Why create a pitch competition ?
For Black startup funders and founders, the participation gap is staggering. Only 1% of venture-backed companies have Black founders. Just 3% of investment partners at VC firms are Black. When it comes to access to funding, Black women experience the compounding effects of race and gender with 2.7% average VC funding compared with white males. As a consequence, investors are missing opportunities to fund the next big growth idea - ideas which likely also tap into cultures, problems, and solutions unfamiliar to the typical investor. There are exciting matches to make in this space. We also created this competition to support Black founders. The majority of ventures are funded with personal and family money, putting Black founders at a distinct disadvantage considering the median Black household has 3 cents per dollar held by the median white household. pitch is one of our responses after listening to the community of Black founders and investors, who suggest two actions based on their needs and experiences: hire Black investors and fund Black founders.
Right now in entrepreneurship, it matters where you live, what you look like, and who you know.
If you're in a position to help, find ways to empower founders of color so they can reach the same success as white founders. To the people who have the power to enact that kind of change: You really need to step up.
We believe business activity provides a remarkable opportunity for societal transformation. We therefore have the responsibility of using the platform of business as a force multiplier to tackle pernicious and persistent issues of racial equity, justice, and fairness that plague society.