The Midlands African Chamber, Inc. (MAC) celebrated its third annual Pitch Black Competition Finale and Business Expo, on July 8th, 2023, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Creighton University Harper Center. The business pitch competition aimed to provide a platform for aspiring BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color) and immigrant/refugee entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas and compete for a grand prize of up to $15,000, along with over $40,000 worth of in-kind support such as marketing, legal, and accounting services for their ventures.
The Pitch Black Competition Finale and Business Expo is a pioneering initiative dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and empowering businesses in Nebraska and Iowa. By creating opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to connect with potential investors, mentors, and resources, the event aims to stimulate economic growth and promote diversity within the local economy. The event will also feature speeches from three inspirational speakers, Hogoe Kpessou, Dr. Derreck Kayongo, and Ishmael Samuel.
The competition featured five carefully selected finalists, including:
- The Local Art Plug - Xavier Jackson
- Serenity Home Solutions, LLC - Vera Mahadi & Hakim Lado
- Island Chill, LLC - Deshawn Hernandez
- Cherish Perkins, LLC - Cherish Perkins
- GreenLexi - Artez and Dorinda Young
These exceptional entrepreneurs presented their business pitches to a panel of esteemed judges and a captivated audience. Each finalist had the opportunity to impress the panel with their unique business concepts, market potential, and growth strategies. The judges, comprising experienced professionals and industry experts, evaluated the pitches based on various criteria such as innovation, market viability, social impact, and scalability.
MAC would like to express their gratitude to the United Way of the Midlands, Weitz Family Foundation, Lozier Foundation, and the Sherwood Foundation, as well as all other sponsors and partners for their invaluable contributions and support in making this event possible. Their generosity and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and diversity in the region have been instrumental in helping local businesses thrive.