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.Read More
Last week, I took the opportunity to sit down and share some thoughts — and concerns — about the Portland startup community that had been rattling around in my head. Even questioning, to some extent, whether it this iteration even behaves as a “community.” I’m always heartened when these sorts of posts (okay, rants) spark more conversation. And that’s exactly what’s occurring over on the Portland Startups Slack.Read More
No single event on the West Coast does more to showcase — and support — Black entrepreneurs than PitchBlack. So it only stands to reason that the next version of the pitch competition will take place during Black History Month. What may come as a surprise, however, is where the Portland-born event is taking place, this time around.Read More
Among the names of 150 Black tech leaders imploring technology companies and startups to take a stand against systemic racism — through a newly launched effort called Black Tech for Black Lives — a couple of names immediately stood out. That’s because they were Portland founders Stephen Green, founder of PitchBlack, and Lindsey Murphy, founder of The Fab Lab.Read More
Honestly, me too. So when I saw this hint drop on Twitter I immediately wanted to share it. I mean, not a lot of details at the moment, admittedly. But a hint. At the very least. And that’s something. And the good news is that Pitch Black very well may be back in 2020. And returning to more cities than Portland.Read More
It’s been more than a week. I’m still processing. To be honest. It was the biggest PitchBlack I’d had the opportunity to attend. It had the most people pitching. It was sold out. And for all of the energy and love I’d felt at previous PitchBlacks, this one just seemed to be something special. I’m really really glad I got the chance to attend. But it’s taken me a while to take it all in.
This Wednesday marks the fifth installment of PitchBlack, an event created by Stephen Green to showcase Black Portland founders that has grown into a national happening. Wednesday’s event will be the biggest PitchBlack Portland ever, held at Wieden+Kennedy’s headquarters in the Pearl. By all accounts, this is a big deal — and probably a little stressful for participants. That’s why Stephen reached out to former PitchBlack presenters to get some last minute words of advice and a bit of a pep talk.
PitchBlack is the premier local pitch event for black and brown founders. Built Oregon is striving to be the voice for consumer products in Oregon. So when you put the two together, you get an interesting night of pitches on consumer products from some of the most promising entrepreneurs in the state. And it’s all happening as part of the Built Up Festival.
Portland is lucky to be home to one of the most impactful and growing events for black entrepreneurs, PitchBlack, a pitch competition that has featured local black founders for the past three years and has now expanded to other cities. But where did the concept get its start? Free Enterprise sat down with founder Stephen Green to get the story.