Do you have a big idea that you would like to get in front of early-stage investors and venture capitalists? Here is your chance. Applications are now open for the 2019 National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge. The winning team will be awarded a $50,000 grand prize. Additional prizes will be given to second place ($10,000), third place ($1,500), and the People’s Choice winner ($1,000).
It’s not a secret that black startup founders struggle to gain visibility and funding in the venture capital world. According to a 2015 CB Insights analysis, black founders received just 1% of the funding provided by VCs, and the statistics haven’t gained much momentum since then.
That’s why the National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge was launched in 2017. The goal is to award $2 million in business grants to members as part of the 2020 Vision.
Last year, a young millennial entrepreneur walked away from the 40th Annual National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference with $50K to scale his startup.
“A friend who was a National Black MBA member really pushed us to apply last year and then we were skeptical [this year]. But we’re happy that we did it,” says Kwame Boler, the co-founder and CEO at NEU Inc.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, submit your application by Monday, July 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Top 15 finalists will be notified in August and receive complimentary conference registration, $500 for travel expenses, and lodging.
You’ll need to upload a 90-second elevator pitch, complete the business canvas, create an Angel List profile, and send in your submission form. At least one member of your Scale-Up Pitch Challenge team must be a member of the NBMBAA.
Semi-finalists will present their pitch in front of a panel of judges during the NBMBAA conference. The 41st Annual NBMBAA Conference and Exposition will be hosted in Houston from Sept. 24–28. The Scale-Up Pitch Challenge will be announced after the finalists round on Thursday, Sept. 26.
Black Enterprise Contributors Network