NMSDC Announces 2022 Emerging Young Entrepreneurs


August 26, 2022

Contact NMSDC:
Jered Weber

Communications and Engagement Manager

NEW YORK — NMSDC is excited to announce the seventh consecutive cohort of Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE). EYE is a year-long program uniquely designed to provide the next generation of minority entrepreneurs (ages 19 to 35) with the support needed to enhance their growing businesses.

This year’s EYE participants include:

  • Susmitha Ruddarraju, co-founder and vice president of HighCloud Solutions, Inc.
  • Asha Owens, CEO and co-founder of BestFit, Inc.
  • Danie Spikes, CEO of BeLoved, Inc.
  • Domonique Townsend, CEO and founder of We Optimize Work
  • Juan Osorio, CEO of Alpha Co. Marketing & Media
  • Allison Borel, CEO of Elated Counseling Services
  • Trey Ellington, CEO of Gazelle Logistics Group
  • Odie Gray, founder of Dominus Gray
  • William Hill, CEO of Uncharted Territory Solutions 
  • Bridget Speller, CEO and founder of Loc’d by Nature
  • Sarah Marshall, CEO of Infinite Hair Growth Products
  • Dr. Erica Roberts, owner and lead consultant of Purposed Life, LLC
  • Daleele Alison, managing partner of RooksDM
  • Breanna Shorten, CEO and creative director of LUMI Marketing and Creative 
  • Shadana Chaney, CEO of Miranda Chaney Petite Wear

This year’s cohort kicked off on August 15 with the first part of a two-part virtual orientation, Boots on the Ground, led by Jayne Agency CEO and founder, Brooke Foley. 

EYE is celebrating NMSDC’s 50th Anniversary with expanded content including:

  • EYE Success Circles: 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. This is conducted in partnership with Jill Johnson, CEO and co-founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
  • EYE Innovation Learning Lab: Six months of learning modules facilitated by a diverse team of 28 faculty members including professors, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, advisors, government facilitators, authors, and investors.
  • EYE Lens: An effort to give youth entrepreneurs a bird’s-eye view of the world of entrepreneurship through company growth, mentorship, and certification assistance.This year’s EYE Lens participants include:
    • Caden Harris, CEO and founder of Caden Teaches
    • Olivia Dixon, CEO and founder of OV’S TAMU
    • Brandon Martinez, co-founder of Are You Kidding Socks
    • Sebastian Martinez, co-founder of Are You Kidding Socks
    • Jahkil Jackson, CEO and founder of Project I Am 
  • EYE Battle Buddies: An accountability partnership with 2021 EYE participants that provides networking opportunities to help members of each cohort succeed and reach their professional goals. 

“I am very excited for this year’s cohort and the expansion of the EYE program. I believe this new content is an excellent first step towards NMSDC’s next 50 years of support for emerging business leaders,” said Jade Melvin, NMSDC associate director of Strategic Alliances and Programs. 

In addition to the resources and training listed above, this year’s cohort will have three days of focused and dedicated programming at NMSDC’s 50th Anniversary Annual Conference & Exchange, taking place in New Orleans Oct. 30 – Nov. 2  further exemplifying NMSDC’s dedication to challenging the status quo as it looks to end the racial wealth gap once and for all. 

For additional information about NMSDC’s EYE program please contact Jade Melvin at 203-218-7329 or jade.melvin@nmsdc.org.

Founded in 1972, NMSDC is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond the supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities.

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