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7 Concepts Entrepreneurs Pitched At Chase's Advancing Black Pathways Event In Detroit

7 Concepts Entrepreneurs Pitched At Chase's Advancing Black Pathways Event In Detroit

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) presented the Advancing Black Pathways event Thursday in Detroit in partnership with StartupBus, an organization that holds tech entrepreneurship bootcamps and competitions.

The event is part of a larger nationwide quest to "train and inspire the black business leaders of tomorrow," according to Chase. 

Participants in Advancing Black Pathways began their journey at the bank's Harlem branch and are making stops at historical sites and innovation hubs that, in addition to Detroit, include Akron, Ohio; Atlanta; Montgomery, Alabama; and New Orleans. 

The nation's largest bank recently announced an increase in its investment in the Motor City to $200 million. 

What Happened

In Detroit, participants heard from leaders in the business and financial world. 

Ken Porter, the founder of Detroit-based Porter Media Group, spoke to a room full of “buspreneurs” — students who are aiming to improve the financial health of the black community.

Porter discussed such themes as how to engage, captivate, and inspire action on the basis of a pain-evoking issue, a clear solution and mission.

The following concepts were pitched Thursday: 

  • Cl1que is aimed at filling voids in business development funding with a a platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Extern would find, vet and connect college students to micro- and growth-stage companies in order to streamline the hiring process for early stage startups.
  • Momba addresses employee retention via a virtual consultant with a digital platform that assesses and tracks the needs of a woman on her maternal journey so that she can successfully re-enter the workforce.
  • Deposit Fund is a crowdfunding platform for homeownership. Investors would receive equity and returns by financing home buying and renting opportunities for platform users.
  • Chia.Money is a financial safety net that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop personalized recommendations for user finances.
  • Stock Aid is a social community and reward-driven investment education platform geared for students of all ages.
  • Small Street is a Wall Street for small businesses: a socially encouraged, community-based investment platform that provides a stake in local businesses in exchange for incentives like premier services or periodic dividends.

After the pitches, participants interacted with mentors, business leaders and past competition participants at the host venue, Detroit's entrepreneurship hub TechTown. 

What’s Next

On July 27 and 28, the Advancing Black Entrepreneur groups will arrive in New Orleans to pitch ideas to investors from Kapor Capital, Change Catalyst, Backstage Capital and Pantegrion Capital, according to Chase. 

The effort "cross-pollinates unparalleled technological, creative and visionary talent, allowing participants to re-inject their expanded social capital, innovative mindsets and newfound energy into the communities they call home," Madelena Mak and Colleen Wong, the national directors of StartupBus, said in a statement. 

The competition will end with investments in the most promising startup ideas, helping “empower more people in the black community to further their education, grow their careers and build wealth,” Sekou Kaalund, the head of Advancing Black Pathways at Chase, said in a statement. 

Related Links: 

Detroit To Host Forbes Under 30 Summit Through 2021: 'A Place For Innovation'

JPMorgan Chase's $150 Million Detroit Investment: Repair, Revitalize, Reinvest

The Advancing Black Pathways tour launches in Harlem. Photo courtesy of JPMorgan Chase. 


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