West Des Mones, IA– The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) is accepting applications starting Wednesday, February 1 for the 2023 Athene Black & Brown Business Summit (BBBS) pitch competition, brought to you by exclusive pitch competition partner Bank of America. Deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, March 1 by 5 p.m.
“The West Des Moines Chamber Black & Brown Business Summit pitch competition is a great opportunity for minority-owned businesses to propel towards success,” said Annie Brandt, senior vice president, market executive, Bank of America Iowa. “We’re excited and honored to partner with the West Des Moines Chamber again for this amazing opportunity.”
Applicants to the 2023 Athene BBBS pitch competition must be 51% minority owned, have been in business for at least two years and be a for-profit business. Those who are selected will be invited to participate on April 20 in small business workshops featuring area experts. Applicants also have the opportunity to win part of a cash prize given to the companies with the best pitches. Over the last two years, pitch competition winners have received a total of $52,000 in prize money.
The 2022 pitch competition saw 40 minority businesses participate, with ten of them winning cash prizes. Winners included Lumena Energy at first place winning $12,000, Autistic & Loved at second place winning $10,000 and Stagerie, Inc. at third place winning $6,000. Additional pitch winners won $2,000 and included A Little Buzzed, Dae-licious Delights, Dupee Consulting Group LLC, Evry Intention LLC, Iowa Media Co., Light Pong, and Mountain High Jz Coffee LLC.
“Since being awarded money from the Athene Black and Brown Business competition, my business has taken off,” said Shar Roorda, owner of A Little Buzzed. “I feel so blessed to be part of such a special organization that partners with people of color to help them realize their dreams. I learned so much from this process and experience. The people involved were so positive and encouraging. It was evident that this event was made to propel people forward.”