A Florida A&M University music industry major is among winners of The Pitch 2019 innovation and entrepreneurial competition recently held in Durham, N.C. Sydney Holness joined four other students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, who were hand-selected for the competition.
Members of The Pitch 2019 first place team winning team were:
· Tykira Beasley, Elizabeth City State University
· Sydney Holness, Florida A&M University
· Carlos Mayers, Hampton University
· Keyshawn Morehead, Albany State University
· Milan Philbert,University of the Virgin Islands
Over the course of a very intense week of learning, the team created an innovative app for school teachers called GRADE FLIP. The app is designed to make the process of grading papers more efficient allowing them more time to spend with their students. Team members won a MacBook, and DJI Mavic Air drone.
“The Pitch 2019 has honestly changed my life! I’m blessed to have met so many talented students and to have been mentored by the TMCF staff and sponsors,” said winning pitch team member Sydney Holness. “My team worked so cohesively and tirelessly to build our business idea to the best of our ability and we will bring it to fruition. Even students who weren’t on teams together plan to stay connected to collaborate on future business ideas. Thank you TMCF for giving me the opportunity, and space to grow as a business mind, I will never forget it.”
Three students, Rayna Belem from Spelman College, Andrei Carillo from Bowie State University, and winning pitch team member, Carlos Mayers from Hampton University, won a trip to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). In a surprise announcement, Terrence J offered Kennedy Hayden, a sophomore Music Industry major from Baltimore, MD, from Florida A&M University, and Jaelan Hodges from Virginia State University, exclusive summer internships with his management company, Sunset Park Productions, in Los Angeles, CA.
Made possible by program sponsors, the CIA, Deere & Company and Wells Fargo, The Pitch 2019 included remarks from Durham Mayor Steve Schewel, TMCF President & CEO Harry L. Williams, and Christina Piard, community engagement director for Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). In addition to TMCF National Ambassador Terrence J, expert judges included Brandon Andrews, Co-Founder, Gauge, Charlie Bradley, Senior Director of Public Affairs, Brian Hamilton Foundation, Tani Brown, Chief of Staff, Jopwell, Michael Doernberg, CEO and Co-Founder, ReverbNation, Drew Henson, CEO, Seam Technic, Rashad Howard, Entrepreneur, Investor, Change Agent, Ebony Pope, Principal, Rethink Education, Davon Snipes, Strategy Lead, Office of the CIO, Google, and Subway franchise owner, Chris Williams.
“Opportunities like The Pitch 2019, are immensely valuable in giving our entrepreneurial-minded HBCU students the tools to succeed,” said Harry L. Williams, TMCF President & CEO. “I am thankful to our partners and proud of all the students that competed. This is a springboard into a very promising future for these young innovators.”