Category: Micro Business Incubator Class

February 17, 2015 MBI Class

20150217_110352The MBI class is proud to present guest speaker, Dean Andrews, Bank of America’s Marketing Development Manager.  Dean provided timely information on the services of Bank of America and community development financial institutions that are available to entrepreneurs in Connecticut.  Upper Albany Main Street would like to thank Dean Andrews on his time and effort to further the Micro Business Incubator (MBI) class.

February 10, 2015 MBI Class

20150210_111937Sam Hamilton, Executive Director of HEDCO shared with the MBI students a wealth of information about the range of services they offer to help Connecticut small businesses and nonprofit organizations succeed.  He further explained that HEDCO provided small business clientele with access to capital needs that would be otherwise unmet or underserved.  He encouraged future entrepreneurs to transform an idea, a dream or a passion into a thriving business.  We want to thank Sam Hamilton for taking time out of his day to present to today’s MBI class.

February 3, 2015 MBI Class

20150203_112021The MBI class kicked off with Lucie Daley, Account Manager from Complete Payroll Solutions (CPS).  She informed the class that CPS offers a complete range of business solutions that effectively integrate payroll, employee benefits, and human resource management.  She also explained that CPS handles any size business solutions to help with every aspect of managing a business and employees on a daily basis.  Many students asked questions about how payroll services can assist the business owners on Albany Avenue.

Evay Cosmetics Manufacturer, Milbar Laboratories Presents To MBI Class

Upper Albany Main Street welcomes Milbar Laboratories to the Handel Preforming Arts Center as part of their Micro Business Incubator class.  Milbar Laboratories, the sole private manufacturer of Evay Skin Care products, spoke with the class on April 17, 2014 where the students were able to gain knowledge on the internal processed of having your own brand.  Gus Bezas, President of Milbar’s Global Strategic Development Division, touched on important areas such as FDA product testing, packaging the product, testing the formula, and risk management within your own brand.

From left to right: Professor Jeffrey Cohen (Professor, University of Hartford), Dennis Desrochers (Vice President of Global Strategic Development, Milbar Laboratories), Marilyn Risi (Executive Director, Upper Albany Main Street), Vivian Akuoko (Founder & CEO of Evay Cosmetics), Gus Bezas (President of Global Strategic Development, Milbar Laboratories).

Milbar Laboratories embraces innovation with an entrepreneurial spirit that continues to drive their imaginative process; the result being an advanced science in skin care formulations that they continue to produce for companies ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar global companies.  Milbar produces products for Gap & Ulta.

The entire Upper Albany Main Street team and all of the MBI students from the University of Hartford would like to sincerely thank Milbar Laboratories as well as Vivian Akuoko, owner of Evay Cosmetics for devoting time to the success of the Micro Business Incubator program.

Shawn Wooden Speaks At Handel Performing Arts Center

Professor Jeffrey Cohen from the University of Hartford with Hartford City Council President, Shawn Wooden.

On Tuesday, April 1, the Upper Albany Main Street Micro Business Incubator(MBI) program, together with Upper Albany Main Street Director Marilyn Risi and Associate Professor of Economics, Jeffrey Cohen, welcomed Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden to their class at the Handel Performing Arts Center.

Wooden was born and raised in North Hartford, where he ran for City Council because he believes that, as a united city, we can turn problems into solutions and challenges into opportunities.  With the help of a scholarship, he was able to attend Trinity College. After working in city and state government, he continued his education, receiving a law degree from New York University School of Law.  Wooden has worked with non-profits, labor unions, business leaders, and community activists. The Connecticut Law Tribune has presented Wooden with its “Community Contributions Award.” Additionally, he was named one of “Twenty-Five Investment Professionals to Watch” by Pensions and Investments magazine and one of Hartford County’s “Forty Under 40” business leaders by the Hartford Business Journal. He was also presented with the “Alumni Medal of Excellence” by Trinity College and named one of the state’s 100 most influential blacks by the Connecticut NAACP.

As City Council President, Wooden is dedicated to working with the mayor, his colleagues on the Council, and community members throughout the city to unite Hartford behind our shared vision of opportunity and prosperity for all.

While speaking at the Handel Performing Arts Center, Wooden encouraged the students to continue supporting small business owners in the Hartford area with their knowledge and their expertise. Everyone was enthusiastic and many follow-up questions were asked by the students, who were able to grasp a better understanding of the current city development in the Hartford region.

