New peer group in Buffalo helps entrepreneurs hit the ground running

The Avanti Entrepreneur Group, owned by business coach David Mammano, has opened its newest chapter in Buffalo.

The Buffalo chapter, which convened for the first time in June, offers peer mentorship to area businesspeople and startups across several industries.

“We say don’t go at it alone, even if they (entrepreneurs) have employees,” said Mammano. “The mission is to create a community of small business entrepreneurs who have that spirit of wanting to learn and grow together.”

Statistically, only one of 10 entrepreneurs will make it to one million in revenue, as opposed to franchisees, of whom nine out of 10 reach a million because the support network already exists, according to Mammano, a TEDx speaker and adjunct professor at the University of Rochester.

“Our benefit is that we are focusing on the small business entrepreneur and helping the zero startup get to a million,” Mammano said. “We really want Avanti to become that support system.”

Adaptability and accountability are two more benefits members gain from the peer group meetings, said Buffalo chapter chair Mike DiCioccio.

When DiCioccio first started his digital marketing and media consulting agency, Social Chameleon, he spent a great amount of time networking among groups such as BNI (Circle of Excellence) and Rotary Club of West Seneca, while conducting his own diligent research.

What was lacking from his entrepreneurial journey, however, is what he calls the “personal touch.”

“I was getting great content from books, audiobooks, podcasts, and videos, but I wasn’t sitting in front of someone who was saying, ‘Okay, well now that I’ve given you all of this information, what kind of questions do you have?’”

The group feedback and collaborative experience sharing that Avanti provides is what DiCioccio believes he was searching for in the beginning stages of his business development.

“We’re thinking similarly, our work ethics are similar, we’re iron sharpening iron,” DiCioccio said of the atmosphere at peer group meetings.

Avanti Buffalo chapter meetings will be held every other month at the Alliance Advisory building, 600 Delaware Ave., and monthly peer group meetings will be held at the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce, 6524 E. Quaker St.

“My goal right now is to continue to add members to our group,” DiCioccio said.

Read more articles by Jessica Brant.

Jessica Brant is a published poet, sports photojournalist and human interest writer from Buffalo, NY.
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