Skip to content

WNY Small Businesses: Register Now for Ignite Buffalo's Free, Eight-Week Small Business Summer School

Media Release

Classes begin July 9 for programming that will help Western New York small business owners develop business plans and learn how to pitch to funding sources

Courses will be taught by representatives of 43North,  UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and other local partners

BUFFALO, NY – June 20, 2019 – Ready to take your small business to the next level? Ignite Buffalo’s Small Business Summer School program is here to help. From defining your target audience to establishing your team structure, managing your finances, and mastering your pitch, you will learn strategies and tactics from industry experts to help formalize your business plan and grow your business.

This free, eight-week program is presented by Ignite Buffalo, the University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Classes will be taught by 43North staff; representatives from UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, including Tom Ulbrich, Assistant Dean of UB’s Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiatives; and other local partners. Each session will run from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at dig at the Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott Street in Buffalo.

The class schedule is as follows:

July 9 – Introduction to the Process of Planning

  • Determine the type of plan that is right for your business

  • Identifying target audiences

  • Defining your specific business opportunity

July 16 – Clearly Defining Your Business Opportunity

  • What is the problem that your business is solving?

  • Connecting with your target market

  • Understanding the competitive landscape

July 23 – A Great Opportunity Without an Execution Plan is Still Just an Opportunity, Not a Business

  • Marketing and sales

  • Operations

  • Milestones and metrics

  • Ownership and structure

  • Staffing needs and team formation

July 30 – Financial Planning: Understanding What You Need to Know and How to Communicate the Information

  • Forecasting

  • Financing

  • Pro forma statements

  • Funding sources

August 6 – Pulling it All Together: Hands-On Financials Workshop

  • Revisiting the executive summary

  • Introduction to preparing a pitch deck

  • Understanding financial statements

August 13 – You Have a Written Plan, Now What? Telling Your Business Story

  • Pitch deck creation and pitch workshop

  • Investor/funder etiquette

August 20 – Pitch Preparation

  • Pitch workshop

The program will conclude with a graduation and celebration on Thursday, August 29 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at dig.

Small Business Summer School is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration for each individual session is required at While it is strongly recommended that participants attend all class sessions, it is not required. Attendees are asked to bring a laptop computer to each session.

“The more that small businesses succeed in Buffalo, the more our community succeeds. These companies are creating jobs, generating wealth, and strengthening the fabric of our neighborhoods,” said 43North Vice President of Programming & Community Strategy Colleen E. Heidinger. “43North is proud to support Western New York entrepreneurs of all types through our Ignite Buffalo initiative and we’re excited to collaborate with the University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and other local partners to present Small Business Summer School. If you’re a local small business owner, we hope to see you this summer!”

“Whether you’ve owned your small business for years or are just beginning your entrepreneurial journey, Ignite Buffalo’s Small Business Summer School is an opportunity to ensure you have the best possible plan to grow your business,” said Tom Ulbrich, Assistant Dean of the University at Buffalo’s Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiatives. “The team at UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership looks forward to helping to teach this free, eight-week course, which will cover everything from identifying target markets to finding the right staff for your company.”

“The Innovation Center is a space where people come to share ideas, build business models, meet like-minded individuals, seek advice, work on new projects, and collaborate. That’s why we are very pleased to partner with Ignite Buffalo and UB CEL on Small Business Summer School, which will help Western New York entrepreneurs elevate their businesses and better plan for any challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Sean Heidinger, Business Development Manager of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

About Ignite Buffalo

Ignite Buffalo is a small business grant and mentorship program that was established by 43North, Facebook, M&T Bank, and other partners to promote sustainable growth, job creation, and ongoing education in Buffalo, NY. The program provides access to industry experts through free programming and resources, and $1 million in grants that were awarded to 27 small businesses to spur economic growth in the region. To learn more about Ignite Buffalo, visit

Tags: Ignite Buffalo, Press Release

More blog posts

Charging Ahead: Jane Chen’s Electrical Revolution with StepWise

In this episode of the Latitude podcast by 43North, Justine Palkowski, Senior Marketing Manager, hosts the co-founders of Stepwise, a Y9 cohort company that recently relocated to Buffalo. Stepwise aims to revolutionize electrification, making it affordable and accessible for homeowners. Meet the Team: Jane Chen, Co-founder and CEO, brings a business background and a passion

Phenomenal Ventures Managing Partner, Helen Min on the 43North Latitude Podcast Graphic
Leaning into Your Strengths for Entrepreneurial Success

Discover the keys to entrepreneurial success as Helen Min, Managing Partner at Phenomenal Ventures, shares insights on playing to your strengths in the startup world. Helen, a Buffalo native with a background in major tech companies and advertising, discusses the evolving role of AI, the power of complementary strengths in founding teams, and the crucial

How Tech Can Save You Money with StoreCash

In our latest Latitude with 43North episode, we sat down with Daricus Releford, Co-founder and CEO of StoreCash, a dynamic app that’s reshaping how you save at your favorite stores. Daricus, part of our year nine cohort, shares the ins and outs of StoreCash, its unique features, and his journey as a black founder in