Shark Tank’s Daymond John will headline the 2nd Annual Black and Brown Business Summit


Are you a minority owned business? Are you thinking of starting a minority owned business? Have you built a minority owned business, have been thriving for several years, want to mix with other minority owned business leaders and learn some new tool for success? Then, the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit is for you. 

The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit

The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit was created by national stakeholders to elevate ethnic minorities and bring BIPOC businesses together to assist with connection building, programming, promotion, training, and to provide resources to help businesses grow and prosper.


The second annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, held April 21 and 22, will bring everyone from entrepreneurs to seasoned companies together in a hybrid setting at Athene in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Summit includes a pitch competition, breakout sessions led by top experts, Mel Essex Award, inspirational keynote speakers and more. Our goal is to help advance the minority business community across the country and position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business.

The West Des Moines Chamber launched the Black and Brown Business Summit last April.
Photo Hola Iowa

The Pitch Competition

Athene Black & Brown Business Summit Pitch Competition applications are now open and presented by pitch competition partner, Bank of America. You could win part of the $40,000 grand prize. Are you a minority business owner and would like to be part of the excitement, education, and entertainment that the pitch competition and summit brings? Then participate in the 2022 Pitch Competition. Deadline to apply to the pitch competition is March 15, 2022.


“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 2022 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 that are selected will be invited to participate on April 21 in a small business workshop featuring area experts. Applicants also have the opportunity to win part of the $40,000 cash prize given to the companies with the best pitches, $10,000 of which was donated by the BBBS 2021 keynote speaker George Herrera, current independent director of the board of Travel and Leisure Co. and former president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Anyone in Iowa – or the world – can apply, however, you need to attend the pitch competition in person at Athene in West Des Moines, Iowa on April 21, 2022 to participate.


If you’re interested in applying to participate in the 2022 Athene BBBS pitch competition visit

Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank will be the keynote speaker for this year’s summit.

Daymond John will headline a great lineup of speakers and workshops for the 2022 Black and Brown Business Summit. 


An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his business operation into its basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales world-wide.

His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm The Shark Group offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world’s top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions.

John is also an author of 5 best-selling books including his New York Times best-selling books, The Power of Broke (2016) and Rise and Grind (2018). In March 2020, John released his fifth book, Powershift, that walks through his tried-and-true process of how to transform any situation, close any deal and achieve any outcome through his own experience and vast network of industry leaders.

Finally, John is celebrating his 13th season on ABC TV’s critically acclaimed business reality show Shark Tank by renowned producer Mark Burnett, which has reinvigorated entrepreneurship around the world. Shark Tank has now gone on to win five Emmy® in the US and millions of weekly viewers world-wide tune into the show as John demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights.

For more information about the Black and Brown Business Summit visit

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