We held our first networking event of 2017 on March 23rd, at Black-owned Mo Better Blues in downtown Detroit. Titled #PitchBlack, this event focused on entrepreneur and business networking, and it included a business pitch competition.

The Pitch Competition

During the event we held a business pitch competition. Competitors had 60 seconds on the mic to describe and sell their product, service, or idea to the audience. A panel of three judges including our special guest speaker Christa Chambers-Price of Entre-SLAM rated contestants in four areas:

  • Energy & Enthusiasm
  • Connectivity & Relatability
  • Closing the deal
  • Overall presentation

Our contestants varied across multiple industries and origins. The goal behind this competition was simply to have fun highlighting the entrepreneurial efforts of Black professionals in the Metro Detroit region. We want to give our Black-owned businesses more visibility to young Black professionals who have options on where to spend their money. We hoped that this event would not only uplift our fellow young entrepreneurs, but inspire others to take action on their own thoughts and dreams, and most importantly, strongly consider keeping their money within the community longer when possible.

At the end of a busy and exciting night, we had three winners:

  • First Place: Bryan Richardson 
    Bryan’s Backyard Inc.
    Bryan’s Backyard is a urban sports park. The park relies on alternative income streams to provide Detroit residents with access to high quality recreational space for free. The hope of Bryan’s Backyard is to give youth and the community a place to congregate, have fun, and do good. The space will decrease crime, raise property value, and create educational opportunities through sports.
    More Info: https://www.facebook.com/BryansBackyardInc
  • Second Place: Kwaku Osei-Bonsu
    TheStrangeRootsBox is a monthly subscription care package bringing 4 items manufactured by small black businesses to YOU, college students, the military enlisted, senior citizens, and (soon) those that are in incarcerated.
    Website: www.strangeroots.co
  • Third Place: Lesley Hairston
    Detroit Area Black Businesses (DABB313)
    Dabb313.com is a tool designed to help the community find and support the places that support us. The ratings and reviews make this more than just a business directory. It is a tool that provides Detroit area black businesses with valuable feedback from the community, intended to help their businesses grow. Dabb313.com also allows the community to discover and patronize the businesses that feel like home: Comfortable and welcoming spaces designed by us, for us.
    Website: DABB313.com or detroitareablackbusinesses.com

Please take some time to check our their websites and social media. Support the businesses that support us when it is reasonable for you to do so. In some cases that may only be when you’re traveling through certain parts of the Metro. Even if so, check out these young talented minds doing their thing and supporting our community. Spread the word about these businesses.

We hope to see you at our next mixer!