The NBA Finals may have ended when Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to victory to clinch his fourth championship, but the league’s all-stars are still active.
Leveraging their work from the all-star game hosted in Cleveland, OH, earlier this year, the NBA Foundation partnered with Black Girl Ventures (BGV) to host its first-ever pitch competition.
The joint programming was available to college-aged entrepreneurs from HBCUs across the nation. Hosted on June 17, seven participants presented their business ideas in front of a panel of judges that included Cleveland Cavilers head coach, J.B. Bickerstaff, and notable HBCU alumni.
The college entrepreneurs were a part of BGV’s NextGen Program, a grantee of the NBA Foundation. The NextGen program aims to create access to capital and necessary resources for success aimed at student entrepreneurs, who are ages 18-24.
Daa’iyah Fogle of Claflin University and Malcolm Lee of Virginia Union University tied for first place among the seven participants in the pitch competition. The two young entrepreneurs split the $10,000 grand prize, earning $5,000 in capital for their business.
Fogle is the CEO and founder of Day’s Design. The young company is a creative firm that offers its clients strategy, brand identity, social media marketing, and brand photography.
While on the other hand, Lee is the founder and CEO of Gabb Global. This educational tech firm uses the power of VR to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of immersive language learning experiences for ESL students.
The second and third place winners have not been chosen yet. However, supporters can view pitches and vote for the remaining winner over the next several days. The second and third-place winners will receive $6,000 and $2,000, respectively.
The remaining HBCU entrepreneurs and their respective businesses included:
- Daryl “Dj” Riley, Tendaji
- Zipporah Sowell, Rooted Vybz LLC
- Peter Iwuh, TyKoon MP
- Kenia Best, Your Very Own!
- Kennedy Dumas, Stationery Black
You can view all the pitches and vote for your favorite business ideas here.