During the April 6 & 7, 2021 pitch event, a panel of judges from the MagicMakers® Group, a global business consultancy of former Disney executives and leaders who bridge the gap between brand promise and operational excellence welcomed 98 Black Entrepreneurs who delivered pitches across four categories - Start-up Product, Start-up Service, Established Product and Established Service. The winners in each category are highlighted below.
Libra Riley & SWOOP Hanger
Category: Start-up Product
Necessity is truly the mother of invention. Libra Riley was trying to hang a full-length gown in her clothes closet so its hem would not touch the floor. Seeing a drycleaner’s metal hanger nearby, she was suddenly struck with the idea of “swooping up” the bottom half of the dress over the metal hangar and then clipping the two hangers together. Libra knew she had something here.
Charlene Brown & CNA Simulations VR
Category: Start-up Service
The shortage of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) pre-dates the pandemic, but it was the pandemic that stirred public health physician and technology entrepreneur Dr. Charlene Brown to tackle the issue. With the aging Baby Boomer generation, the problem would grow only more acute.
Bill & Sonia Massey and The Restroom Kit
Category: Experienced Product
The Restroom Kit started out as a practical solution for Bill Massey. In his travels around Washington, DC and elsewhere with his young family, he often encountered public restrooms missing essential supplies. So, Bill created small packets of bathroom necessities to take along with them – toilet paper, hand-fashioned toilet seat covers and wipes. That was back in 1997. Now, some 24 years and multiple prototypes later, Bill and his business partner and wife Sonia have turned that simple family solution into a small business success.
Mark Dozier and The Compass
Category: Experienced Service
It is a good thing that Mark Dozier has an air of calm and confidence about him. For 20+ years, he has helped businesses plan and prepare for all types of crises from mass casualties to cyberattacks. Building on this experience and expertise, Mark founded his own Continuity of Operations company in 2012, Critical Path Solutions, which has primarily worked with government clients.