A&M STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN “THE PITCH”

Nine Alabama A&M University students participated in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s THE PITCH 2019 competition, presented by Apple. The students joined 90 students representing 36 other historically black colleges and universities in a four-day challenging entrepreneurial competition in Durham, N.C. The activity concluded May 23.

TMCF’s newly re-designed Innovation & Entrepreneurship Division identified the talented HBCU students who will be tasked with developing solutions to business, social, or educational problems and then pitching their ideas to an expert panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives, venture capitalists, and other investors. THE PITCH 2019 is the optimum 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.

The AAMU students selected for the competition were Msontai Brock, a sophomore computer science major from Cincinnati, Ohio; Kelan Butcher, sophomore, computer science, Gadsden, Ala.; Christian Henderson, junior, computer science, Maylene, Ala.; Justin Lindberg, junior, computer science, Bolingbrook, Ill.; Demyrius Lindsey-Lewis, junior, computer science, Mobile, Ala.; Erin Martin, sophomore, business management, Detroit, Mich.; Dominque Spence, junior, management, Opelika, Ala.; Christopher Toney, sophomore, construction management, Columbus, Ga.; and Georgiana Wright, sophomore, computer science, Madison, Ala.

“In today’s evolving globally diverse marketplace we have to ensure that America’s HBCU students are first given the tools to enhance their talents and the opportunities to present their skills,” said TMCF Executive Vice President of Business Development and Innovation & Entrepreneurship George Spence. “The Pitch 2019 is one of the best opportunities around for our most creative, and entrepreneurial HBCU minds to solve real-world problems through their innovative solutions.”

“I spend a great deal of time recruiting and developing top talent for all of Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s programs,” noted Carla Draper Holloway of AAMU Honors Program, who also serves as the TMCF campus coordinator. “To have so many AAMU students apply and be selected for ‘The Pitch’ speaks to the strong brand awareness that we’ve been able to create on our campus.”

Throughout the conference, students heard from industry experts who provided training sessions led by event partners (e.g., the CIA, Deere & Company and Wells Fargo, etc.). Scheduled industry speakers and expert judges included Michael Doernberg, CEO and co-founder, ReverbNation; Ebony Pope, principal, Rethink Education; Davon Snipes, strategy lead, Office of the CIO, Google; and Terrence J, actor, host, producer, and TMCF National Ambassador.

Excited to be a judge for TMCF’s THE PITCH 2019 was Terrence J, TMCF National Ambassador. “As an entrepreneur myself, I have tremendous respect for these HBCU students competing to use innovation to find solutions through technology.”

In past years, prizes for the winning teams have included an opportunity to attend Apple’s WWDC conference, Leadership Exchange Study Abroad Scholarship, Macbooks, and iPads. For more information about TMCF programs, visit: www.tmcf.org