Winner of KeyBank Pitch Competition, Mateakka Washington


Mateakka Washington, owner of Mecca’s VIP Beauty Bus, is the winner of the $5,000 pitch competition. KeyBank Business Boost & Build program, powered by JumpStart, teamed up with the Urban League of Rochester and Ibero-American Action League to host a pitch competition to highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs and encourage local collaboration.

Five Rochester area entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of expert judges on Thursday, December 13th at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Mateakka, who is a hair stylist with over 20 years’ experience, captured the judges attention when she pitched her mobile beauty salon on wheels to provide personalized salon services to women who have suffered hair loss due to cancer, alopecia or other genetic disorders. Mateakka will use the money to purchase salon equipment, install plumbing and customized wrap for the outside of the bus.

Congratulations, Mateakka!

News 10 interview with Business Opportunity Program


Travis Miller and Kim Mitchell of the Rochester Schools Modernization Program (RSMP) interviewed with Brennan Sommers of News 10 to discuss the upcoming cycle of the Business Opportunities Program.  The Business Opportunities Program is a free business development program geared specifically toward giving small, disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses the tools and information they need to grow and develop their business, and participate on municipal contracts, such as the RSMP.

Registration is now open for Cycle 5 and includes the following:


·         Comprehensive Instructional Series An 18-week program, consisting of two class sessions per week.  Classes are held during the evening and are FREE of charge.  Topics include Business Development, Procurement, Project Management, Business Operations, and Capital Financing. In order to qualify, one must have a legally registered business (minimum D/B/A) that has been in existence for at least six months and secured at least one contract or client. A certificate is awarded upon completion and successful candidates then have the opportunity to participate in the Mentor/Protégé Program.

NOTE: You do not have to own a construction-oriented business to enroll.


·         Mentor/Protégé Program A six-month FREE program which facilitates training and mentoring in a practical, tutorial, one-on-one manner intended to produce long term positive impacts. Candidates “learn the ropes” of how to run a successful business and how to overcome barriers that typically inhibit or restrict businesses. Special attention is given to certified M/W/D/SBEs who are subcontracted for roles on Phase 2 of the RSMP.


·         Revolving Loan Program A loan program designed to help eligible businesses meet their short-term working capital needs on RSMP projects.  With access to a disbursement of $10,000 per occurrence, a loan can be used to finance direct costs of performing under contract with RJSCB, including payroll, supplies, equipment, and other overhead.  The Revolving Loan Program Committee will review all applications within 3 business days.  There are no credit checks and 0% interest with only a minimal administrative fee applied.


To apply, visit them online at The application deadline is August 6, 2018 For more information, contact Kim Mitchell, Coordinator at

Good Day Rochester Interview with Cory & Tanishia Johnson


The Why Did I Get Married Conference happened last Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Rochester. This conference was open to all married couples and soon-to-be married couples who want to ensure a happy, healthy, and successful marriage.

Event organizers, Cory and Tanishia Johnson have 17 years of marriage under their belts and know the difficulties married couples face when it comes to finances, raising children and communication. That's why they created L.O.V.E Marriage Ministries. It is their mission to help couples build and maintain their marriages.

 “L.O.V.E Marriage Ministries' vision is to support and strengthen marriages and family. We want to support, uplift and celebrate marriages that are healthy, thriving and everlasting,” said Tanishia Johnson. “In today's world where divorce is at an all-time high and children are impacted tremendously through that process, we know and believe that support to couples is what it takes to help them sustain their families. If we want a healthy community and healthy children, we MUST start with supporting families and then witness the greater impact not only in our neighborhood communities but in our school communities as well,” said Cory Johnson.

Cory and Tanishia are the parents of 5 children and both are educators in Rochester. They believe the strength of every community begins with strengthening and empowering strong, healthy families. 

The conference addressed the realities that married couples face and offered workshops on topics such as: "How to Fight Fair", "Forgiveness", "Intimacy", and "Money Matters."

Watch their interview on Good Day Rochester here.