EYE – Boots on The Ground


EYE - Boots on the Ground

May 1, 2021
Contact: Tammy Wilkins, Chief of Staff
Tammy.Wilkins@nmsdc.org | 212.944.2430

On April 12, 2021, The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) announced the successful launch of their eighth consecutive Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) cohort program.

The virtual orientation, kicking-off with a four-part series “Boots on the Ground,” launched April 15, in partnership with BPT Partners and The Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The series co-hosts were 2020 pitch competition winners: ShaKeia Kegler (Govlia), Akil Alvin (Digital Detroit Media), and Leyanis Diaz (Major).

In keeping with the theme, “Boots on The Ground,” each session will be facilitated by subject matter experts and the previous EYE program 2020 pitch competition winners who have been “In the business Trenches,” have received their “Marching Orders,” and have partnered with their “Battle Buddies” to secure effective business strategies through multiple phases designed for enrichment and growth.

Jade Melvin, Program Manager of NMSDC, and the content creator for the newly rebranded EYE program is excited to announce new programming which includes: EYE Success Circles, EYE Innovation Learning Lab, and EYE Battle Buddies.

The EYE Success Circle is a capacity-building methodology that centers the entrepreneur among a group of experts focused on using their collective talents and connections to help each entrepreneur succeed. Melvin enthusiastically stated, “We are partnering with the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership, to implement this component.” EYE Success Circles, which will launch in June, engages NMSDC EYE Program corporate members as volunteers to provide direct capacity-building support to cohort businesses.

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership CEO Jill Johnson stated, “We are very excited to extend the impact of our Success Circles methodology to the businesses participating in the EYE program. NMSDC is a wonderful organization with strong corporate relationships. This model leverages the power of those relationships to create capacity-building and growth opportunities for the participating EYE businesses. Our work together has the potential to be transformative and can serve as a model for increasing supplier diversity impact.

The EYE Innovation Lab (also known as the CORE of the EYE) will consist of six months of learning modules facilitated by a diverse team of 28 faculty members including professors, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, advisors, government of facilitators, authors, and investors. The Learning Lab will provide curricula and hands-on training along with practical application to support EYE cohort participants build skills, develop strategies, and identify tools to help them grow their innovative businesses. Kathy Porter, MSE, MBA, and CEO of Porter Brown associates states “ I am excited to be part of this esteemed team and contribute to the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Rounding out the program will be EYE Battle Buddies, which is an accountability partnership between EYE cohort 2021 members to provide networking opportunities they can create together, provide each other feedback, offer a fresh perspective, and provide guidance and inspiration to help each other succeed and reach their professional goals.

After “Being in the Trenches,” EYE 2021 cohort participants will qualify for NMSDC certification, a distinguished designation allowing them access to capital, and qualifying them for the National Minority Supplier Development Council National Conference and Business Exchange “Final Pitch Competition” October 2021.  The pitch competition, one of the hallmarks of the EYE program, has proven to open doors for winning candidates.

We invite you to explore and learn more about the 2021 cohort by joining us virtually, May 10 -May 14, for the upcoming 2021 NMSDC Leadership Week themed “Activate Your Grit: Growth, Resilience, Innovation, and Transformation.” NMSDC’s focus on continuing to deliver quality programming in 2021 encourages us to learn from the past, take stock of current realities, and embark upon what is yet to come.

This year’s NMSDC EYE Cohort participants are: Amit Shah, Incipient Corporation, Andrew Rivas, TDI Signs, Anisa Fortt & Khari Fortt, KAO Distributions LLC, Ashley Williams, RIZZARR , Dr. Brandale Mills Cox, PhD., Inclusive Market Research Group, Brandon Cooper, WaterTree USA LLC, Brandon Young, Young Management & Consulting, Carlos Beato, Beato Consulting Engineers, LLC, Chrissa McFarlane, Patientory Inc, DaKari Augustus, Majestic Business Development Group, DuJuan Fisher, First Class Consulting Firm, Elizabeth Mendez, ALAS Media, Eric Freeman, Mindset Meals, Ethan Ramsammy, ACESA Cleaning Services LLC, Evodie Epane, Paleo Tiger LLC, Jackie Tsang, AMBITRONIC, Jacob Perez, Avisight LLC, Jason Ross, J.D. J & R Ross Agency LLC, Brandale Mills Cox, Inclusive Market Research Group, Julia Lumpkin Magnify Consulting, Kambri Williams CD Enterprise Products Co, Lacie Pierre, Resulz Biz, Marcus A. Williams, MW Consulting LLC, Marie Saint-Cyr, Saint-Cyr Art Studio Inc, Patrick Prince Waves Caribbean, Phillip Akhzar Arka, Nichelle Roane Todd Sheridan Tree House Juicery, Sahil Shah MES Inc, Sonia Sukumar, TAJ Technologies, Tia Nayar, Wildflower Insight, Vincent Coe, VBC LP, Vincent Peak, Share Farm, Wasif Wassem, SurgiMac LLC, Dr. Willie Robinson, OntrackRx, Michael (Xiaoyu) Zhang, Environeer Engineering Consulting LLC, Yalon Hutchinson, Lavish Curls Beauty LLC, Yuslendy Suriel, Madison Lashes.

Look forward to upcoming EYE programming details for the May Leadership Week Series which will conclude with a live “Rethinking Your Business Strategy” session May 12, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST, with special participating guest judges.

To learn more about the EYE Program contact Jade Melvin, Program Manager, at 203-218-7329 or jade.melvin@nmsdc.org.


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