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December 6, 2022

Five Emerging Small Businesses Join PITCH Hamburg’s Inaugural Cohort

Businesses will receive free space in the PITCH Hamburg incubator, mentorship,
programming, and the chance to pitch for grants in the spring.

Hamburg, NY - PITCH Hamburg has announced the five small businesses that will participate in its inaugural cohort and receive mentorship, programming, the chance to pitch for grant funding in the spring of 2023, and six months of space in the PITCH Hamburg incubator, located at 40 Main St. in the heart of the Village of Hamburg.

PITCH Hamburg is a nonprofit organization that supports the creation of new small businesses that add to the economic vibrancy of Hamburg, NY. It operates through the support of the Town of Hamburg and local sponsors. The organization held an online application period from Aug. 31 to Oct. 12, and then selected the following businesses for the cohort:

Our Omphalos, founded by Jennifer Richter, is an Educational Wellness Consulting Company that is
committed to providing quality, customized wellness programming for children, teens, adults,
organizations and businesses.

Merit Badge Books is a concept in development for an independent bookstore in the Village of
Hamburg, concentrating on new trade books for the whole family. It would amplify what founder Heather
Jackson identifies as the “Three Cs”: Community, Curation and Convening.

Clean Earth Refillery, founded by Erin Huff, promotes zero waste living by offering customers the
opportunity reuse their own containers or purchase reusable containers and refill them with high-quality,
everyday products for themselves and their homes, such as laundry detergents, dish soaps, shampoos,
conditioners and other household cleaners.

InstaFlame, founded by Charles Accivatti, makes a fully assembled, ready-to-light fire starter pack with
a single wick that burns without maintenance for up to three hours. Designed for use in fire pits and
fireplaces alike, the InstaFlame kit makes building a fire as easy as lighting a birthday candle.

Collective Distribution, founded by entrepreneurs John Davis, Co-founder of Nickel City Nitro, and
Kody Omphalius, Co-founder of KO’s Kettle Corn & We R Nuts, that will help local artisan producers
scale their logistics and sales.

“We are tremendously excited to welcome PITCH Hamburg’s inaugural cohort of small businesses,” said PITCH Hamburg Executive Director Annamaria Masucci. “PITCH Hamburg looks forward to seeing how they contribute to Hamburg’s already vibrant small business community as we support them through mentorship, incubator space and grant opportunities.”

PITCH Hamburg is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more about PITCH Hamburg, visit

June 6, 2022

PITCH Hamburg Names Annamaria Masucci 

As Its Executive Director

Masucci brings nearly 20 years of economic development, nonprofit, 

entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing experience to the role

Hamburg, NY - Today, the PITCH Hamburg Board of Directors announced the hiring of
Annamaria Masucci as its Executive Director.


PITCH Hamburg is a nonprofit organization that supports the creation of new small businesses that add to the economic vibrancy of Hamburg, NY. The organization offers entrepreneurs mentorship, services, programming, and space in its business incubator, located at 40 Main St. in Hamburg. Masucci will oversee operations for the organization, including identifying entrepreneurs and connecting them to PITCH Hamburg resources; managing the incubator space; fundraising and grant writing; designing and executing events; and general administration.


Masucci brings nearly 20 years of economic development, nonprofit, entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing experience to the role. She previously served as Community Liaison with the Village of Hamburg; as a Project Manager with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center working in tobacco control; and in sales and marketing roles with WUTV Fox 29 and WNYO My TV Buffalo. She also is the founder of Village Juice Works, an artisanal juice company.


Masucci has lived in Hamburg for most of her life and she has been an active volunteer within the community, including assisting with Hamburgh Holidays events and serving as a member of the Hamburg Community Playground Committee, the Hamburg Recreation Commission, and the board of the Village of Hamburg Community Foundation. She holds a pair of degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo: a B.A. in Communication and a Masters of Public Health in Community Health and Health Behavior.


“Much of why Hamburg is such a wonderful place to dine, shop, work, play, and live has to do with its strong entrepreneurial spirit. As a longtime Hamburg resident, I’m excited to lead PITCH Hamburg and support the creation of new small businesses that will complement and further strengthen the fabric of our community,” said PITCH Hamburg Executive Director Annamaria Masucci.


“I’m delighted to welcome Annamaria Masucci as PITCH Hamburg’s Executive Director,” said Michael Ditonto, Chair of the PITCH Hamburg Board of Directors. “Her passion for our community combined with her wealth of experience as an economic developer, public health advocate, entrepreneur, and volunteer make her uniquely qualified to deliver lasting impacts for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Hamburg.”


PITCH Hamburg is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

November, 18, 2021

Town of Hamburg seeds local startup incubator, Pitch Hamburg through $200,000 ARPA Grant

Hamburg, NY, – The Hamburg Town Board unanimously approved $200,000 in funding through the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) to ignite Hamburg’s startup business community.


“I think this is a great idea; I’m excited for Hamburg to be part of the venture startup community,” said Hamburg Town board Member, Shawn Connolly as he reviewed the elements of the program’s goals of supporting a community of innovators in Hamburg.


The funding will be used to seed the not for profit startup incubator program over the next two years. These funds will be combined with other donations to support a full-time staff member, develop programming and establish a location for the project, all of these activities in preparation for Pitch Hamburg’s first annual startup competition to be held in 2022.


ARPA funds are restricted grants to municipalities monitored by the U.S. Department of Treasury. These funds can be applied to fund community-based small business incubators and innovation hubs to support the growth of entrepreneurship.


Heather Sidorowicz, owner of Southtown Audio Video and Pitch Hamburg Board Member commented, “town of Hamburg funding is critical to Pitch Hamburg’s startup community and the drive and promotion of entrepreneurs whose product, service or offering would be additive to Hamburg. Supervisor Shaw’s resolution for $200,000 will launch Pitch Hamburg’s inaugural startup competition and provide direct support to no less than 6 startup businesses boosting product / service offerings, employment and commercial real estate in Hamburg.”


PITCH Hamburg is a response to the growing demand in Hamburg for a startup community. Our mission is to support the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our members are a select collaboration of business professionals, education providers and investors to network and foster local startups. Our desire is to provide affordable dedicated and co-working space for entrepreneurial activity as well as communal space for educational, consultative and development activities. PITCH Hamburg is the heart and soul of the startup ecosystem in southern Erie County.

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