Fifteen Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Selected for Inaugural MORTAR at Bounce Cohort

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Akron, OHIO (March 31, 2020) — Bounce Innovation Hub announced today the list of small businesses that have been selected for the inaugural MORTAR at Bounce cohort. MORTAR at Bounce is an accelerator and business development program for existing and emerging entrepreneurs in a non-technology field, with a focus on minorities and women.

The program is funded and presented in partnership with GAR FoundationBurton D. Morgan Foundation; the City of Akron and Rubber City Match; and the Greater Akron Chamber.

Participants will enroll in a 15-week program to learn the fundamental elements of business ownership and build a comprehensive business canvas.

 “While Bounce is currently closed to the public, its mission to serve small businesses and entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio is stronger and more vital, than ever,” said Doug Weintraub, CEO of Bounce Innovation Hub. “On behalf of our partners, we are incredibly proud of this first round of companies and excited to see where they go from here.” 

A primary goal of the MORTAR program, founded in Cincinnati in 2014, is to launch businesses that contribute to local economic development and establish a path to generational sustainability and wealth. It has been credited by Essence Magazine with helping Cincinnati become the fastest-growing economic power in the Midwest for minority small business owners.

MORTAR at Bounce engages small businesses that can help boost the economy in underserved and redeveloping communities—giving entrepreneurs, like Jennifer Tidwell, owner of Jenuine Cuisines, the opportunity to use their talents to positively participate in the rise of Northeast Ohio.

“I am truly honored to be accepted into MORTAR at Bounce. The opportunity to elevate my business to the next level is very exciting and something I have dreamed about as a business owner,” said Tidwell.  “This program is going give me the chance to share not only my passion but my gift to the world.”

MORTAR at Bounce is offered twice a year. The inaugural cohort was set to begin April 7, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and State of Ohio stay-at-home orders. Bounce is actively exploring future start dates and online options.

The MORTAR at Bounce Inaugural Cohort includes:

1474 Art Inc.; Sekoya Kendrick – 1474 Art plans to help artists take their vision to the next level by helping them customize goals and prepare a marketing strategy. 1474 Art also facilitates the sales of the art by working with museums, galleries, corporations and collectors.

All Better Care; Janelle Scott – All Better Care plans to be a daycare that cares for children with minor illnesses while parents are at work. The service will help prevent parents from calling off from their jobs, which can cause financial difficulties.

Compassionate Catering Kandy; Aleasha Wilson – Compassionate Catering Kandy is a catering company that makes candy and caramel apples, cotton candy, chocolate-covered bacon, fruit, brittle, truffles, popcorn, nuts, etc. and sells them via private party, festivals, and craft shows.

Cookie’s Chicago-Style BBQ; Nina Evans – Cookie’s Catering and BBQ plans to expand their operations to a mobile restaurant that provides grilled (BBQ) foods along with other Chicago-style signature dishes and American foods.

Eat Speak Love; Tiffany Roper – Eat Speak Love plans to offer the ultimate Akron date night experience. It curates events where people have the opportunity to take advantage of all Akron has to offer in food, drink, art, music, comedy and more.

Embracing Ur Journey LLC; Angela Higgins – Embracing Ur Journey is a dance, drum and wellness space. Participants can learn traditional west African dancing, drumming and drum making, while learning to focus on breathing, which helps maintain clear thinking and provides a healthy environment to grow.

Fat T’s Cookies; Travis Howe – Fat T’s provides a unique line of cookie-centric baked goods, including their signature quarter-pound cookies.

Hair Geek; Sapreea English – Hair Geek is a hair salon and barber shop, with plans to open a barber and beauty school.

Honesty Healthcare; Tiffany Adjei – Honesty Healthcare provides homecare services and trust to families, serving those 55 and older. Additional services are offered, including a “care cam” for abuse prevention and accountability for clients and their families.

I Was Here; Carlotta Pace – I Was Here plans to help individuals and families be the healthy change they need to break generational cycles and patterns. This is accomplished with a variety of platforms that remove barriers to maintaining healthy lifestyles.

Jenuine Cuisines; Jennifer Tidwell – Jenuine Cuisines is a personal culinary service that offers individuals home cooking services, private parties, weekly meal planning and meal prep, and culinary ghost services.

Julia Belle’s Seasoning; Tonya Green – Julia Belles Seasonings makes 100 percent natural, hand-blended seasonings, dry rubs and mixes.

Sinclair Creative; Telayne Keith – Sinclair Creative is a private event planning, corporate/public exhibition planning, and production assisting service.

Sip. Savor. Soul; Dannika Stevenson – Sip. Savor. Soul provides catering services, private cooking, and food styling, as well as a cooking education program called “Connecting the Community with Cooking.” The classes focus on educating kids and adults about how to eat healthy in neighborhoods where food is not easily accessible.

Sweetly Created 4 U; Brandy Coffey – Sweetly Created 4 U creates handmade scented soy dessert candles, melts, sprays and more.

For more information on MORTAR at Bounce, please visit bouncehub.org/mortar

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Media contact: Jeanine Black, CMO, 330-701-5360, jblack@bouncehub.org

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