Educating Small Businesses

Mar 15 2010

On Friday, March 12, 2010 the Education Committee, a subcommittee of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce hosted its first event called, “Access to Capital” at The Levin Institute. Amy Bravo and John Hyde of NYIT’s Office of Career Services serve on the Education Committee whose purpose is to, “create and promote opportunities for Chamber members to develop a well-educated, globally minded, highly skilled workforce, and to equip our members with the necessary skills to succeed through the collaborative efforts of the Chamber, the business community and the many educational institutions that are located in Manhattan.”


Over 100 owners of small to mid-sized businesses attended this event to hear from two panels.  The first panel was organized to provide information from the lender’s perspective.  The panelists were David Glass, Funding Specialist from Yellowstone Capital; Michael A. Madonia, Assistant Vice President from M & T Bank and Wanda Santiago, VP of Lending, from ACCION USA.  Panelists described the types of funding their institutions provide to businesses and what is necessary to qualify for funding.  Among the most valuable information they provided was the most common misconceptions that people have about the various types of lenders.  Audience participants were provided the opportunity to ask questions about their specific business needs which they found most helpful.


The second panel covered public financing options & case studies from successful entrepreneurs.  Panelists included Pravina Raghavan, District Director for New York from the SBA; Karen-Michelle Mirko, Director of NYC Business Solutions; Amy DeGiulio, Owner of the Sugar Flower Shop, and Mary Repke, Chief Bag Lady of Coakley Business Class.  Karen-Michelle and Pravina discussed basic financing terms, ongoing support that exists for small businesses and they explained the varying length of time to secure financing.  Amy DeGuiulio brought examples of her exquisite sugar flowers and samples of cake for all the guests to taste after she shared her personal entrepreneurial journey.  Mary Repke chronicled her experience of coming up with an idea for an effective travel bag and how she took it from concept to reality, and all the highs and lows she experienced in the process. The event was a huge success.


NYIT signed on as members of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce in 2009.  The College has hosted Chamber events since joining, including a speed networking event last semester which brought local small business owners to our campus to see our 11th floor auditorium and to learn more about our new space on Broadway.  Since joining the Education Committee, Amy Bravo and John Hyde have met professionals from businesses out in the local community as well as colleagues in the field of higher education.  These contacts have yielded internships for our students in communication arts, marketing, information technology, computer science, interdisciplinary studies and management.  As the Education Committee continues to expand, our hope is to share with local businesses all the opportunities NYIT has to offer them from our classes and degree programs, to our talented student and alumni pools from which they could select internship and full-time hires. For more information about joining the Education Committee, contact Ronald Paltrowitz, Committee Chair at

Author: amy_bravo