Urban Entrepreneurs Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Celebrating 10 years of economic empowerment through its MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) and Business Plan Competition, MillerCoors has awarded $1.4 million in business grants to emerging minority businesses since 1999, targeting urban entrepreneurs ages 21-35. On March 12, 2010, MillerCoors hosted a reception at its headquarters in Chicago honoring the winners of the 2009 MUES Business Plan Competition and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the program. The 10th Anniversary MUES grant winners (pictured): Karen DaCosta and Malcom Jackson, Bumblebee Energy Solutions; Rex Wills, Hi Tek POS; Justin Moore and Joshua Hernandez, Tap Me! Games; Di Yonna and Yohance Mitchell, Vision Tutoring; and Tonya Ojuluwayo, Splice Kitchen.#####

Miller Coors Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer N. Cornell Boggs III presents Rex Willis of Hi Tek POS, the top winner of the MUES Business Plan Competition, with a business grant of $100,000. Hi Tek POS is a Web-based point-of-sale software and service firm for the quick-service restaurant industry. The Raleigh, N.C. company’s primary product is Hi-Tek POS Studio, and on-demand information management service that interfaces directly with a client’s point-of-sale system to provide extensive store reporting and inventory control.  #####

Yohance and Di Yonna Mitchell won a $25,000 grant for their company, Vision Tutoring, based in Rex, Ga. Their business provides high-quality, one-on-one instruction to students in grades 1 through 12. Their services are free of charge to qualified students at eligible schools through a contract secured with the Georgia Department of Education. #####

Miller Coors Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer N. Cornell Boggs III presents Tonya Ojuluwayo of Splice Kitchen with a $25,000 grant. Splice Kitchen is one of the first shared-use/incubator kitchens in Chicago to open solely for food-service professionals and small business owners to start and grow their own catering or food-service business. Splice gives food-service operators access to licensed commercial kitchens without the overhead expenses associated with starting and operating a kitchen full time. #####

Miller Coors Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer N. Cornell Boggs III presents Justin Moore and Joshua Hernandez of Tap Me! Games with a $25,000 grant. Tap Me! Games is a game development company that provides a unique in-game advertising platform called iComplishments. This advertising solution allows sales generation and game logic to converge successfully, thereby creating a mutually beneficial solution for both advertisers and gamers. #####

Karen DaCosta and Malcolm Jackson make remarks after accepting a $25,000 grant for their company, Bumblebee Energy Solutions. The Grand Prairie, Texas company provides home energy efficiency assessments for homeowners and homebuilders. Demand for energy audits among homeowners is driven by the need to save money on energy bills. Home energy raters conduct thorough home energy audits and create comprehensive, customized reports that pinpoint what energy inefficiencies exists in a home and how they can be corrected. #####

MUES Business Plan Competition finalists compete for grants by presenting their business plans to a national panel of judges comprised of experts in law, finance, entrepreneurial education, banking and business media. Winners are determined based on the quality of the written business plan, the viability of the business and the clarity and quality of the oral presentation. MUES Business Plan Competition National Judges: Harris Bank Senior VP Leslie J. Anderson, BlackEnterprise.com Sr. VP/Editor-in-Chief Alfred Edmond Jr. (with guest Zara Green) and U.S. Small Business Administration Public Information Officer Mark Ferguson. #####

Milwaukee Urban League CEO Ralph Hollmon, Urban League of Greater Dallas Director of Marketing and Development Deborah Cohen, and Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Special Projects Manager Monica Orta. MUES offers entrepreneurial education in the form of seminars (now webinars) in partnership with organizations including the Atlanta Business League, Chicago Urban League, Detroit Urban League, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Recycling Black Dollars of Los Angeles, Milwaukee Urban League, University of Wisconsin Lubar School of Business–Milwaukee, Urban League of Greater Dallas and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 7,000 entrepreneurs have engaged in MUES seminars and webinars since the program was launched in 1999. #####

MUES Business Plan Competition National Judge and BlackEnterprise.com Editor-in-Chief Alfred Edmond Jr. delivers the keynote address at the MUES 10th Anniversary Winners Reception. Black Enterprise has been a media partner of the MUES program since its inception. #####

Flowers Communications Group CEO Michelle Flowers-Welch (center) shares a laugh with Edmond and Chicago Urban League Senior Business Consultant E. Dali Pollard. #####

MillerCoors President and Chief Commercial Officer Tom Long checks out the goods and services being offered by the 2009 MUES Business Plan Competition grant winners. #####

MillerCoors Procurement and Supplier Diversity Director Eva J. Milko (center) shares insights with MillerCoors Multicultural Relations Manager Joanne Tabellija-Murphy and Rex Willis of Hi Tek POS. #####

Edmond greets fellow MUES Business Plan Competition National Judge and Attorney Assata Peterson. #####

MUES Business Plan Competition National Judge and Southern University Business School Dean Dr. Igwe Udeh listens intently to a question from a reception guest. #####

MUES Business Plan Competition National Judge and Hispanic Business Chief Economist and New Media Director Juan Solana and MillerCoors External Communications Manager Karina Diehl. #####

Atlanta Business League CEO Leona Barr-Davenport (center) with Di Yonna and Yohance Mitchell of Vision Tutoring.