SheaMoisture and the New Voices Foundation have partnered with MVMT50 for its 3rd annual PITCH BLACK competition. Black women entrepreneurs are invited to apply to pitch their businesses, receive invaluable feedback and coaching from experienced judges and compete to win up to $100,000 in award money. The event will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs MBA School in Austin, TX.
In 2018, MVMT50 chose to address the primary issues facing Black women entrepreneurs by focusing solely on that group for the PITCH BLACK competition, with the theme “The Future is Female.” The event was met with an overwhelming amount of interest and support, and as a result, MVMT50 has chosen to continue with this theme for 2019.
In addition to being presenting partners with MVMT50 for PITCH BLACK, SheaMoisture, recognized for its high-quality hair care and skin care products with culturally-authentic natural ingredients, will have on-site activations for participants and attendees. New Voices, which held pitch competitions across the country in 2018 and will soon announce upcoming events for 2019, is awarding pitch winners up to $100,000 – the largest award pool to date for PITCH BLACK. The New Voices Foundation empowers women of color entrepreneurs to achieve business success through leadership and skills development, access to capital, and networking opportunities, as well as other innovative leadership initiatives
“When we launched the $100 million New Voices Fund in 2018, we did so with a clear purpose: to address the abysmal funding challenges faced by Black women and other women of color entrepreneurs and to give the SheaMoisture community its credit for making this possible,” said Richelieu Dennis, Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Sundial Brands and Founder of New Voices Fund and New Voices Foundation. “But we also knew we needed to do more. So, we created the New Voices Foundation to provide wrap-around services and ensure that we could meet our entrepreneurs where they are on their individual journeys, whether they need capital or other critical resources such as access or expertise. As we continue to invest in Black women, I’m thrilled that we are able to do so via this impactful experience with MVMT50 and Pitch Black. Only through collective efforts will we truly begin to level the field.”
“African American women represent the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs; however, they receive the least funding. MVMT50’s focus on Black women in the Pitch Black competition allows us the opportunity to support a locally-based organization committed to the purpose of the New Voices Foundation – to ignite long-term social change and create a society and economy that supports and values entrepreneurial women of color for the positive contributions they make,” said Melissa Bradley, Managing Partner at 1863 Ventures and New Voices Foundation advisor.
Pitch Black was designed to create opportunities for all promising Black entrepreneurs to equip them with the tools needed to develop their businesses. In the 2018 competition, the Judges Choice winner of the $10,000 prize (provided by Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital) was Temiloluwa Adeniyi, CEO and Founder of Nopneu, a startup working to develop a take-home pneumonia detection device. The Audience Choice winner of the $2,500 prize was Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, CEO, and Founder of EnrichHER, an organization that assists female founders secure business capital.
Ten finalists will be selected to compete in the official Pitch Black competition to win up to $100,000 in cash and have the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges and a live audience.
Black women founders and co-founders are invited to apply by visiting: www.pitchblack512.com. The submission deadline is Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:59pm CST.