PITCH BLACK

PITCH BLACK is an outreach initiative for Black business owners, startups, entrepreneurs, and creatives that are committed to creating social change and economic equality for capital investments.

The initiative provides Black professionals who influence their community 
to use their platform to powerfully communicate their story.

PITCH BLACK will provide leadership connections statewide in business 
and philanthropic industries who can support them in achieving their goals. 
PITCH BLACK in partnership with Groundswell Capital will also provide 
non-restrictive grants to assist selected participants.

PITCH BLACK

Black Owned Business in the US

A strong entrepreneurial spirit among Black Americans has spurred the creation of untold numbers of Black owned businesses going back centuries and, at certain times in history, has resulted in thriving communities of enterprise such as the “Black Wall Street” of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and 
the bustling Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

With the escalation of racial tensions and Jim Crow laws, these Black businesses became vulnerable to targeting and destruction. Few resources were available for Black business owners to rebuild if their businesses 
were damaged.

Black business ownership began to steadily decline beginning in the early 1940s and remained stagnant for several decades before an economic renaissance in the early 1980s. Black business ownership has continued its upward trajectory despite the ongoing challenges of having to continually navigate structural and instructional racism.

-Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

BACKGROUND

HOW DID PITCH BLACK START?

PITCH BLACK started in June 2020 under the name “PITCH BLAX” during Blax Friday’s live digital event called BLAX FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE. Black business owners delivered a 1-minute pitch on their businesses and one business owner from Tucson, AZ was awarded a $500 prize.

In 2021, Blax Friday partnered with Hustle PHX and Archwood Exchange to produce a national competition. Black business owners delivered a 3-minute pitch with their application and a pre-recorded video was shared through social media platforms. Five Black businesses from diverse industries we’re selected nationwide and awarded $1000 each.

Funding for PITCH BLACK became difficult to secure in 2022 to continue the initiative until now!

WHAT DOES PITCH BLACK OFFER

IDEAL CANDIDATES

ELIGIBILITY

Black Entrepreneur/Business Owner

Applicants identify as Black, Pan-African, Moorish American, African American and/or of the African diaspora operating a business

Service Area

Applicant must be based in Tucson, Arizona.

Business Size

Sole Proprietor or less than five employees operating for less than 10 years.

Restrictions

PITCH BLACK will not consider applications from individuals, public school districts, sports teams, or any other organization that discriminates based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, marital status, national origin or physical ability.

SELECTION CRITERIA

A team of partners, business leaders and community representatives 
will score the applications and select 10 finalists for the PITCH BLACK stage on the following 6 criteria:

Potential — Approach to solving a problem through innovative thinking

Highlight —The idea is inspirational and motivational

Focus — Scope of the problem and how it is being addressed

Clarity —Presents “the why” clearly and articulates the solution

Community — Positive impact and influence locally

Measurement — Metrics are being used to assess long-term outcomes

PRIZES

FIRST PLACE WINNERS (4) — $5,000 each
RUNNER-UPS (2) — $1,000 each

IMPORTANT DATES

March 11 - Applications Open
April 12 - Application Deadline
April 22 - PITCH BLACK Finalists Selected
May 3 - Finalists Pitch Deck Due
May 15 - PITCH BLACK!

2024 SELECTION COMMITTEE

Arika J. Wells
Chief Operating Officer
United Way Tucson

Shannon Roberts, PH.D
Scout Executive/CEO
Catalina Council, Boy Scouts Of America

Moniqua Lane
Owner
The Downtown Clifton

Ashley La Russa
Founder
Roux Events, Blax Friday

Jeaiza Quiñones Ivory
Director for Community Impact
CFSA

James McGee
Leasing Manager
Park Place Mall

Carmen Attikossie
Sr. Small Business
Development Manager
Local First Arizona

Application

Applications will be accepted starting March 11, 2024 and close April 12, 2024 at 11:59 PM MST. After you submit your application, pitch deck and 3-min pitch video, We will let you know via email whether you have been selected as a finalist by April 22, 2024.

Applications need to be completed in one session. You are strongly advised to keep a copy of the information you provide.

For example: A number of fields require text and we recommend that you first develop your answer offline and then copy and paste it in the appropriate places.  Once you have completed the application, be sure to submit it by clicking Submit at the end.

All applications must be submitted in English

QUESTIONS?

Email us at info@blaxfriday.com if you have any questions