KeyBank Business Boost & Build Buffalo Pitch Competition
Pictured (L to R) Buford Sears – KeyBank Buffalo Region Market President, Tamika Otis – KeyBank Business Boost & Build New York Program Manager, Laythanette Shine – Owner and Operator, USA Occupational Services.
USA Occupational Services, a woman owned and operated drug and alcohol testing service located at 327 Niagara Street in Buffalo, won $5,000 at the KeyBank Business Boost & Build Buffalo Pitch competition, held at the Foundry Suites on Wednesday November 28th.
Owner and Operator Laythanette Shine said her goal is to help employers solve the problem of drugs in the workplace. Her pitch included statistics about the dangerous effect drugs and alcohol can have in the workplace.
“I feel honored, it was like a lifeline to me, winning (this competition) was taking the next breath,” said Shine, who plans to use the money to purchase more equipment, expand marketing and branding efforts and build her staff with the goal of doing 25 tests a day. “I believe in what I do, and I believe in business and safety.”
“We congratulate Laythanette Shine of USA Occupational Service on her great win at the KeyBank Business Boost & Build Buffalo Pitch Competition. Her winning presentation was one of many highlights of a great night that reflected the enthusiasm and growth that’s fueling Buffalo’s renaissance,” said Buford Sears, KeyBank Buffalo Region Market President. “Everyone in attendance walked away winners thanks to the collaborative spirit and networking that took place at this fun event.”
than 50 applications from individuals and businesses that wanted to take part in the event. 10 finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of local judges Other winners include:
•2nd Place – $2,000 Kubed Root – Elias Martinez: A micro-green urban farm with the goal of creating an indoor urban farm facility in Buffalo. •3rd Place – $1,000 Prime Care Transportation Inc. – Christine Uwimbabazi: Provides non-emergency medical transportation to all, including low income and immigrant families in Buffalo.
All other finalists received $500 Persimmon Development
Derek Neuland: Provides design photography and web tools to help businesses grow.
Glory Market LLC – Gloria Ofori: A retail market in the Elmwood Village offering a rich selection of African food products, recipes, cosmetics, artifacts, clothing and jewelry.
Organic Gentlemen – Michael James Moise: An image consulting for men and women with a strong focus in education, helping high school students transition to adulthood.
Divinity Holistics and Beauty – Nina Hardy: Offers a variety of holistic based beauty treatment.
Whimsy Confections – Michele Odgen: Makes hand painted artisan bonbons and other confections.
Abeille Glassworks – Bridget Taylor: Makes stained glass jewelry boxes and custom stained window panels.
Do Better Together Mentoring Group – Jermainel Harris: A group dedicated to promoting pro-social friendships, interpersonal skills and a sense of hope to young people.
The KeyBank Business Boost & Build Buffalo Pitch Competition was generously supported by The Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.