The Atlanta pitch competition came in strong! If you missed the last virtual pitch competition, you could head over to the Sheraise platform to get the deets on past and future pitch competition events. Black Girl Ventures creates access to capital for Black and Brown women-identifying founders. The virtual format of the event allows for increased viewership, and BGV supporters globally will be able to tune in, submit their votes, and make donations through SheRaise. The BGV pitch competition needs your help to grow. You can continue to support these talented women below by purchasing their products, spreading the word, and voting at the next pitch competition! Congratulations to the winners!
Alon Otis - 1st Place Winner
Alon fell in love with wellness while working at a juice bar in downtown Detroit during her senior year of high school. Excited by the new experience, she landed another job at a juice bar in Chicago’s South Loop while earning her B.A. in Music Business Management at Columbia College Chicago.
The education she gained from these positions provided her with the foundation to live a plant-based lifestyle. She noticed that friends and family back home often scoffed at the idea of veganism. Out of curiosity, she began researching the disconnect between minorities (Black and Brown communities especially) and veganism.
She found that minorities in America have disproportionate heart disease cases, diabetes, and cancer due to socioeconomic injustices that allow many impoverished communities across the nation to be food deserts where only fast food options exist for the residents.
Alon also took heed to the astronomical price gap between over-processed foods advertised to minorities and the nutritious foods offered in abundance to affluent neighborhoods. The intense and detrimental effect these issues have on her community impelled Alon to found The Beet Box. She combined her love of music with her love of wellness to create a brand that communities like the one she was raised in can enjoy and afford.
Whitney Osei Akintaju - 2nd Place Winner
Ethnic District is an online marketplace that makes it effortless for consumers in the U.S. to purchase authentic, Afro-centric beauty and grocery items from over 100 vetted suppliers globally and have it delivered within days. They source their products directly from brands in Africa and the U.S., providing them with the positioning and distribution to scale in the U.S. market. So whether you're a Nigerian study abroad college student or a second-generation millennial mama with a busy schedule, you can always enjoy your favorite African goods anytime, anywhere.
Originally from Ghana, West Africa, she moved to the U.S. with her dad when she was six years old in pursuit of the American Dream. She has 10+ years of demonstrated success working with SMEs as a digital marketing coordinator, account manager, and sales professional in FinTech, consumer technology, and e-commerce.
Whitney is on a mission to connect ethnic brands globally to the multi-billion dollar U.S. market through an online storefront where they can sell, grow, and scale--starting with the continent of Africa.
Portia Mathis - 3rd Place Winner
Created and founded by Portia Mathis, BarBella Co. was born due to nail products containing toxic chemicals, leading to different skin ailments, health conditions, and damaged nails.
They primarily focus on creating innovative and safe nail products, which provides & creates a lasting nail experience. Portia wanted to help inspire a sociable experience, who said nails did not have to be fun! Trendy colors and innovative nail products are their passion. BarBella aims to make the nail experience a sociable one.
They strive to deliver high quality, non-toxic, and at least 5-free products to nail artists worldwide. In delivering quality, all products are cruelty-free and free of harsh chemicals & toxins. Embark on an innovative and sociable journey with them!
BGV thanks the sponsors, the judges, the supporters, and various members of our community for supporting these women in their pitch competition. Micro-funding is a powerful tool that helps founders maintain the momentum in their businesses.