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Success Stories

Tina Zambrana and her dog Bucky

 Turning a passion into a small business is a recipe for success.  Just ask Tina Zambrana, owner of The Pet Stop, a mobile pet clinic based in Miami, Fla.

“I grew up in rural Texas.  I always had pets of all shapes and sizes in my life, from horses and turkeys to dogs and cats.  After moving away and becoming a flight attendant, I eventually ended up in Miami. I married my husband Mike, a Miami Dade Police Detective and we have two amazing children.  Though I was now grounded, I never lost my passion for animals,” said Zambrana.

Following her animal instinct, Tina found work in animal health pharmaceutical sales.  That sparked interest in other areas in the animal health arena.  In addition to her job and raising her family, she finished a degree in marketing at Florida International University.  It was during this time she noticed a gap in the animal health market.  She went to her employer and said a mobile pet clinic would be great for business.

“I told my... Read More

Maxim Weitzman (left) and Daniel Bittner, Partners of Concept II Cosmetics

A six-figure-corporate-paycheck job with benefits is considered the measure of success for many.  For Maxim Weitzman and Daniel Bittner, that wasn’t enough.  Where other executives would sit and work comfortably on their laurels, Weitzman and Bittner walked away from their corporate jobs and followed the path of entrepreneurship less traveled.  And for them, it has made all the difference with their business, Concept II Cosmetics.

Weitzman and Bittner met in Los Angeles and became friends at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management.  After graduation, each found rewarding corporate jobs.  Bittner was hired by L’Oreal Cosmetics and Weitzman worked at several tech firms including IBM and founded his own tech firm Intrigo.

“We stayed in contact.  Started our own families.  But we wanted to start our own business and we were willing to take a downgrade in our financial position to make it happen,” recalled Weitzman.

One of the... Read More

Ankit Jain

Like the quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door,” Boca Raton millennial entrepreneur Ankit Jain is discovering fashion retailers knocking on his door for the line of tech accessories he developed and launched through TheAnkit.com.

Simply put, his small business success started when he couldn’t find a pair of earbuds to listen to music and matched his fashion sense.

“I enjoy listening to music and I was looking for a high quality, fashionable pair of earbuds.  Bose earbuds were high quality but rather boring.  Novelty earbuds I found in other stores lacked the quality I sought.  And that was the inspiration for my business,” said Jain.

Jain never started or ran a business before.  In fact, Ankit had only arrived in America less than a decade earlier from his native home in India.  After graduating from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, he was hired as a software engineer for Motorola... Read More

Moises Montanez

Many graduates of SBA’s “Emerging Leaders” classes talk about an “Ah Ha!” moment when the lessons, lectures and course work seem to suddenly light up a new path of understanding that will take student business to greater levels.

Moises Montanez, owner of Miami’s Alta Home Remodeling, knows that feeling.  As one of 13 students in SBA South Florida District’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Class, he is in the process of remodeling his general contracting business with the knowledge he gained from the class.

“Before the class, my business was four employees working on personal homes.  I knew I wanted to grow and I wanted to penetrate the public sector but didn’t know how to do it,” said Montanez.

Moises learned about Emerging Leaders from a Miami-Dade SCORE chapter newsletter.  Alta Home Remodeling fit the profile of businesses sought:  revenues in excess of $400 thousand; been in business for more than three years and had more than one employee besides himself.  He... Read More