More than 500 people gathered in The Patricia Reser Center for the Performing Arts in Beaverton, Oregon, last night to participate in PitchBlack, the pitch competition conceived and organized by Stephen Green. Attendees were rewarded with a wide variety of pitches from Black founders and business leaders. And when it was all said and done, three companies walked away with capital to support their concepts — but it’s really the entire community that won, last night.
All told, 10 companies took the stage at The Reser last night:
- Albina Vision Trust
- Beaverton Black Parent Union
- Black Earth United
- Black in Beaverton
- The Corporate Strategist
- Creative Homies
- Fridie Outdoors
- Heart & Hustle Productions
- We Out Here Magazine
And after the crowd votes were tallied, three companies bubbled to the top. Creative Homies took the top honors and $30,000, CardCraft took second and $20,000, and Heart & Hustle Products took third and $10,000. But each company took home a cash grant for their efforts.
All told, nearly $80,000 was awarded to participants.
In addition to learning about the amazing Black businesses being built in town, attendees also learned about the launch of two new podcasts: The Cheat More Podcast hosted by PitchBlack founder Stephen — inspired by his TEDxPortland talk — and Beauty in the Journey hosted by Hue Noir founder Paula Hayes.
See additional coverage from the Portland Business Journal.
For social media from the event, search on #pitchblack on Twitter. For more on the event or to stay in the loop on future activities, visit PitchBlack.
[Full disclosure: Built Oregon and PIE sponsored the event and assisted with logistics. I am the cofounder of both Built and PIE.]