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How Business Owner Da’Von McCune Benefited from Buffalo State’s Open4-Funded Ultimate Marketing and Contract Readiness Program


I am a community activist, educator, speaker, and professional recording artist. My business, Real McCoy Entertainment [DRME], combines entertainment, education, and event coordination. It is designed to build community and encourage self empowerment. We have been in business for five years. This Fall [2022] we will expand into the apparel market with D Real McCoy Apparel.

We are committed to establishing a fair and inclusive society through love-centered entertainment education. Entertainment unites people and helps address gaps of inequity and inequality. DRME provides entertainment education through events that infuse art, music, Hip Hop culture, mentorship, sports, motivation, and financial liberation. We provide community building; civic engagement; social justice, youth and community programming; and consulting services.

Additionally, DRME manages artists, publishes music, and creates inclusive interactive experiences that foster hope.

DRME Mission

D Real McCoy Entertainment’s mission is to utilize entertainment education founded in love, to create inclusive cross-interactive experiences via the arts and recreation. This educational medium will build power, unite, and foster hope for communities—enabling them to love, laugh, learn, educate, heal, and transform and be better citizens in our society.

DRME Goals

To entertain and educate community members of all ages to build caring, engaged, active, and educated communities around the world, starting in Buffalo.

The Program

I was referred to the Ultimate Marketing and Contract Readiness Program [UMCRP] program by a past participant, Dr. Curtis Haynes. I went to graduation and heard his pitch. He said it helped him grow and learn how to be clearer when making presentations about his businesses. I also asked my new operations manager, Mike Tritto, to take the class with me. Mike has been in the non-profit industry his entire career and this training will help us as we start to work together.

There are several important lessons I learned from this program. One is the importance of a pitch — how to craft it, and how to take out the “salesmanship.” We do not sell; we move products through the market. I also learned how having a business coach or mentor can help me refine my goals and alleviate fears. A business coach will help you get the most out of your business if you are putting in the work.

The class taught me about North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and provided guidance for applying for New York State Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Certification [MWBE]. The instructor helped me navigate the NAICS and choose a code wisely. I had a part-time employee take the class with me. This helped give us clarification and consistency about how we talk about the business to potential clients. It also gave us clarity on how we can better structure our operations.

Finally, it helped me create an effective 30-second business pitch and a 7-minute business pitch. I will continue to improve on these as I use them.

Final Thoughts

The instructor, Mr. McCarley, provided wisdom and helped me be able to navigate my journey as a business owner. He has been a godsend. I’m glad to have him as my mentor. What I learned from this program will help me and my business succeed.

Da’Von L. McCune — D Real McCoy Entertainment, September 30, 2022