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Volume 1                                                                                                                                                                    May-June, 2010
In This Issue
Carlos Sanchez IS Free Enterprise
Congratulations CBA Graduates
Plan and Pitch 2010
Welcome Roger!
Spotlight on: Stevie Clifton
Rising Tide Capital Co-founders honored
Alfa at the Ei Conference
Client Bulletin to be launched
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Get Involved
According to the Kauffman Foundation, there are over 550,000 new businesses launched every month in the US. Help us support more of these entrepreneurs to succeed by donating on our website, becoming a fan on Facebook or following us on Twitter.  
Sponsorship Opportunities
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Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is coming November 15 - 21!  Last year, over 30 partners came together with 19 events that showcased our entrepreneurial spirit. Both local and national press covered our celebration, highlighting our local entrepreneurial culture to millions. This year, we want to make GEW even better! If you are interested in sponsoring the Week - contact us to learn more about this excellent opportunity to market your business.   
The Evolution of WOW 
Ei AlfaWe just celebrated the 6th anniversary of Rising Tide Capital's founding! One word comes to mind - WOW. Starting and growing a non-profit is never easy - especially considering the challenges of the current economic climate. We could have never made it this far without your unwavering support, brilliant staff, an amazing and steady board of directors, and incredible volunteers who drop in exactly at the moment they are needed. Our over 300 and growing pool of graduate entrepreneurs are the driving force behind our mission - not only building their businesses and enduring in the face of incredible obstacles but also doing what they can to give back and solve crucial problems for the nation with their entrepreneurial ventures. Read the story below of Carlos Sanchez, who just won $50,000 in the I am Free Enterprise contest, to get a sense of the very real wow-factor we get to experience on a daily basis.  And on May 26, 2010, 47 more entrepreneurs successfully completed their training at our Community Business Academy joining the ranks of transformative entrepreneurs like Carlos. Congratulations graduates! So, yes - we have much to celebrate! 
As part of our recognition of this milestone year, we have launched a new organizational image, a new look, a new feel. Our first logo, designed by a committed volunteer, advisor and friend (Andrew Breitenberg) has seen us grow from an idea around a kitchen table to a nationally and internationally recognized brand. It helped us communicate the seriousness and professionalism with which we approached our work of grassroots economic revitalization. Thank you Andrew! But change is woven into the fabric of any successful organization and we are embracing it with a new logo and supporting collateral, designed by the extremely talented (and very patient!) Evan Santiago of One Element, LLC.
Our new design captures the organic nature of our growth, celebrates the creativity and energy inherent in our daily work and points to our determined focus on supporting more entrepreneurs to start and grow successful businesses. Read more about the story behind our fresh image at our new website - designed tirelessly by volunteer Jeff Liesch - a Jedi master of wow and Evan Santiago. If you get a second, email us to let us know what you think about the new image!
We are looking to you, our clients, volunteers, donors and partners to help us in continuing to bring the message of Rising Tide Capital - that empowered local entrepreneurs are the answer to sustainable economic development to a wider audience. Please forward this message to three colleagues who you believe may be interested in our mission.
We will be keeping you updated on our progress through this newsletter, aptly renamed The Currents as well as a new, more frequent newsletter focused on entrepreneurial resources for our clients - The Bulletin.  We're always looking for feedback - so please feel free to reach out to us with your thoughts about our new look. Also, if you think there is information we should add or focus on through our website, social media outlets or in our newsletter, please let us know. We would love to hear from you! 
Thank you!
Alfa Demmellash
CEO of Rising Tide Capital
Carlos Sanchez IS Free Enterprise
Carlos SanchezMonday, June 7 was no ordinary day for Carlos Sanchez, entrepreneur, fitness coach, blogger and Community Business Academy (CBA) graduate.While taking his daughter to school, Carlos received a phone call from the US Chamber of Commerce, informing him that he had won the $50,000 grand prize in their "I am Free Enterprise" video contest. Carlos first heard about the competition from reading the February and March Rising Tide Capital (RTC) newsletters where we announced the competition to our entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled that he has been able to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity!
Read More.
Congratulations CBA Graduates!

Elnora Watson addresses the graduates.

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On May 26, 2010, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) celebrated its 6th year anniversary, and the graduation of 47 students from the Community Business Academy (CBA).
The graduation ceremony, which was held at the Goldman Sachs Corporate Office - located in the heart of Jersey City's Waterfront District at 30 Hudson Street, celebrated the accomplishments of the most recent CBA students. These students started the 11-week course in March, and learned the fundamentals of business management and operations. Their potential businesses range from a bakery, to a childcare enrichment center, to a bookstore, and cafe.
