With more than 310 RSVPs and approximately 200 in attendance, Chicago was National Black MBA Association’s largest showing for Scale-Up Pitch Challenge since its inception in 2017. Along with Chicago Chapter membership, there were several Google executives on hand to witness the event and Melinda Jordan, Entrepreneurship Chair; Amelia Jackson, NBMBAA Chicago Chapter President; and Jon May, Google, were responsible for the huge success. The master of ceremonies role was shared by Morgan Waller and Kevin Smith, from the Chicago Chapter, who entertained the crowd and facilitated the competition.
Those moving on from the Midwest Regional Competition to compete in the semi-finals in Houston include:
• Alerje – Javier Evelyn
• Composio, Inc – Jason Caston
• Mive – Mica Caine
• PeduL, Inc – Kayla Jackson
• SpenDebt – Kiley Summers
Google Cloud will provide $3,000 in Google Cloud service credit to all of the Chicago competitors. In addition, they will provide $20,000 credit to the top 5 that are moving on to Houston. The other sponsor (University of Chicago, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship) will provide a three month complimentary membership to the five finalists.
The Chicago Chapter has engaged with the 2017 and 2018 Scale-Up Competition winners, Atima Lui and Kwame Boler. Both have agreed to support the advancing competitors by sharing their experiences, lessons learned and keys for success. Lui and Boler will accomplish this by offering 10-15 consultation sessions for each competitor.