Success Stories

Taishan is a coastal city along the southern province of Guangdong, China -- where an estimated half-million Chinese Americans are descendants.   Many of these early Taishanese settlers who helped build the Chinatowns across America, were gritty entrepreneurs just like Wesley Huang.    

In 1984, Huang immigrated from Taishan to New York City as a teenager and took a leap of faith that forced him to get up to speed with a new language and new culture, in a big city.  He benefited from a Manhattan education, graduating from Seward Park High School and then City College of New York where he developed a passion for software engineering.  While in school gaining practical skills that landed him a job, he also worked part-time in a restaurant supply store, gaining niche industry expertise and contacts -- which would turn out to be the seeds planted for his future success. 

After graduating from CCNY in 1995, Huang found a job working as a software engineer -- but was... Read More

In 1995, Steffen Root and David Clark were just two very young guys working in a small bike shop in the Kmart Plaza in Great Barrington, MA.  A few years later, they trusted their instincts and bought the shop with the encouragement of the owner. They worked hard to develop their business working in such a cramped space.  Eventually they developed a loyal following attracting a committed group of bike enthusiasts.

After a few years and with the help of an SBA 504 loan, they bought a centrally located site on busy Route 7 in Great Barrington, built a building, and in 2007 moved into what they thought at the time was a cavernous space. And which now is busting at the seams with bikes and customers. To help alleviate this, they added additional storage space by renting an adjacent garage, and then latter, renting 3,000 square feet of storage at an off-site barn.

Over the years, Steffen and David kept their eyes open to opportunities to expand their business and diversify... Read More

Atlas Devices Equipment Photo

“Build Batman’s utility belt.” That was the challenge put to Nate Ball, Daniel Walker and Bryan Schmid in 2005 when the young researchers joined a competition between the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and West Point to design tools to address real world problems faced by soldiers and first responders. Their solution was a Powered Ascender which can lift two people about 30 stories up a rope in seconds. The team founded Atlas Devices shortly after to continue to develop and launch this and other products.

Starting a new business presented new challenges for the ambitious founders, as they had no experience in the market they were entering. After learning how to navigate the defense and rescue sectors and succeed in creating access solutions for military personnel, Atlas Devices worked to enter international markets. The first foreign market the company decided to enter was Canada’s, but there were complications the team did not expect.

This is where the... Read More

Massachusetts Small Business of the Year: Golden Cannoli Shells Company, Inc.

Owners: Valerie Bono, Maria Malloy, Eric Bresciani, Edwin Bresciani

Address: 99 Crescent Avenue, Chelsea, MA 02150


In the mid-1960s, Cousins Francesco Bono and Angelo Bresciani traveled to the United States from Argentina with a plan to learn English, start a business and live the American dream.  In 1970 after working at various bakeries in Boston’s North End, they secured a storefront and started their first bakery in Arlington, Massachusetts, specializing in coffees and pastries. Their first bakery was such a success that they soon opened a second. While in their two small storefront bakeries, Messrs. Bono and Bresciani began making cannoli shells and fillings to supply their stores. These shells became wildly popular, and the cousins began producing larger quantities in a vacant building in Somerville, Massachusetts for their stores and for other local businesses. They named the business Golden Cannoli.

Having only an elementary formal education,... Read More