learned through SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative to sustain her business during the pandemic and thrive in a male-dominated industry.

Administrator Guzman and Rep. Dina Titus will meet with Maria Davila, owner of Rika Arepa Express, a local minority-owned small business that received Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

A Women’s Small Business Roundtable discussion will be held with Administrator Guzman and Rep. Dina Titus and local women-owned small businesses to discuss how to increase access to capital and resources to start or grow their businesses.

Media are invited to attend open press events, but must RSVP by 5:00 PM PT on Sunday, May 22, 2022, for credentialing and further information.

Las Vegas Stops

Las Vegas, NV – May 23, 2022

WHAT:  Roundtable Discussion with Rep. Steve Horsford, local leaders, and local small business owners

WHEN: 12:10 PM

WHERE: 690 W Lake Mead Blvd, North Las Vegas, NV

WHO: Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administration

Rep. Steve Horsford

Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy State Senator Dina Neal Elmy Bermejo, SBA Region 9 Administrator Saul Ramos, SBA NV District Director

Local Small Business Owners

WHAT: AAPI Business Visit with Rep. Steve Horsford

WHEN: 1:40 PM

WHERE: Sun’s Thai Food, 4941 W. Craig Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 89130

WHO: Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administration Rep. Steve Horsford

Elmy Bermejo, SBA Region 9 Administrator

Saul Ramos, SBA NV District Director Local Small Business Owners

WHAT: Business Visit with Nevada’s Small Business Person of the Year

WHEN: 2:40 PM

WHERE: Allegiant Electric, LLC, 2480 N Decatur Blvd #115, Las Vegas, NV 89108

WHO: Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administration

WHAT: Small Business Visit to Rika Arepa Express

WHEN: 3:30 PM

WHERE: 3650 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89121

WHO:  Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administration

Rep. Dina Titus

Elmy Bermejo

SBA Region 9 Administrator Saul Ramos

SBA NV District Director

WHAT: Women’s Small Business Roundtable

WHEN: 5:30 PM

WHERE:  Caesars Palace, 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

WHO: Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administration Rep. Dina Titus

Small Business Leaders

 

MEDIA RSVP: Please RSVP to Miryam Barajas at miryam.barajas@sba.gov with a reporter’s name and press outlet.

Administrator Guzman will be joined by Elmy Bermejo, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX, who oversees the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Video: Blackstone Student Pitch Competition Winners Announced! (Startup Grind Global 2022)

College of Southern Nevada’s NuLife Kicks snatched first place in the Blackstone Student Pitch Competition Startup Grind Global 2o22.

The Blackstone LaunchPad network makes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills accessible and relevant for all college students to help them build thriving companies and careers.

To view the entire announcement of the winners, click HERE.

CSN’s NuLife Kicks is the Grand Champion of the Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competitions at the StartUp Grind Global 2022

“Bringin’ Dead Kicks Back To Life” captured the hearts and minds of the Blackstone LaunchPad judges. College of Southern Nevada’s (CSN) NuLife Kicks is the Grand Champion of the Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competitions at the StartUp Grind Global 2022.  Akeem & Marquee Anifowoshe triumphantly beat over 130 nominations and 28 student teams from 24 schools that were selected as semi-finalists in the 2022 Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competition.  They competed as one of five finalists that pitched live on April 12, 2022 for a chance to win a total of over $50,000 in prize money and in-kind prizes on the main stage of the Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley. The competition also included a virtual People’s Choice Award, with online voting.

Nominated and mentored by Professor Kevin Raiford, CSN Blackstone LaunchPad Campus Director, and Professor Maria Schellhase, CSN Blackstone Academic Champion, NuLife Kicks represented to be the TOP candidate for the pitch competition based on four criteria: Innovation, Business Model and Viability, Team, and Pitch Quality.

NuLife Kicks is revolutionizing the way you maintain your kicks! Get rid of outdated methods of sneaker cleaning like the washing machine and concentrated solutions. The NuShoe Element solutions are chemically engineered for specific results on specific materials. Clean your kicks with precision using the NuShoe Element Tools.

They are now offering Sneaker Restoration Training! Learn to restore sneakers like the professionals. Start or grow a sneaker restoration business using Nu Methods, Nu Solutions and Nu Tools. Their trainings are created for all skill levels and include Signature NuShoe Element training kits. Open Enrollment is open now! Click HERE for NuLife Kicks Website.

Five Finalists Chosen to Compete in Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competition @ Startup Grind These student teams will pitch live for a total of over $50,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

Click HERE for the full article and video

Five student entrepreneurial teams have been selected to pitch live for a total of over $50,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the upcoming Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competition. The competition will be held in Silicon Valley on April 12th, on the main stage of the Startup Grind Global Conference, a convening of leaders in technology and big brands at the forefront of innovation.

The finalists have been selected from over 130 applications. Their teams attend five different schools across the United States and their ventures vary in industry, size, and geographical focus.

