North Country Native and Serial Entrepreneur to Speak at Women's Business Bootcamp Luncheon


Canton native Nicole Thew Samolis, founder and president of three successful Syracuse companies, will share her entrepreneurial journey at the Women’s Business Bootcamp Luncheon, hosted by the SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center on Wednesday, October 16. 

Samolis will present “From Accidental Entrepreneur to Serial Entrepreneur: A Woman’s Journey” detailing her business development from leaving a career with a weekly paycheck to becoming a solopreneur and then finally becoming the serial entrepreneur she is today.

Sponsored by NBT Bank, the Women’s Business Bootcamp will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16 at the BOCES Education Services Center, 40 West Main St., Canton. The day will begin with the Mini-Marketplace where attendees showcase and sell their products and services. A fun networking activity will help participants make one-on-one connections and a luncheon buffet will be catered by Soul Waffle of Potsdam.

After nine years in retail management Samolis began her entrepreneurial journey in 1996 when she founded The Events Company, an event planning firm headquartered in Syracuse. Over the years her ability to see opportunities led her to pursue new markets. Samolis along with her husband and business partner developed and opened SKY Armory in 2014, an event venue operating with a next generation mindset. Ever the entrepreneur, her latest venture is Epicuse, an epicurean market and café.

In the past 20 years, the growth rate for women-owned business has dwarfed the national average – increasing by a staggering 141% compared to 44% for all businesses. Recent research suggests that women are as successful as their male counterparts despite not always being on a level playing field.

When making the decision to start a venture – whether full time or as a side hustle – women aren’t only considering the viability of their idea, turning it into a business plan and securing clients. They’re also considering how it will impact their lifestyle and that of their families. They consider factors like who will take care of their kids and aging parents and a myriad of other concerns and challenges. This can be so overwhelming that the dream of entrepreneurship merely stays a dream.

A native of Canton, Samolis has experienced the challenges and doubts that every woman entrepreneur faces. She will share what she believes has led to her continued love of the challenge.

The Women’s Business Bootcamp Luncheon is held semi-annually by the SUNY Canton SBDC and is sponsored by NBT Bank in cooperation with SBDC resource partners SUNY Canton and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. SBA, administered by the State University of New York. SBDC programs are nondiscriminatory and available to everyone.

Cost is $35 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, contact the SUNY Canton SBDC at 315-386-7312 or Please note that Mini-Marketplace display tables are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the SBDC

The New York SBDC, with its network of 22 regional centers provides professional business advisement, education, network resources and advocates for small business and entrepreneurs. As a funded organization through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York and host campuses, SBDC counseling services are provided at no-cost to clients and are confidential. The SUNY Canton SBDC was established in 1998 and has worked with 3,694 businesses, helping to invest $103,390,707 and creating or saving 2,156 jobs. It also oversees the Clinton County SBDC, which since inception in 1984, has worked directly with 8,567 businesses, helping them to invest $102,374,027 in the area’s economy, resulting in 3,231 jobs being created or saved.


About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.