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Black Girl Ventures Announces NextGen Spring Cohort Pitch Winners

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

The BGV NextGen Program was created for the next generation of Black and Brown entrepreneurs in mind attending HBCUs nationally. This experience will create access to capital, capacity, and community for student visionaries ranging from 18 to 24 years old.

The Student Visionaries work through a curated curriculum in preparation to show off their business acumen. The top seven (7) move on to a BGV-style pitch competition.

The Spring Cohort Pitch winners were recently announced.

1st place: Akilah's Essentials- Akilah Barrett, from Winston Salem State University.

2nd Place: WeNite, Inc - Anastasia Jackson, from Howard University

3rd place & Crowd Favorite: QTech -Quincy Box, from Morehouse College.

The seven student visionaries that pitched were:

Akilah Barrett - Akilah's Essentials - Winston Salem State University

Anastasia Jackson - WeNite Inc. - Howard University

Braxton Simpson - HBCULinx, LLC - North Carolina Central University

Jace Watkins - Kouture Xpress - Xavier University

Lovette Mba - The Ubi Box - Langston University

Rushell Dickerson - A Girl Dropping Knowledge - Claflin University

Quincy Box - QTech Innovations - Morehouse College

Congratulations to all student visionaries.

About Black Girls Ventures

Founded in 2016 by Serial Entrepreneur and Computer Scientist Shelly Bell, The Black Girl Ventures Foundation (BGV) addresses the unique challenges Black/Brown women face in accessing social and financial capital to grow their businesses. The BGV Style pitch competition is the largest pitch competition globally for Black/Brown women founders.

It uniquely combines the premise of Shark Tank and Kickstarter by activating community participation in donating to support women-owned businesses directly. We have funded 450 women of color, held over 50 BGV Pitch Programs across 15 cities and served over 10,000 founders. BGV pitch participants are collectively generating over $10M in revenue and supporting 3,000 jobs. BGV currently has three signature programs (BGV Pitch, BGV NextGen, BGV Emerging Leaders) and is now the largest ecosystem builder for Black/Brown women founders on the East Coast.

About Founder and CEO, Shelly Omilàdè Bell

Shelly Omilâdè Bell is an author, business strategist, and inspirational speaker who moves ideas to profit while empowering people to live more authentically. As a cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands.

She is a Serial Entrepreneur & Computer Scientist with a background in performance poetry, K-12 Education, and IP Strategy. She was named one of the Top 100 Powerful Women in Business by Entrepreneur Mag, Entrepreneur of the Year by Technically DC, and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek. She is among the nation's most sought-after inspirational speakers in the DC Metro area with features in Forbes, The Washington Business Journal, NewsOne, The Afro, People of Color in Tech, and on Politico Live. Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a social enterprise that creates access to social and financial capital for Black/Brown women founders.

BGV travels the country with a disruptive pitch competition that shifts the power dynamics in funding by combining crowdfunding and pitching. As a Google Guru and Ecosystem Builder, she engages audiences from grassroots to government. Shelly has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs, held over 300 events for empowering leaders, managed multi-million dollar contracts, and scaled over 100 businesses.


Dr. Sharon H. Porter is Editor-In-Chief of Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media and owner of SHP Media and Broadcasting Studio, the home of The I Am Dr. Sharon Show and Women Who Lead in Business Podcast.

She is a member of ForbesBLK, an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, Black Girls In Media, Black Podcasters Association, International Association of Women, National Association of Black Journalists, Black Speakers Network, Black Women Educator Leaders, and is a Gallup Certified Coach.

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