Build Bench

Build Institute’s BUILD Bench is curated for specialized subject matter experts (sme’s), many of whom are Build grads themselves, who can address the needs of Build’s alumni, micro-entrepreneurs and aspiring ideators by meeting them where they are in the life of the business. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Financial Coaches, and more, work to bring personalized, wrap-around support to help micro-entrepreneurs grow and scale. Let us connect you to the experts who can give you the boost you need to face challenges, achieve your goals, and take your business or idea to the next level.



Meet our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence! Our EIRs are here to provide tailored 1:1 personalized assistance and coaching designed to meet the specialized needs of your business.
EIRs are experienced entrepreneurs that have an interest in giving back to Build Institute, the start-up community, and to micro-entrepreneurs. EIRs are recognized for making a significant contribution to their industry or working to drive key industry initiatives forward.
Meet Heather:

Heather is ready to help problem solve, share resources, and discuss specific industry pain points at no charge. Working 1:1 with an experienced entrepreneur allows you to quickly find the answers and support you are looking for.



CLICK HERE to go the the form to sign up for Heather’s Office Hours.
Read Heather’s Bio:

Over the last six years, Heather has coached hundreds of small business owners during open office hours, one on one engagements over a six-month period and through workshops held in the neighborhoods. Prior to that, Heather worked as a real estate attorney who successfully oversaw the leasing process from start to finish, including developing and maintaining relationships with small business owners, Fortune 500 companies and luxury European retailers. Heather drafted, negotiated, and reviewed 500+ contracts annually under strict deadlines. As a business owner, Heather and her husband have opened four new businesses over the last 11 years (two restaurants and two cocktail bars), including acquiring liquor licenses, negotiating lease agreements, managing the construction, and permitting processes, and hiring and training employees. Heather loves coaching small business owners because she has been in their shoes and understands the challenges of running a small business.



Meet Janae:

Janae is ready to help problem solve, share resources, and discuss specific industry pain points at no charge. Working 1:1 with an experienced entrepreneur allows you to quickly find the answers and support you are looking for.

CLICK HERE to go the the form to sign up for Janae’s Office Hours.
Read Janae’s Bio:

Janae’ Griggs is a Business Growth Strategist who helps creatives develop “out of the box”
strategies and solutions to increase their bank accounts and clientele. She has been a serial
entrepreneur for the past 10 years and her work is rooted in helping women of color break
through barriers of systemic inequity. Janae’ earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree double
majoring in Women & Gender Studies, as well as African American Studies in 2012 from Eastern
Michigan University. She used her knowledge and experience to start a 501(c)3 nonprofit mentoring
organization for at-risk young girls, in the Metro Detroit area, called P.I.N.K. Detroit.

As someone always looking for ways to serve and enhance the lives of others, she looks for
opportunities to create social impact, into everything that she does. In 2018, she launched a
business consulting agency to help small business entrepreneurs achieve optimal success, by
providing them with guidance and resources to help grow their businesses. As an avid learner, she
spends her free time taking various courses, attending training workshops, as well as reading books
related to new strategies that business owners could implement in their businesses. And she uses
this knowledge to help educate small business owners on industry leading best practices and
techniques that they could use to improve and scale their respective businesses.



Financial Coaching

We are proud to launch Financial Coaching as a part of our BUILD Bench of subject matter experts. At Build Institute we work to connect micro-entrepreneurs to the people and resources they need to succeed. Good financial shape is an ongoing process when successfully obtaining credit is the goal. Do you want to get yourself and your business in good financial shape? Our Financial Coach is here to support you 1:1 on your journey. What you can expect? Set personalized goals, get a fresh perspective and informed feedback, and connecting to resources in a safe and supportive environment.


Meet Conner:

Conner is ready to help problem solve, share resources, and operationalize strategies to help with credit, capital readiness and financial wellness, at no charge to you. Working 1:1 with a financial expert allows you to find answers to address your specific needs. It is important that your personal finances are in order so that you can confidently access capital for your business. Conner can help you achieve your personal financial goals. Will you take the first step? Sign up for a 1:1 with our subject matter expert Conner.


CLICK HERE to go the the form to sign up for Conner’s Office Hours.
Read Conner’s Bio:

Conner Fowler is a working professional that is dedicated to serving marginalized communities and assisting them in achieving financial literacy and confidence through financial coaching. Conner is a native resident to South Carolina, where he worked with several of the University of South Carolina’s Collegiate sports programs and several small business non-profits within the city of Columbia. While Conner was working on his Master’s degree, he gained additional experience working within marginalized communities in Philadelphia. These experiences enable him to understand and relate to the challenges micro-entrepreneurs face. Conner is a proud graduate of Temple University’s Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management Graduate program and currently works as a Contract Specialist for the Department of Defense. He enjoys trying new restaurants, grabbing coffee with his girlfriend, playing with his dog in their backyard, and watching anime.