The MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) Business Plan competition comes to an end by honoring five exemplary small businesses owners. The final MUES business competition, which has granted more than $1.9 million dollars in its 13-year history, awarded the following businesses owners with $160,000 in business grants:
Lauren Miller and Jason Brein - $50,000 Excelegrade -- Atlanta, GA (www.excelegrade.com)
Provides state-of-the art Web-based platform for standardized testing for K-12 classrooms with assessments on tablets, smartphones and laptops.
Gabriel Munoz and Raul Duran - $35,000 Hispanic Employee Recruiting Online -- Overland Park, KS (www.hirebilinguals.com)
Website that will unite diversity-friendly companies with quality, bilingual candidates in the Midwest through an innovative platform. Hispanic Employee Recruiting Online also won the Consumers Choice award receiving the most online votes for an additional grant of $10,000
Tinia Pina - $25,000 Re-Nuble, Inc. -- Lorton, VA (www.re-nuble.com)
A social enterprise providing local, organic recycling services for major food waste generators.
Ben Silbert and Mac Tichner - $25,000 Bar & Club Stats -- New York, NY (www.barandclubstats.com)
App that provides real-time demographics about bars, nightclubs, arenas and events using a custom iPod or iPhone ID scanner.
Santiago Halty - $25,000 Senda Athletics -- Berkeley, Ca(www.sendaathletics.com)
Currently the only American company making fair-trade sports balls and equipment, with designs and styles inspired by athletes from around the world.
"We are extremely thankful to MillerCoors for caring about urban entrepreneurs enough to provide these meaningful grants," says Lauren Miller, co-founder and CEO of Excelegrade. "We hope to build a successful business with the $50,000 grant that not only helps teachers and students but ultimately is able to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs in a similar way."
The winners will be presented with their respective business grants at a special reception on Thursday, April 25 at MillerCoors corporate headquarters in Chicago, IL.
The MUES business plan competition was established in 1999 as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, create jobs and make a powerful impact in their communities. This year it will turn the page and evolve into "Tap the Future," a Miller Lite-branded program that will bring great friends and business partners together to compete for a prize pool of $500,000. Tap the Future is slated to launch in the summer of 2013.
"For more than a decade the MUES program has empowered small businesses to create more jobs and boost the economy in their communities," stated Larry Waters, senior director, community commerce and partnerships for MillerCoors. "We simply can't wait to see the larger impact this program will have as it evolves into its next stage as Tap the Future."
Through Tap the Future, MillerCoors will continue to work with key community partners including: Atlanta Business League, Detroit Urban League, Milwaukee Urban League, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Recycling Black Dollars, National Association for Asian American Professionals, Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Urban League, Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
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