Sunday, August 26, 2018

Funding For Underfunded Black Entrepreneurs

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 Nationwide  -- When Ella Rucker spent her first pregnancy on her friend's couch nine years ago, she didn't have any plans to change the lives of entrepreneurs. And now she's changing the economic climate for entrepreneurs.

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The Interactive Business Pitch Weekend is coming to Washington, D.C.

Rucker, who got her start in entrepreneurism after her first daughter was born, has created an event for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists, television executive producers and on-air personalities.

The Interactive Business Pitch Weekend is a collaboration of seasoned, experienced and successful professionals who possess the skill, experience, and knowledge entrepreneurs need to succeed.

These pitch professionals have teamed up to provide “interactive” presentations and specialized workshops designed to prepare entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools needed to pitch with confidence!

Rucker comments, "African American entrepreneurs are often not represented 'at the table' where the big deals are made. So we are bringing the table to the entrepreneurs!"

Underfunding of African American entrepreneurs has been a problem. Silicon Valley doesn’t house an abundant minority population. And to add insult to injury, many founders don't know how to pitch their idea.

 Funding For Underfunded Black Entrepreneurs

That’s where the Interactive Business Pitch Weekend is stepping in to help.

For two days entrepreneurs will learn the finer points of pitching. They will learn how to pitch media outlets their ideas, they will learn how to contact and woo investors, and they will also learn what it takes to present and sell their products on television.

Attendees of the weekend will be mentored and trained on the best way to position and pitch their products and services by the 'best of the best.' Rucker has teamed up with Tracey LaStell Slates, multi Emmy-award winning producer, and a mystery, on-air host and media coach to be named on January 1st, 2019.

The roster will also include Black Female Founder co-founder, Xina Eiland - a D.C. change maker and public relations expert - and Nichelle McCall, who single-handedly pitched for and won half a million dollars for her tech start up.

For the last four years Rucker has been hosting events for entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C. area – building the sweat equity needed to bring the right people into the room. Says Rucker, "We've hosted over 260 attendees in our signature weekends. Attendees have gone on to generate wealth with speaking careers, by appearing on national television shows; they've created their own YouTube shows and are building highly marketable brands. With Tracey La'Stell Slates' support and by forming a brain trust with the other experts, this pitch weekend is going to further move the economic needle for African American entrepreneurs."

In addition to learning how to pitch, the attendees of the Interactive Business Pitch Weekend will have the chance to enter into the day two pitch competition. Two first place winners will be sent round trip to Florida where they will receive accommodations and a more intense training experience with Rucker and Slates, along with the mystery guest.

According to Rucker, "I went from being pregnant and sleeping on a couch to working with highly recognizable talent who can change lives with their 'yes' to a product or person. It started with pitching myself. This weekend is designed to get people to the place where they can develop the confidence in their pitching skills and confidence in presenting the value of the products to investors that will change their life the way I changed mine."

The Interactive Business Pitch Weekend is proud to be sponsored by WPFW, 89.3 in Washington, DC; PictureTube Productions, and Smart Hustle Magazine.

If you are an entrepreneur who would like to get your product or service "at the table" and in the right room to be found and funded, you can find more information on the Interactive Business Pitch Weekend by visiting or by emailing

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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