The all-woman panel of judges will include: Kelly Burton, Executive Director at Black Innovation Alliance, Kelsey Davis, Founder & CEO of CLLCTVE and Syracuse LaunchPad Alum, Christine Feng, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, and Devin Glenn, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Blackstone. They will evaluate the finalists on the strength of the presentation, the viability of the idea, and the venture’s existing traction. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 13th on the Startup Grind Global Conference main stage and livestream.

Meet The Finalists

Bonsai, Shashank Kumar, UT Dallas

Bonsai is seeking to revolutionize the world of customer engagement through an AI-tool that automates and assists customer support teams. Customer service requests often take longer than is necessary because the agent doesn’t know the answer — Shashank estimates that 42% of employee time is wasted trying to access the right information. Bonsai seeks to elevate customer service systems by resolving tickets faster using AI-systems that can search a company’s database and find the right answer, reducing a 20-minute ticket to 2-minutes. The company has secured partners with several CRM companies, onboarded 15 paying customers, and raised $200K in pre-seed financing.

NuLife Kicks, Akeem Anifowoshe and Marquee Anifowoshe, College of Southern Nevada

NuLife Kicks hopes to pioneer the sneaker restoration trade. With the sneaker industry trending to reach $126B by 2026, according to Akeem and Marquee’s estimates, sneakers are on the rise — but sneaker-care solutions have not grown to meet the demand. Sneakers are expensive, and traditional cobblers struggle to adapt their tools and methods to care for modern sneakers. NuShoe Elements, a line of sneaker care products developed by Akeem, includes solutions and tools designed to fit sneaker-specific materials and surfaces. In addition to care products, NuLife Kicks has initiated a business model to help develop and train other entrepreneurs in sneaker-care techniques.

Mindsets & Milestones, Diondraya Taylor, UCLA

Mindsets & Milestones is using entrepreneurship to help equip the next generation of young women with the skills and self-confidence to succeed in reaching their goals. Diondraya estimates that 30% of high school girls with a 4.0 GPA still don’t believe they’re smart enough to achieve their dream career, a problem that is less about education and skills and more about self-perception. Her company creates entrepreneurial learning curricula, teacher guides, and courses, so that students can learn to bring their ideas to life.

SPORA, Andrea Paz Lacavex, UC Santa Cruz

SPORA, or “Sociology, Planning, and Optimal Restoration of Algae,” is producing Green Gravel in hopes of making the reforestation of kelp forest ecosystems more accessible and scalable. Kelp forest ecosystems are disappearing from oceans around the world, putting pressure on fishing communities that rely on the algae habitats. SPORA’s Green Gravel is made by injecting microscopic kelp spores into gravel. Once the algae are securely attached to and growing in the rocks, the company gives the Green Gravel to fishing communities to throw into the ocean and become the source of a new kelp forests. Because Green Gravel is relatively inexpensive and does not require highly trained workers, SPORA hopes it can be a scalable, accessible solution for communities to jumpstart kelp reforestation.

StaffOnTap, Kayla Foley, Cornell

StaffOnTap wants to make a difference for seniors, nurses, and nursing homes by connecting understaffed nursing homes and temporary nurses at an affordable price. There’s a national shortage of nurses working in nursing homes, and Kayla has observed through her family’s business in nursing homes that nurses are interested in making extra money at nursing homes through flexible shifts. Through StaffOnTap, nurses with full-time and part-time jobs can post their availability for additional shifts on the platform for nursing homes to book, for a flat $30 fee. So far, StaffOnTap has onboarded 64 nursing professionals and 22 nursing homes, with an additional 60 nursing homes ready to onboard.

About Blackstone LaunchPad

The Blackstone LaunchPad network makes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills accessible and relevant for all college students to help them build thriving companies and careers. We work with higher-ed institutions to deliver proven startup resources, facilitate access to a global network of mentors and advisors, and offer unique virtual and physical convening opportunities so thousands of diverse college students can go further, faster. Students learn by doing, gaining knowledge and critical skills to help them succeed as a founder or contributor to the innovation economy. LaunchPad’s ever-expanding network encompasses campuses with predominantly underrepresented populations. Learn more: www.blackstonelaunchpad.org.

CSN Opens Its Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with a Japanese Tea Ceremony on April 7th! Join us!

The AAPI Heritage Month is normally celebrated in May; however, due to semester ending, graduation ceremony, and being a shorter academic month in May, CSN celebrates AAPI Heritage Month in April. Join us in opening the AAPI Heritage Month with a unique experience of learning a Chado Urasenke Japanese Tea Ceremony this Thursday, April 7th, at 12PM-1PM, via Microsoft TEAMS. See flyer.

Lauren Sochi Deutsch, a licensed instructor of the Urasenke School of Chado, the way of tea, will guide us inside a traditional tea room where a host will prepare a bowl of tea for a guest. While there is a precise choreography to this elevated experience of hospitality, it is profoundly simple and poetic.