Pitch Black 2016, held on August 25, 2016, had 220 attendees, ten pitches, and raised $12,000 for the winners. The event gives African-American startup entrepreneurs a platform to connect with the region’s growing startup ecosystem. This event is the brainchild of Stephen Green, economist, entrepreneur and in general - a swell guy. He is one of the founding board members of the SOUL District, a group of community members looking to create new economic opportunities and narratives to bolster Portland's Black community through investments in real estate, programming, and projects in inner N/NE PDX. Winners were selected by the attendees and are:
1st Place - Client Joy: Gift boxes of locally made products (Paige Hendrix-Buckner)
2nd Place - CutUp: mobile app connecting people with barbers and stylists (Damola Otomosho)
3rd Place - WikiPDX: Tourist app for hitting the spots that locals curate (Ian Williams)
Other pitchers were: B.TV (Analise Smith); Dime Quality (Herbert Smith); Interconnection (Sita Symonette); Pilotly (James Norman); Websites That Work (Kronda Adair); Physique Logic (Robert Murray); and Da Lab (Stephanie Ghoston). The SOUL District is happy to be joined by the following sponsors: Instrument, Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce (PICOC), ClientJoy, Portland Development Commission, and TiE Oregon.
Photo Copyright: Kersten Green Photography