News and Updates from Rising Tide CapitalVolume 41  |  January 2014



111 Entrepreneurs Graduate From the CBAgraduation  
Last Thursday 111 entrepreneurs, including 14 students from the inaugural Spanish class, graduated from Jersey City nonprofit Rising Tide Capital's (RTC) Community Business Academy (CBA). The ceremony, hosted at Saint Peter's University, included a special announcement from Bank of America by Senior Vice President, New Jersey market manager Etta Denk, who presented RTC with the Neighborhood Builders award and a $200,000 check. The funds will be used to develop a new information management system to expand Rising Tide Capital's scale within New Jersey. 

Rising Tide Capital Launches Spanish Program in Newarklaunch-story 

Tuesday night, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) celebrated the official launch of the Spanish version of its nationally-recognized flagship program, the Community Business Academy (CBA), with a party at the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark, NJ. The event featured guest speakers from Capital One and the Ironbound Community Corporation, as well as networking opportunities with recent graduates from the first-ever session of the Spanish CBA. The party was followed by a mandatory information session for entrepreneurs interested in taking the CBA in Spanish. The event raised awareness of the business resources the CBA can provide to the Spanish-speaking community.

Rising Tide Capital Receives Donation from Jersey City Fashion Weeksecond-anchor

(Left to Right) RTC's Managing Director of Programs, Jay Savulich, Desha Jackson, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City Vivian Brady-Phillips and Leigh Gonzalez of the Hope Center.
Founder of Jersey City Fashion Week (JCFW) Desha Jackson donated a portion of the proceeds from the organizations' 2013 event to Rising Tide Capital.

"Each year we want to recognize the work of organizations that are making tangible contributions to the community," said Jackson. "Rising Tide Capital was selected for the work they do to boost small businesses and entrepreneurship in the community." 


Read More. 

Recent CBA Graduate Maritza Burgos Launches Colores Caribes, An Educational Art Spacethird-story

Maritza Burgos, a recent graduate of the inaugural Spanish Community Business Academy, launched Colores Caribes, a 4-week art program that motivates and teaches students to create mosaic art pieces. Maritza will be the first art teacher to offer classes at the newly built Hewn Art Center located at 140 Sip Ave in Jersey City. Students will work together to create glass paintings, as well as mosaic, acrylic and embossed metal art that will eventually be showcased for sale to the public.

"Taking the CBA motivated me to work to achieve my goals," she said. "During the 12 weeks, I learned how to take the steps necessary to convert my dreams into reality. I now have a clear picture of what it takes to be a business owner."
Three AmeriCorps VISTAs to Build Capacity at Rising Tide Capital
(Left to Right) Miles Roman, Alfreda Rogers, and Avery Zuvich

For nearly three years the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program has expanded Rising Tide Capital's (RTC) capacity to serve more entrepreneurs in more communities, by allowing the non-profit to recruit full-time volunteers to serve its mission.


Three new VISTAS, Avery Zuvich, Miles Roman and Alfreda Rogers, recently joined the Rising Tide Capital team. Alfreda and Miles joined the Programs Department--Alfreda will assist with maintaining the Business Acceleration Services program, while Miles is the new Volunteer Coordinator. Avery will add capacity to both the Outcomes Management and Development departments. 


Learn more about our newest team members.

Remarks From Our Fall 2013 Graduates

The Community Business Academy graduation ceremony on January 23 featured six class representatives, one from each session of the Fall 2013 class. They shared their experiences as entrepreneurs  and students of the CBA, where they learned business fundamentals to help them start or grow successful enterprises. Here are some excerpts from their remarks:

"As entrepreneurs we pursue our dreams by virtue of our passion and commitment to an idea. MY PETS PLACE, will concentrate on specialty, custom-made items for dogs and cats. The Community Business Academy taught us how to take our ideas and passions from startup to full- fledged enterprises. My charge to you is to strive for excellence, remain focused and may your reach for success be blessed." Joseph Epps, Fall 2013 CBA Graduate.



"Eleven years ago I decided I needed a career option that I could transition into upon retirement. I wanted something I could enjoy while making a difference in the East Orange community. After some soul searching, encouragement from my daughter, and my past experiences of the benefits of receiving massages,I decided to become a massage therapist. RTC offered me the wonderful opportunity of learning how to establish, own and operate a business, while building my community and earning money for myself." Denise Phillips, Fall 2013 CBA Graduate   


Read More Entrepreneur speeches!

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our videos on YouTube
Rising Tide Capital In The News

Five Questions with Raul Mercado 

With more than 17 years of small business development experience, Jersey City native Raul Mercado joined Rising Tide Capital in July 2013. Through intensive mentoring and one-on-one coaching he will assist Rising Tide Entrepreneurs to build capacity by connecting them to professional resources, access to capital, and procurement opportunities.



1)Who inspires you? 
My Children and Granddaughter serve as my daily inspiration. 


2) What do you love to do on your weekends?
Hike, cycle, photograph, walk, and spend quality time with my family.  

What's your hidden passion?
I'm always yearning for a new challenging adventure. That's why I love hiking and cycling in new locations. 

What's one song that belongs on the playlist to your life?
Music from the greatest DJ of all time, Larry Levan.

What's an RTC product or service you can't live without?
Edgar Mercado's physical training, because he is an inspiration to stay in shape for life. 
90 Seconds (An Ode to Rising Tide Capital)


(Excerpt from Universe Konadu's talk at graduation)


don't make quitting a practice -

don't let a temporary dissatisfaction

become a permanent distraction

have a plan

but understand

your life that is unfolding

is holding

more than you could ever even imagine

or fathom

and remember

as we gather

to walk this stage

as a Rising Tide Capital graduate

support is still


just a phone call away


Read More


Living a Healthier Lifestyle in 2014
-Some Tips from our Team

In December 2013 Rising Tide Capital launched a new program for employees; incentivizing free and low-cost gym membership with frequency of visits to the gym. "Our team is our formula for success," said CEO Alfa Demmellash. "We are excited to be able to make this investment in ensuring their individual health and well-being."


With new gym memberships and New Year's resolutions fueling a fire for health and wellness at Rising Tide Capital, we asked two of our fitness role models on staff for their best tips for healthier lifestyles in 2014!

Click here to read more!