Judges Announced for TMCF’s The Pitch Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  The Thurgood Marshall College Fund's (TMCF) Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) division will host its annual entrepreneurial program, THE PITCH™ 2023 competition, with actor and author Hill Harper as one of the guest judges. The final round of pitches will occur on May 25, 2023, at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, both in-person and virtually.

In addition to Harper, guest judges will be Mickeia Jackson, managing director at CBRE, and Chantel Powell, Founder & CEO @PlayPits.

THE PITCH is an exciting competition designed to train 200 of the most outstanding young minds from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions in entrepreneurial training and app development. The program is intended for students who think critically, creatively and are passionate about solving problems. 

The competition includes the third cohort of MetaScholars, the largest cohort to date. The top 10 MetaScholars will compete against other students who have completed ten weeks of core learning and skills acquisition in the Metaverse, blockchain, and Web3 technology, equipping them with the skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly evolving business landscape.

"Last year, the Foundation supported the pilot of the Metaverse with MetaScholars as a part of THE PITCH™ competition," said Natalie Grandison, Director of Engineering Initiatives at the A. James & Alice Clark Foundation. "It was an exciting experience to not only view the in-person event in the virtual world as an avatar, but also to interact with the student teams from across the country that were able to have a quality experience developing their solutions and pitches virtually. We are proud to support this competition again, helping these 200 exceptional students build up their business acumen and compete to identify and create innovative solutions that solve today's problems."

THE PITCH™ is a fusion of technology and business acumen, bringing together "techie" students interested in building mobile apps and developing their technical skills with business-minded students who understand what it takes to succeed in business. The program aims to train future innovators from HBCUs in the skills necessary to generate economic success by identifying the next generation of global entrepreneurs from the Black college community. 

Teams will develop solutions to business, social, or educational challenges and pitch their ideas to expert judges composed of entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives, venture capitalists, and other investors.

"Wells Fargo is proud to partner with TMCF to support and elevate the entrepreneurial journey of talented HBCU students," said Gigi Dixon, Wells Fargo's head of External Engagement for Diverse Segments, Representation, and Inclusion. "The Pitch™ is championing the next generation of emerging leaders who are solving problems, contributing to the future of technology, and making an impact in their communities."

Each participant in THE PITCH™ is an aspiring entrepreneur and intrapreneur, and this unique environment provides fertile ground for the growth and development of entrepreneurial ventures. It is also an excellent opportunity for HBCU students to learn, engage in hands-on exercises, and develop the three C's of an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value.

"Our partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund helps to expand career opportunities for Black students and other underrepresented communities in our industry," said Tim Dismond, Chief Responsibility Officer of CBRE. "We are proud to support this initiative that empowers aspiring leaders with critical entrepreneurial, technology, and business skills needed for success."


Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member schools include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending Black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building, research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in K-12 and higher education. The organization is also a source for employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and jobs.


The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation partners with organizations to strengthen their ability to meet the needs of the individuals, families, and communities they serve. In keeping with Mr. Clark’s desire to spend down within a decade and maximize the impact of this funding, the Clark Foundation established its current philanthropic model in 2016. The Foundation focuses its philanthropy in three strategic areas: educating future engineering leaders, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the DC community the best opportunity to thrive. To learn more, visit: https://clarkfoundationdc.org/


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