Launch Wilkinsburg

Preparing + implementing strategies which develop a vibrant community

Launch Wilkinsburg supports the equitable development of a vibrant community through business development, project incubation, and community engagement. The program began with local stakeholder research and discussions to determine the priority areas for development.

The Ignite workshop brought together over 30 startup leaders and mentors to further their plans, strategic connections, and identify resources. The collaborative 12 month incubator program helps emerging entrepreneurs through the difficult path of getting started, building a tribe of support, and launching meaningful solutions to directly impact the Wilkinsburg community.

Press coverage: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, KDKA Sunday Business Page, Pittsburgh City Paper

Meet the Teams

Virginia Dere Swimwear

Founder-designer Gabrielle Haywood is completing her business plan & securing start-up capital so that product development can begin by year’s end.

The Center for Civic Arts

The Center for Civic Arts values citizens as the creators of culture, and stewards of their environment. CCA will expand opportunities for people to connect through arts education, culture and heritage preservation, public arts and creative place-making. We value the arts as the thread that defines who we are, and the light that empowers communities.

Finance Middle School

Entrepreneur Sherry Williams will develop a 6-week pilot program for her “middle school for financial literacy”, with dreams of widespread replication.

Gizmo's Dog Lounge

Dog-lover Khalil Stanback is developing plans and scouting locations for a membership-based, dog-friendly indoor urban space and community.

K Theater Dance Complex

K- Theatre Dance Complex under the direction of owner, Kontara Morphis creates a pre professional- professional dance experience. K Theatre Dance Complex attracts dancers from different ethnicities and experiences, providing dance lessons to the school aged youth as well as an adult dance training program. Our students will be trained in the following techniques, ballet, jazz, (Horton) modern, hip hop, tap, and repertoire. Pilates, Bollywood, Conditioning will also be made available to students. Along with dance training, the students will study dance history, terminology, musicality, and performance etiquette.

A Peace of Mind

A Peace of Mind Inc. (APOM) a 501(c)(3) organization is a therapeutic art studio offering a variety of programming from hip hop aerobics and Zumba®, to yoga and Pilates, all at an affordable community rental space.  APOM, Inc. will also soon offer a 20-hour daycare service for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age.  Our goal is to initiate collaborative community wellness with reasonable, relevant and overall enjoyable programming.  APOM, Inc. would like to encourage community involvement and active participation in our current and future endeavors.

Jade Earth Events

Jade Earth Events provides event planning for specialty events as well as themed events. They incorporate Eco friendly elements fused with tasteful visions mixed with style. Jade Earth is committed to fulfilling customer satisfaction through collaborating your visions with our innovative spirit and expertise. We pay attention to specific details working hard to create the perfect event for you. Jade Earth also produces the Speak Life Community project to “unify youth via workshops, open mics, symposiums & community discussions”.

Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce

The Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce empowers members by offering them networking opportunities, business exposure, & resources to make informed business decisions. The Chamber’s primary goal for Launch Wilkinsburg is to increase their capacity to serve the community while establishing a co-working and business development center at 900 Wood St in partnership with Impact Redevelopment.

Launch Wilkinsburg Focus

New Sun Rising is committed to equitable community development. In order to determine which areas of impact are top priority, we reviewed the community planning documents, surveyed stakeholders through our Vibrancy Index, and held an interactive public forum. As a result, these are the identified program focus areas:

  1. Community Awareness + Engagement

  2. Arts + Culture

  3. Vacant Properties + Lots

  4. Main Street Business Development

  5. Education

  6. Safety + Crime Reduction

  7. Environmental Sustainability

  8. Public Spaces

Launch Wilkinsburg is a New Sun Rising Vibrant Communities initiative in partnership with the Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.