On Sunday, March 11, exemplary Black female founders and co-founders will take the stage at The JW Marriott Austin to present their business ideas for a chance to win an investment of $10,000 from Silicon Valley-based VC firm Backstage Capital, an African-American female led venture capital fund that invests in new companies led by women, people of color and LGBTQ founders in need of venture capital.

Pitch Black was designed to create a launch pad to equip promising entrepreneurs with the tools needed to develop their businesses. In preparation for the contest, each finalist is carefully paired with a seasoned entrepreneur and pitch coach that can help them refine their pitch and ensure that the business value proposition is clearly conveyed for future investment opportunities.

With African American women at the forefront of the women’s movement, MVMT50 chose to shine a light on this powerful group of women by making them the focus of this year’s competition.

“SXSW is thrilled to continue our eight-year association with MVMT50 to host Pitch Black,” said SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest. “Shifting the focus to African American women entrepreneurs is not only timely, but extremely necessary. We are proud to support Pitch Black as one of SXSW’s many diversity-focused events.”

As the momentum for Pitch Black continues to grow, Backstage Capital has agreed to sponsor the grand prize of a $10,000 convertible note for this year’s Judges Choice Award.

“Pitch Black uniquely aligns with Backstage Capital’s mission of providing investments to the most vulnerable – women, people of color and LGBTQ communities. While most VC’s see these communities as a risk, we see them as an opportunity,” said Founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton, who will serve as a judge in this year’s competition.

“The transformation that is happening in the tech world as well as other industries symbolizes a turn in the tide – with women at the forefront of the movement. I look forward to working with MVMT50 to give female business leaders of tomorrow this unique opportunity.”

Pitch Black contestants will be tasked with pitching their business to a panel of judges and live audience in less than four minutes. One $10,000 Judge’s Choice Winner will be selected by a panel of 5 judges and the People’s Choice Winner will be chosen by the audience and win a $2,500 cash prize provided by the HBCU Battle of The Brains and the National Black MBA Association Austin Chapter.

Pitch Black: The Future is Female will be held on the 4th floor of the JW Marriott at 110 E. Second St. on Sunday, March 11 from 4-6:30pm. All attendees must have a SXSW Badge or Day Pass.