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Pitch Black Grand Rapids offers pitch competition for black entrepreneurs

Grand Rapids , In line with National Black Business Month, the Michigan Small Business Development Center has announced a new and entertaining Grand Rapids pitch competition on September 28 called Pitch Black.

It was created in 2021 in response to the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black-owned businesses in Muskegon County. The highly successful competition is now coming to Grand Rapids and will focus on Black-owned businesses operating in Kent County.

In August, 20 black business owners were selected from a pool of applicants to become contestants and received pitch training to prepare them to present in front of a panel of black judges during the preliminary rounds. Five to seven contestants will then be selected as finalists and will be offered their share of the $10,000 in front of a live studio audience. “It’s like Shark Tank meets America’s Got Talent,” said Ed Garner, Western Michigan Regional Director of the Michigan SBDC. “It will take place on an auditorium stage in game show style – with a Black host, Black contestants, Black judges, Black music, Black dancers and even Men in Black. This is our way of uplifting the Black business community and is part of our DEI initiative called Uplift Michigan™, a strategic movement designed to ensure equal access for all diverse entrepreneurs in Michigan.

There will also be a business and resource showcase prior to the competition featuring all 20 contestants and selected organizations that support Black-owned businesses. The competition and performance will take place Thursday, Sept. 28, at Grand Valley State University’s DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium, 401 W. Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. The showcase will open at 5 pm and the competition will begin at 6:30 pm

Pitch Black Grand Rapids is sponsored by Comerica Bank, Huntington Bank, Choice One Bank and Fifth Third Bank. Three cash awards will be presented by the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at GVSU. The first place grand prize is $5,000, second place prize is $3,500, and third place prize is $1,500. Prize money can be used for any legitimate business purpose.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged due to space limitations. All spectators are asked to wear casual black attire.

For more information (including a list of contestants and judges) and registration go here https://michigansbdc.org/pitch-black-gr/,

Source: mitechnews.com

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