Micro Business Incubator- 9th Class (4/3/14)

Fitchman1In today”s class, Upper Albany Main Street presented Dr. Richard Fichman, of the Fichman Eyecare Center.  Dr. Fichman engaged the students with his experience and enthusiasm for the M.B.I program and the community of Albany  Avenue. His passion  for the community was evident as he gave an overview of his humble beginning during his early years as a resident in the Upper Albany With you, one can rest assured that one never goes short of anything! Since horoscope virgo is thrifty and meticulous, and Taurus is greedy and productive, there is no doubt that the members of your entourage and your guests are perfectly well attended to. neighborhood.  Dr. Fichman also shared his 5 P”s for success – Poise, Purpose, Passion, Pride and Persistence. He further advised the students not to settle for anything about which they are not passionate, and they should begin considering their strengths, weaknesses and financial requirements as an integral part of their future success. The students welcomed his advice and thanked Dr. Fichman for an informative presentation.


Micro Business Incubator – 8th Class ( 04/01/14)




Today’s guest speaker was Shawn Wooden, President of the Hartford City Council.

Shawn informed the Barney School of Business’ students of his organization’s shared vision for opportunity and prosperity in the Hartford region. He also encouraged the students to continue supporting the small business owners with their knowledge and their expertise. Everyone was enthusiastic and many follow up questions were asked.

Thank you  Shawn Wooden, for a very informative presentation!

Micro Business Incubator – 7th Class – 3/25/14




Today’s guest speaker was Paulette Trowers-Lawrence CEO and founder of CHEETAH™ who is also a self-published author and songwriter. She gave the class an overview of her company and discussed the various educational tools available to teach the value of education to children.

Paulette also encouraged the students to follow their dreams, and she further explained the successful design and market strategies that she utilize in designing and marketing her products.

Paulette Trowers-Lawrence is a true example of a dream chaser and we thank her for a very engaging and inspiring presentation.

MBI Class – 6th Class (3/11/14)



Today the MBI class presented Constantine (Dean) Andrews, Marketing Manager at the Bank of America and an expert on credit and marketing. He did a great job delivering knowledgeable information on the banking world and Bank of America’s involvement. He explained the conditions that individuals and businesses experience when they seek the opportunity to process credit cards or loans, and he encouraged the students to ensure that their FICO score remains in good standing, because this is what the Bank of America and other lenders use to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers.

MBI – 5th Class (2/25/14)

From left to right: Jeffrey P. Cohen Ph.D., Nadine Francis West.

 Today’s  Micro Business Incubator Class presented Nadine Francis West, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, of the Metro Hartford Alliance.  She spoke about the strategic plans of the Hartford Region that include: fostering a climate for job creation and infrastructure investment, and promoting the stability and expansion of specific industry sectors with a link to support small business growth.

Nadine encouraged the class to get involved in Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) which is an initiative of Metro Hartford Alliance, where young people have the opportunity to interact with other talents to support entrepreneurial ventures.

MBI – 4th Class ( 2/18/14)

Mrs Vivian Akuoko of Evay Cosmetics, LLC was today’s presenter. A local business on  Albany Avenue, Evay has gone global, with a new cosmetics line for men and women. She explained to the students that the idea behind Evay was not only to beautify women, but to help build the average woman’s confidence.

Mrs. Akuoko credits her success to the help of the University of Hartford Micro Incubator (MBI) program, and her dedication and commitment to the business. She encouraged the students never to give up, but to bypass any negativity that would hinder their growth. At the end of her presentation each student received a sample from one of her most successful products, the hand and body lotion.

Micro-Business Incubator – 3rd class (2/11/2014)

On February 11, 2014, our guest speaker was Mr. Sam Hamilton, Executive Director of HEDCO, Inc.  Mr. Hamilton explained to the class that HEDCO provides small business clientele with access to capital needs that would otherwise be unmet or under-served. He further explained that the hope is that small business operators will realize their dream businesses, create financial freedom and contribute to their communities through job creations and needed services.

Mr. Hamilton further informed the students that his company offer small businesses and non- profit organizations flexible and affordable loan options tailored to fit their needs (i.e. loans in  amounts up to $400,000,  at 4% – 6% rates of interest,  on terms from 1 – 10 years).  He emphasized that HEDCO has been in operation since 1975 and has helped clients and their communities improve, achieve and succeed  by supporting their growth and progress. Based on the information presented, students were given examples of three businesses that have sustained growth through the assistance of HEDCO and are still viable to date, these are: QP cleaners, Change, Inc., and Main Stream Work Boat Services. For more information on these businesses please read the HEDCO 2013 Annual report.

The students were also encouraged to start thinking like entrepreneurs, work hard to get their degrees, and focus on providing their communities with goods and services that are in sync with the community.  Mr. Hamilton ended by advising that HEDCO will continue to build productive partnerships, create programs that will meet the changing needs of entrepreneurs and increase the funds available to help build and improve business and non- profit organizations.