University at Buffalo School of Management

Buffalo Business - Spring 2020

The magazine for alumni and friends of the UB School of Management

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Page 17 of 31

A hip-hop artist, a former professional golfer and a middle schooler walk into a business incubator… It's no joke—it's the Ignite Buffalo Small Business Summer School. And it brought together Western New York business owners to build their companies and plan for the future. On eight mornings over the summer, more than 60 entrepreneurs gathered at the Innovation Center in the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There, they learned to create business plans, execute on opportunities and master their pitch—all while networking with like-minded business owners. Among them were Chamus Hawk, hip-hop artist turned founder and CEO of Team Radio; Cindy Miller, former LPGA tour professional golfer turned founder and CEO of Cindy Miller Inc.; and Shelden Gibbs, eighth grader and founder and CEO of Classic Knot. Classically knotted Shelden Gibbs loves bow ties. He loves them so much that when he went shopping, he got frustrated at the limited selection and started cutting up shirts to make his own. When he wore these self-made ties out of the house, he would get so many compliments that he knew he was on to something. So, three years ago—at just 10 years old—Gibbs founded Classic Knot, his company that sells hand- craed bow ties, neck ties and other accessories for men, women and kids. "A bow tie is like a piece of art," he says. "It adds character." Now 13, Gibbs is a student at Sweet Home Middle School by day. At night, he's fulfilling orders, working on his website and building his brand on social media. Western New York entrepreneurs get a boost at summer school 16 Buffalo Business Spring 2020 SCHOOL'S IN FOR SUMMER BY KEVIN MANNE

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