Syracuse University Honors Alumni Entrepreneurs

Cuse 50 speaker, Tamekia

As a Syracuse University undergraduate, Tamekia Flowers-Ball ’97 took the first course in entrepreneurship offered by the Whitman School of Management.

“It sparked my entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging me to pursue my dreams and transform ideas into tangible ventures,” said Flowers-Ball.

Flowers-Ball went on to found Epiphany Blue, an event production company whose clients include Black Entertainment Television, The NAACP, Toyota, Tide, McDonald’s, NBA legends Kenny Smith and Dwyane Wade, and the New York City Department of Education.

In November, Flowers-Ball was among 50 Syracuse University alumni honored for their entrepreneurial success as recipients of the inaugural ’Cuse50 Alumni Entrepreneur Awards.

In the years since Flowers-Ball was a student, Syracuse University has become nationally recognized for entrepreneurial studies. The Whitman School offers both an undergraduate major and a master’s program in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, as well as a Ph.D. program in entrepreneurship. University-wide business incubator programs, such as the Blackstone Launchpad and the Couri Hatchery provide hands-on support for students to bring business ideas to the marketplace.

“As home to one of the first academic entrepreneurship programs in the country, we are committed to celebrating innovation and entrepreneurial thinking throughout our community,” says Lauren Villanueva, vice president of alumni engagement and annual giving. “The ’Cuse50 Program is a way to celebrate that tradition, recognize our outstanding alumni and connect our alumni/students to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

An awards ceremony was held on campus on Nov. 9, followed the next day by the ’Cuse50 Summit. The program featured break-out sessions and interactive panels with alumni entrepreneurs attended by more than 300 students.

“Just start building and don’t be afraid to fail because the failure is putting you one step closer to achieving your ultimate goal,” offered Kori Hale ’13, CEO of CultureBanx, a digital news platform redefining business and tech news for minorities through music.

“Entrepreneurship is a great privilege and a long game along the road to success. Every day we have the opportunity to stay in the fight of building the future we want to see and it’s an amazing experience. Embrace the challenges, revel in the wins, and remember—you have the ability to build anything.”

Flowers-Ball, who spoke at the award ceremony, reminded her fellow class of honorees of the importance of giving back. “Whether hiring current students as interns or donating to scholarship programs like Our Time Has Come, let’s ensure the success of future generations,” she said.

Additional honorees among the inaugural ’Cuse50:

Joshua Aviv ’15, G’17, SparkCharge

Kelsey Davis ’19, G’20, CLLCTVE LLC

Kelo Makelele, IVMF ’19, ’20, RedTrace Technologies

Paul A. Murdock ’85, MCG Consulting Services

Sheena Parker, IVMF ’18, ’19, 4SYT Industries

Giavona M. Williams ’10, Grova Creative

For a complete list of honorees, visit: cusecommunity