The Midlands African Chamber (“MAC”) is a membership-based organization that enhances the robust African and African American business climate in Nebraska and the Midwest. The Chamber strives to create a positive economic impact in the Midwest by providing business opportunities, leadership, education, advocacy, and economic development.

The Pitch Black Accelerator (“PBA”) is an enterprise accelerator program designed to strengthen, energize, and support startups and small businesses led by BlPOC entrepreneurs in Nebraska and throughout the Midlands. PBA identifies black business leaders with impact-oriented solutions, addressing essential community needs while spurring sustainable growth. The Pitch Black Accelerator cohort participants will earn financial incentives and be automatically qualified to participate in the Black Pitch competition.

Eligibility Requirements

For consideration, prospective candidates must meet the basic requirements:
  • Founder or executive of a scalable, for-profit startup.
  • The company must be led or co-led by BIPOC entrepreneurs (51% owned).
  • The enterprise headquarter must be in Nebraska or Iowa.
  • Business must submit their application before December 31, 2022.
  • May be an established legal entity that has already been in operation for six months or more or a start-up.
  • The company must have been in existence for less than ten years of operation.
  • Competitors must submit an introductory video of themselves and their business/organization.
  • Individual entrants, or 51% of owners of corporate applicants, must be residents of the state of Nebraska or Iowa.

Primary Selection Criteria

  • Must demonstrate early traction evidenced in growing usage, revenue, or other metrics. The business should have a tangible digital or physical product or service
  • Potential for financial sustainability and investment.
  • Demonstrate the quantifiable impact and time reach.
  • The entrepreneurs must be able to dedicate themself to program acquisition, including enterprise training, mentorship sessions, networking events, and investor roundtable.
  • Finalists are expected to meet with program peers, MAC network members, founders, and sponsors as part of their commitment. Participants are expected to adhere to a high level of personal and professional integrity, respect for one another, and accountability.

Secondary Selection Criteria

  • Applications are welcome from all industries.
  • The Company shall value diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • Competitors must represent a business project or concept in the early stages of development or launch.
  • Competitors must present a summary of a strategic business plan with the following components:
      • Company Overview
      • Mission/ vision statement of the business
      • Employees (team, management, and owners)
      • Problem /solution, Market analysis/ opportunity
      • Products
      • Target customers
      • Competition (clearly differentiate your company from competitors)
      • Business model /operations (i.e., production, delivery, and potential growth)
      • Marketing plan/strategy
      • Technology
      • Financials/ investment proposal
      • Presentation is time sensitive (must be 5 minutes maximum)

Tentative Timeline

February 4th - May 26

Cohort runs

Friday, June 2nd - 9am-12 pm

Preliminary Round PB Finale
In person

Friday, June 16th - 9am-12pm

Pitch Preparation
In Person

Friday, June 30th - 5-8 pm

Ubuntu Mixer
In Person

Saturday, July 8th - 11 am-3 pm

Pitch Black Finale and Business Expo

Program Benefits

  • Opportunity to participate in an in-person Pitch Black competition.
  • Leadership and entrepreneurship training.
  • Regular virtual mentor meetings throughout the program to help master the curriculum and solve enterprises' specific challenges.
  • Equity-free funding, mentorship, and business support.
  • Opportunity to participate in exclusive networking-building forums.
  • Possibility to connect and network with venture capitalists, angels, and impact investors.

Selection Process

Participants in the Pitch Black Competition will be selected based on their strengths in the following areas:
  • Content (Business Nature and Industry)
  • Preparedness (Research and work put in)
  • Pitch Skills (Persuasion and on-time delivery)
  • Competitive Advantage and Potential for Growth (SWOT analysis)
  • Overall Concept (Business concept, creativity, innovation, and vision)
  • Community & Target Market (market size and social impact)

Prize Amounts

Tickets

Individual Ticket – Members

$50


Individual Ticket – Non Members

$60