Comcast RISE Announcement photo with Pinky Cole, Jay Bailey, and Mike McArdle at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs

RICE hosts Comcast for their Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment (RISE) Program Announcement

On April 15, Comcast announced at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) that Atlanta will be one of the cities eligible for the Comcast RISE program this year. Comcast will award grant packages to 100 small businesses in and around Metro Atlanta as part of its Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment (RISE) program. 

Atlanta-based small businesses can apply to receive grant packages through RISE that include: 

  • Consultation: Assessment of business and tactical planning; business-to-business coaching; and mentorship to advise on how to grow business. 
  • Educational resources: Educational content and resources tailored specifically for entrepreneurs. 
  • Monetary grant: A grant to invest in growth and sustainability. 
  • Creative production and media: Production of a 30-second TV commercial, plus a media strategy consultation and 180-day media placement schedule. 
  • Technology makeover: Computer equipment and Internet, Voice and Cybersecurity services for 12 months. 

For more information or to apply, visit The application is open May 1 – May 31.  

RISE is part of Project UP, a 10-year, $1 billion Comcast initiative designed to make digital equity a reality. Comcast has also provided $1 Million dollars in support to the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE). The announcement at RICE included speakers Pinky Cole, Founder of Slutty Vegan, Mike McArdle, Senior Vice-President of the Southeast Region, and Jay Bailey, President & CEO of RICE. 

“Black entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of Atlanta’s booming economy,” said Jay Bailey. “Through RISE and its generous gifts to RICE and other local organizations, Comcast is investing in Atlanta’s entrepreneurs and its future.” 

In the last three years alone, Comcast has made more than $48.5 million in donations to Atlanta-based organizations and initiatives focused on digital equity. Digital equity is achieved when people have access to affordable internet, a computer and the digital skills and resources they need to succeed in school, work and business, regardless of which part of Atlanta they live in or how much money they make. 

The Russell Center is honored to partner with Comcast and look forward to Black entrepreneurs in the RICE ecosystem taking advantage of this pivotal opportunity. Be sure to apply when applications open on May 1st! Enjoy photos of the event taken by Founding 100 RICE Stakeholder Adrian Shelby here: RICE X COMCAST 4.15.2024 :: Adrian Shelby Photography ( and watch the video recap on YouTube! 

Terri-Nichelle Bradley

Terri-Nichelle Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Play at Brown Toy Box. Bradley believes that Black children should see themselves positively represented in every space the experience regularly, starting with their toybox and the toy aisle. Bradley, an equity in play advocate, is on a mission to disrupt the $27B toy industry by creating a brand that reflects the world we live in today. Launched in 2017 as a STEAM kit, Brown Toy Box evolved into a full-scale educational toy company producing and curating STEAM toys, media, and experiences for centering and celebrating Black children in a manner all children can enjoy, learn, and have fun. Prior to starting Brown Toy Box, Bradley led a communications consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies in campaigns designed to connect with the African American community. Prior to that, Bradley served as the VP of Corporate, Crisis, and Public Affairs for the world’s largest global PR agency. Bradley has been awarded the Civic Impact Award, was recognized as a 2019 Atlanta’s Top 100 Businesswomen of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, acknowledged on the 2020 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta list of influential leaders and most recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 Female Founders 100 list. Brown Toy Box is sold in Target stores nationwide, with Amazon, over 30 museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, as well as other independent specialty toy stores and retailers. Learn more at

Stefan Miller

Stefan Miller is the Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care, which launched in December 2019. Young King Hair Care is a multicultural grooming and lifestyle brand company with tailored offerings catering to specific needs of young men of color. Stefan is a marketing professional with 15+ years of experience across marketing, sales and consulting in the CPG and tech industries. At Young King, Stefan has been featured in over 75+ national publications, was recognized by Mintel as one of the top US brand innovations of 2021, partnered with Disney and Marvel Studios for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and was a participant on Season 13 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Currently Young King Hair Care is available in multiple retail partners, including Target, Walmart, and CVS, selling in over 3,000 stores across the US. Prior to founding Young King Hair Care, he led business strategy and marketing communications, while launching innovations across multiple billion-dollar brands and categories at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull. Stefan L. Miller Bio Stefan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Brand Marketing, Media Management and Management in Organizations, and is a proud HBCU alum of Morehouse College with a BA in Business Administration. He currently lives with his wife and co-founder Cora and 2 kids, Kade and Cree in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at

Ceata E. Lash

Ceata E. Lash, CEO and founder of PuffCuff has emerged as a pioneering figure in the natural hair accessory industry, holding the distinction of being the first African-American woman to secure four US patents in this domain. Her journey to entrepreneurship was built upon a 30-year career as a graphic designer, which laid the foundation for launching PuffCuff in 2013. Ceata’s innovative leadership has earned her prestigious accolades, including the President’s Innovation Award from Sally Beauty and the New Voices + Barefoot Wine Beauty Business Grant. These achievements have placed her among the top female founders featured in Inc. Magazine. Committed to lifelong learning and growth, Ceata has completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses National Cohort and was part of the inaugural Amazon Black Business Accelerator Cohort. Her recent completion of the “Building a Successful Diverse Business” program at Tuck Executive Education, Dartmouth, further underscores her dedication to continuous improvement and leadership in the business world. Learn more at