In his inspirational speech, Rising Tide Capital's Chairman of the Board Douglas Forrester, told the clients that bright futures are indeed ahead of them, if they are able to overcome their fears of the various giants that they perceive in their paths.
"Graduation was great because it solidified the experience I've gone through in the Community Business Academy," said Obioma Okere, whose executive summary placed 2nd in the Fidelity Executive Summary contest for the Tuesday evening class. "I've been struggling with creating an executive summary for a long time, and now that I finally have one, it was great to have been awarded and recognized for this milestone. It was fantastic to meet other entrepreneurs from the other classes, and to see how many people's lives have been touched by Rising Tide Capital," he added.
Some of the CBA Graduates.
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Celebrating with the graduates, along with their families, friends and well-wishers, was Kabili Tayari, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, who presented the graduates with special commemorative certificates from the City. Also in attendance were Roberta Farber of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, Darice Toon, of the Jersey City Division of Community Development and Elnora Watson of the Urban League of Hudson County who were honoured for their long-standing and unwavering support for Rising Tide Capital.
To see more photos from graduation, click here.
Plan and Pitch Competition 2010
Plan and pitch tutorialOn May 20, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) hosted a business plan tutorial session for 28 eager entrepreneurs, with the help of 21 excited volunteer business coaches at Grace Church Van Vorst.  (See photos from the event)
"I felt the positive vibes in the room. It was a great experience!! I'm sure that with the guidance of Rising Tide Capital and the volunteers, we can make a difference in the lives of these entrepreneurs," said William Martinez, one of the volunteers.
 "This was a wonderful opportunity. I got great feedback and valuable mentorship from the volunteers I worked with," said Linda Harris said, a recent Community Business Academy graduate.
Read More.         
Welcome Roger!
Roger Cervantes
On June 1, 2010, Roger Cervantes joined the Rising Tide Capital Team.
After studying Religion at Montclair State University, Roger realized that a life devoted to serving human rights is what he was meant to do. Then, after visiting family in Ecuador, and seeing micro-enterprise completely transform Guayaquil, his family's hometown, from a slum to a tourist hot spot, he realized that micro-enterprise development was where he wanted to build his career. Add micro-enterprise and serving humanity, a few years later Roger is the newest addition to the Rising Tide Capital (RTC) family, serving as the new Micro-Enterprise Development Program Associate.
Volunteer Spotlight on: Stevie Clifton
Stevie CliftonWe'd like to spotlight Stevie Clifton for coming out to our Plan & Pitch Tutorial to inspire our entreprenuers and volunteers alike with his story. Clifton, a Jersey City entrepreneur, is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of, a multimillion dollar enterprise.
Stevie shared the ups and downs of starting a company from the ground up and the challenges of pitching to investors. He encouraged the entrepreneurs not to give up on their dreams. One of the Plan & Pitch Tutorial participants came specifically to meet him so that he could have a chance to talk about his technology-based business plan, and Clifton was gracious enough to meet with him one-on-on and give him advice. Stevie went above and beyond volunteering to speak. When our team needed a larger space to conduct the tutorial, he was on hand to connect us to Grace Van Vorst Church, who generously opened their doors. 
On behalf of the entrepreneurs, volunteers and staff at Rising Tide Capital, thank you so much, Stevie for generously donating your time. 
Rising Tide Capital co-founders honored at New Jersey City University and St. Peter's College
alex at njcuRising Tide Capital CEO Alfa Demmellash, and COO Alex Forrester, were both awarded honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of their leadership and dedication to the community.
Forrester offered words of encouragement to New Jersey City University's graduating class of 1,512 on May 12, 2010 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
On May 23, 2010, Demmellash addressed the graduating class of 700 Saint Peter's College students at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.
Alfa at the Entrepreneurship Initiative Forum
alfa addresses the EiDuring the weekend of April 16-17, Rising Tide Capital CEO Alfa Demmellash, had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Ei Forum. Demmellash's talk, entitled "The Ripple Effect of Love and Entrepreneurship," is now available online.
Client Bulletin to be launched on July 10
Attention entrepreneurs! If you are a past or present Community Business Academy/Business Acceleration Services student, look out for our bi-monthly client newsletter The Bulletin to be launched on July 10th. This newsletter is intended to be a business resource for all of our clients. It will include entrepreneurial tips, networking, selling and marketing opportunities, as well as client news and information. So, if there is something you would like to share in the bulletin with your fellow entrepreneurs, please email the details to [email protected].
Save 25%
Mom's Choice, co-founded by Rising Tide Capital Entrepreneur Bahier Ramsingh-Lance, matches families and adults with caregivers who provide custodial care on a full-time or part-time basis. Register with Mom's Choice today for your child care and baby-sitting needs and receive 25% off your annual membership!
Offer Expires: July 31, 2010