Pitch Your Pivot

Thursday, June 24

6 - 8 pm

WEDI, along with its partners at KeyBank Build & Boost, Canisius Women's Business Center, and Upstate New York Black Chamber of Commerce is hosting Pitch Your Pivot, a live, virtual pitch competition on Thursday, June 24.


Five minority or woman small business owner finalists will deliver a pitch that conveys how they pivoted to overcome the economic challenges of the pandemic and kept their businesses relevant, viable, and thriving over the last year.


The public is encouraged to register for free to hear their inspiring success stories. 

The Finalists:

81Eighteen: 81Eighteen aims to teach female entrepreneurs how to make money with email marketing. 


Kenyana David, MBA, is the founder of 81Eighteen, LLC, a boutique marketing firm specializing in email marketing, and creator at the Fe-Mail Marketing for Entrepreneurs (FEMME) Academy, an online teaching female coaches, consultants, and advisors how to create profitable email campaigns.  She is certified in women’s entrepreneurship, email marketing, inbound, content marketing, inbound sales, inbound marketing, and frictionless sales.  


Kenyana is an adjunct professor teaching in the Business, Management & Leadership and the Interdisciplinary Studies departments at Medaille College and a doctoral student in the School of Advanced Studies at the University of Phoenix, working to earn a Doctor of Business Administration.  Kenyana is the author of It’s All About Strategy: A Workable Approach to Digital Content & Marketing


Golden Cup Coffee Company: Founded in 2008 by Larry and Jackie Sitts, Golden Cup Coffee is a roaster and distributor of high-quality coffee & teas. We provide freshly roasted coffee & high-quality beverages to consumers, restaurants, offices, and churches. Larry is one of the first African American professional coffee roasters in New York State and is a certified tea sommelier.

A graduate of the University of Missouri, Larry's career includes having served as the executive director of the William-Emslie Family YMCA,  is a former president of Western New York Jr. Football Federation, and former Game Day/ Youth Coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. He continues to serve as a member of the Erie County Joint MWBE Certification Committee and of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. 

JAM Parkside: JAM Parkside is about coffee and community. It is focused on fresh food and beverages, featuring a coffee menu crafted from locally roasted Tipico Coffee and pastries from Rogue Cellar. 

Amber Small is the president of Parkside Progress, Inc., d/b/a JAM Parkside which was founded through an intrastate community offering (similar to a co-op) with nearly 100 shareholders/investors and is structured as a benefit corporation to serve both its investors and the surrounding neighborhood. Along with her partners, Amber founded this business to fill a void in the Parkside Avenue business district, and to give back to the surrounding community.  


The Scholarship Queen: The Scholarship Queen offers high-level scholarship training and competitive coaching for high school juniors through college juniors using a dynamic and multifaceted scholarship curriculum. 


Amber Quinney, professionally known as America’s Scholarship Queen is an author, TEDx speaker, and coach who helps students across the U.S. win scholarships. She is the recipient of scholarship awards, paid internships, and prestigious fellowships. Her Scholarship Club helps applicants become competitive scholarship winners through monthly master classes, trainings, mentorship, encouragement, and accountability. The mission of the club is to help high school students maximize scholarships and minimize student-loan debt. 


Urban Fruits and Veggies: Urban Fruits and Veggies (UFV) focuses on food safety and providing a quality product grown with the best non-treated seeds, quality soil, and no pesticides. Partnered with local farmers who have the same focus on safety and quality. An urban agriculture business that focuses on serving underserved communities with fresh produce through a mobile produce market as well as teaching wellness and nutrition education. UFV  is eager to demonstrate how the pandemic has inspired them to grow their business and offer even more because there is a need now, more than ever.

Founder Allison DeHonney has 20 years of professional service in key areas of executive leadership, project management and business development.

UFV has been in operation for four years and is involved in several projects throughout the city of Buffalo: an urban farm, a mobile produce market that services food desert areas, a corporate wellness division offering local companies and universities wellness programs, and programming for elementary and high school students. ​

Allison holds a BA  in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Business Management from Medaille College. Currently a graduate candidate: Certified Plant Based Chef from the Rouxbe Cooking School.

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6:00 – 6:15pm | Welcome & Introductions

6:15 – 7:15pm | Pitch Presentations &

                                    Judge Q&A

7:15 – 7:30pm | Judges Deliberation

                                    Audience Q&A

7:30 – 7:35pm | Break

7:35 – 7:45pm | Winners Announced             

                                    Audience Choice Vote  

7:45 - 8:00pm |  Closing

The Prizes:

1st Place: $10,000

2nd Place: $5,000

3rd Place: $3,000

4th Place: $1,500

5th Place: $1,000

For inquiries, please contact Director of External Relations Erin Kelly.