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Pitch Black GR

Pitch Competition for
Black-Owned Businesses

The Michigan SBDC PITCH BLACK Grand Rapids is a pitch competition aimed toward uplifting Black-owned businesses in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information email

This event is free to attend, but registration is encouraged due to venue space limitations. Walk-in attendees are welcome to attend. This program is part of our Uplift Michigan™ initiative.

Free Live Event!

Thursday, September 28
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Business Showcase
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Live Finalist Pitches

Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium
GVSU Richard M. DeVos Center – Pew Campus
401 West Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Free Parking at Seward Ramp
520 Lake Michigan Dr.

Maneeka Beasley – Cakes by the Jar
Yvonne Cones – Age N Grace
Valerie James – VSJ Fitness
Crystal Palasek – Lost Fawn Winery
Bertina Polk – My Little Love Bugs Childcare
Jessica Ann Tyson – BEASTRO, Fresh Canine Cuisine
Jina Rockwell – Rockwell Earthworks

See more information below!


Part game show – part competition, the PITCH BLACK event will be conducted on
an auditorium stage in front of a live studio audience where 5-7 selected finalists will compete for cash prizes totaling $10,000.

1st place Grand Prize of $5,000
2nd place prize of $3,500
3rd place prize of $1,500

Alim Price
Royal Wayz

Breasia Battle
A Fresh Look Events

Ebony Wilson
Astonishing Looks By E

Siobhan Williams-Moore
High Vibrations Wellness, LLC

Wali Thomas
GTW Transport LLC

Barbara Johnson
Honeybee’s Kitchen and Catering

Clevon White, Jr.
Divine Dezignz

Pierre Davon Pascal
Pierre Davon Pascal

Reggie Macon
Battleground JKD LLC

Stephanie Briggs
The Fiery Collection

Yvonne Cones
Age N Grace

Bertina Polk
My Little Love Bugs Childcare

Crystal Palasek
Lost Fawn Winery

Jessica Ann Tyson
BEASTRO, Fresh Canine Cuisine

Maneeka Beasley
Cakes by the Jar

Sam Prince
Samber Productions

Valarie James
VSJ Fitness

Preliminary Rounds

(Sept 19th  & 21st  – Not open to the public.)

Experience GR Headshots

Qi’Shaun Coyle
Program Engagement Coordinator
Experience GR

Sarah Forrest

Sarah Forrest
Business Consultant
Michigan SBDC at Western Michigan University

Ana Jose

Ana Jose
Director of Business Development
Michigan Women Forward

Marvin Martin

Marvin Martin
Center for Employment & Workforce Development
Urban League of West Michigan

Jamiel Robinson

Jamiel Robinson
Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses

Final Round

Sept 28th – Open to the public.

Bernard Drew v2

Bernard Drew
Business Growth Consultant
Michigan SBDC

Marcus Jackson

Marcus A. Jackson
Vice President
Community Impact Manager
Fifth Third Bank

Celeste Spivey

Celeste Spivey
Vice President
CRA/Community Development Officer
ChoiceOne Bank

Kevin Watkins v2

Kevin A. Watkins
Vice President
External Affairs Market Manager
National African American Business Development Manager
Comerica Bank

Renee Williams

Renee Williams
Senior Vice President
Community Development – Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado
Huntington Bank

Awards presented by the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Grand Valley State University.