Healthcare and finance dominate at 2nd Annual Pitch for Good: Black Founders Edition

April 29, 2021 / Share:

Today, we kicked off the second season of Pitch for Good with our most popular elevator pitch event so far with attendance over 300! 

Six Black entrepreneurs took the stage for Pitch for Good: Black Founders Edition to pitch their businesses for up to $13,000 in financial grants, with three coming out as the ultimate winners: Dr. Erika Dilliard, founder of PopCheck Technologies, Courtney Hale, founder of Super Money Kids Co., and Crowd Favorite Faye Pryor, founder of Potty Cap.

“There’s no better way to kick start a new season of Pitch for Good than to celebrate Black founders making a difference in our community. With generous support from our sponsors and judges, we’re excited to be able to continue what we started last year and highlight entrepreneurs making our new normal a better one,” said our CEO Jane Allen.

Produced in partnership with Cummins Inc, Dell Technologies, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GPSOURCES and Launch Tennessee, this second annual Black Founders Edition received more than 70 applicants from all industries across Tennessee. 

This year’s kick-off event came with an exciting new twist, as sponsor Cummins, Inc. contributed $26,000 in financial grants to go to the chosen pitches in each category, as part of a larger contribution from the Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative.

Only six entrepreneurs were chosen to present their 1 minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of over 300 people for the chance at these grants. 

In the Launch category for businesses under $25,000 in annual revenue:

In the Up and Running category for businesses over $25,000 in annual revenue:

The winner in each size category was determined based on a points system by a panel of four expert judges who ranked each team on their presentation, business viability and their impact on their community.

“CARE (Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity) is a first step to Cummins undoing systematic oppression and discrimination. The Nashville Entrepreneur Center fits right into our goal for CARE and we are elated to be a sponsor this year,” said India Hester. 

This year’s expert judge panel included: 

  • Mobolaji Sokunbi – NA Small Business, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Dell Technologies
  • Sheleah Harris – Manager of State and Local Government Affairs and Community Engagement at Verizon
  • Toni Hickey – Deputy General Counsel/Chief IP Counsel for Transactions and Strategy at Cummins Inc.
  • Felicia Jackson – Founder and CEO of CPRWrap, Inc. and Winner of 2020 Pitch for Good: Tennessee Tough

Thank you to our judges for giving their time, to our dedicated group of volunteers who narrowed the field through our selection committee, and to our sponsors for their ongoing support of our entrepreneurial community: Cummins Inc, Dell Technologies, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GPSOURCES and Launch Tennessee.

Weren’t able to catch the event? See the complete video recap here.

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