The Pitch-Black Competition has become a stage for innovation, entrepreneurship, and community empowerment, showcasing remarkable businesses and ventures led by talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. Over the years, this competition has celebrated and supported a multitude of exceptional enterprises.

The Pitch-Black Competition has evolved into a beacon of creativity and inclusivity, fostering an ecosystem where innovative businesses thrive. From luxury candles to educational centers, culinary experiences to virtual travel, these finalists demonstrate the power of entrepreneurship to bring change, diversity, and innovation to our communities. Between 2021 and now, MAC has generously supported this remarkable journey, contributing $68,500.00 in prizes to further these inspiring ventures. As the competition continues, we eagerly anticipate the next wave of entrepreneurs who will shape our future.

Here is a look at the companies in which we have invested so far:

The Local Art Plug

Founded by Xavier Jackson, serves as a platform for local art lovers to connect with and support local artists.

Cherish Perkins, LLC

Founded by Cherish Perkins, offers distinctive clothing to make every customer feel fantastic in their attire.

Serenity Home Solutions, LLC

Founded by Vera Mahadi & Hakim Lado, seeks to provide affordable, therapeutic, and nurturing environments in residential and transitional homes, empowering individuals and families impacted by mental illness, behavioral issues, and substance use disorders.

Island Chill, LLC

Founded by Deshawn Hernandez, operates within the Business Services sector, focusing on Business Activities at Non-Commercial Sites.


Founded by Artez and Dorinda Young, is an e-commerce website that helps consumers find the products and services they need.

Okra African Grill LLC

Founded by Nina Sodji, pays homage to African cultures and Togolese culinary influences, driven by Nina's heartfelt passion for cooking delicious food.

Ital Vital Living

Owned by Imani Murray, brings a drive-thru cold-pressed juices and smoothies brand to Omaha, Nebraska.

Topkifer, Inc.

A technology company founded by Robert Epai and friends, acts as an e-commerce platform connecting African sellers to buyers and providing shipping services.

Finally Voyage LLC

Founded by Fatou Jean-Luc, offers virtual travel tours worldwide through a mobile app, allowing users to explore their favorite destinations from the comfort of their homes by connecting with local hosts.

Meraki Montessori

Established by Ty and Radell Nared, is a Montessori-inspired toy company dedicated to creating sustainable, eco-friendly toys and decor for children.

House of Bah

Founded by Jamil Djibril-Bah-Traore, is an Omaha-based catering company with a unique twist. It promotes diversity and inclusiveness in the US hospitality marketplace, serving innovative fusion cuisine combining emergent African flavors with modern techniques.

Islasimone Candle LLC

Co-founded by Shereece DendySanders and Kalisha Reed, embodies the essence of self-respect and self-love. This black-owned, women-led business, based in Omaha, Nebraska, crafts luxury candles hand-poured with love and intention, bearing names thoughtfully chosen to reflect essential qualities.

Gifted Minds Learning Center

Initiated by Dr. Danita Webb and Mrs. Beverly Tate, is a haven for children. Their mission is to build a robust Cradle to Career Pathway within the community, offering quality care from birth to preschool and structured before-and-after-school programs.

English Language Network

Now the Heartland Integration Center (HIC), was born out of the realization that many immigrants and refugees struggled to fully integrate into their new communities. HIC champions an integrated diversity model, facilitating language acquisition, cultural understanding, and the breakdown of "US vs. Them" mentalities.

The One Security Solutions LLC

Founded by Tony Cannon Jr with the intention to provide trained uniformed security officers for clients’ everyday business needs. The company has a wide variety of specially trained staff officers from retired military personnel, correctional officers, armed security, professional bodyguard, and retired police officers. The One Security Solutions is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Thumbtack Network, and Bodyguard Nations.