CBK Ventures has launched a pitch competition, offering Philadelphia tech-based entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of knowledgeable business leaders and secure funding.
Through a partnership including 1Philadelphia, Coded by Kids, Plain Sight Capital, and the city of Philadelphia, the pitch competition will invest in promising, early-stage entrepreneurs who have historically been shut out from traditional funding sources.
From now through Feb. 27, early-stage companies led by underrepresented business founders — particularly those who can quickly leverage technology to scale their companies — are encouraged to bring their ideas to the competition.
“This competition is a way to bring needed funding to Philadelphia’s underrepresented founders,” Sylvester Mobley, founder and CEO of Coded by Kids and managing director of Plain Sight Capital said in a news release.
“By funding new startups, we’re expanding the tech industry and building new opportunities for wealth. Each successful new startup brings us one step closer to becoming a center for equitable tech and innovation.”
The competition’s judges will base their decisions on each team’s potential, not their product, with a culminating March 31 virtual pitch event at which CBK Ventures will award anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 in funding to the top five business initiatives.
“There’s no lack of creativity and talent in Philadelphia,” said Isaac Ewell, executive director of CBK Ventures’ Venture Studio, in a statement.
“We know that with the right resources and access to funding, people that have been excluded from tech and innovation can make a real impact. The goal of CBK Ventures is to be that connection for aspiring entrepreneurs.”
With funding provided by Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce through the PHL: Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative, the event includes participating partners Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, Comcast NBCUniversal, PACT, Brevity, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the African-American Chamber of Commerce and Cozen O’Connor. In addition to providing awards, partners will also act as judges for the competition.
“Philadelphia has so many brilliant individuals with startup ideas, and this is an excellent opportunity to get a few of those initiatives off the ground,” said Heloise Jettison, of the city’s Commerce Department, in a news release.
“We’re committed to making sure that as our business community grows, it grows equitably; and there’s no better way to do that than directly supporting Black and Brown founders in our city.”
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