Entrepreneurs give their pitches to meet Black Wall Street’s legacy

Entrepreneurs pitched their company and product ideas to a panel Thursday in an event similar to the television show “Shark Tank.” 

The Black Wall Street Pitch Competition was formed to showcase people finding solutions to problems, said Kelsey Davis, CEO of CLLCTVE. Her company connects creators with paid opportunities. Davis worked to transform the pitch event from an idea into reality and was the event’s moderator.

“What we wanted to do today is showcase people already doing that by having the pitch competition but also having the education and the knowledge so that people can say, ‘If I want to get into technology and entrepreneurship, how do I do that?’” Davis said.

She said the event recruited industry professionals as judges and panelists to impart that education.

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Five entrepreneurs gave their pitches for the $10,000 prize. Olaoluwa Adesanya won after presenting his technology product Palmplug. The technology goes on the user’s hand and has applications for music learning and interacting with technology, Adesanya said during his pitch.

Palmplug is moving to Tulsa from Seattle, Washington, and Adesanya plans to launch it in January.

“If you think about the history of the city, that just speaks greatly to being able to build here with the understanding of Black history,” Adesanya said.

The event was formed in the image of Black Wall Street, an early 1900s community of Black entrepreneurs in Tulsa.

Other entrepreneurs also received funding through the competition. Food service company BiteWay Nutrition won $5,000 for placing third. FundHub, a grant writing program, won $7,500.

Additionally, three companies that did not compete in the larger competition won a $1,000 people’s choice prize.

CultureVations, a company that creates opportunities for investment in underrepresented founders and businesses, is a sponsor of Tulsa’s Juneteenth celebration, said Tyreek Moore, CEO of the company.

“It’s about finding the diamonds that exist out there that otherwise would exist out there trying to make their way but wouldn’t have the necessary highlight, the necessary application and potentially the necessary funding resource that we’re going to provide to them,” Moore said.

Most of the entrepreneurs that were at the event are based in Tulsa. Davis moved to Tulsa two years ago, and Adesanya is in the process of moving his company here. Moore told the Tulsa World that his company would be announcing its move to Tulsa at the Black Wall Street Homecoming Gala on Friday.

Ashli Sims, managing director of Build in Tulsa, was one of the judges who selected the pitch competition winners.

“Black Wall Street is not history; it’s a blueprint,” Sims said to kick off the event.

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