100 HBCU Students Selected For TMCF’s ‘The Pitch 2019’ Innovation and Entrepreneurial Competition Presented By Apple

Terrence J, TMCF National Ambassador, to judge and announce winners

WASHINGTON, DC (May 17, 2019) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), with presenting partner, Apple, will host 100 hand-selected students from 37 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), for THE PITCH 2019. This challenging entrepreneurial competition will be held Monday, May 20 through Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Durham, North Carolina.

TMCF’s newly re-designed Innovation & Entrepreneurship Division identified the talented HBCU students who will develop solutions to business, social, or educational problems and pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges. THE PITCH 2019 is the optimum opportunity for HBCU students to learn, engage in hands-on exercises, and develop the three C’s of an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating value.

“In today’s evolving globally diverse marketplace we have to ensure that America’s HBCU students are first given the tools to enhance their talents and the opportunities to present their skills,” said TMCF Executive Vice President of Business Development and Innovation & Entrepreneurship, George Spencer. “THE PITCH 2019 is one of the best opportunities around for our most creative, and entrepreneurial HBCU minds to solve real-world problems through their innovative solutions.”   

Students will also hear from industry experts that will provide training sessions led by event partners like the CIA, Deere & Company and Wells Fargo.

Scheduled speakers and expert judges include:

Brandon Andrews, Co-Founder, Gauge

Charlie Bradley, Senior Director of Public Affairs, Brian Hamilton Foundation

Tani Brown, Chief of Staff, Jopwell

Michael Doernberg, CEO and Co-Founder, ReverbNation

Drew Henson, CEO, Seam Technic

Rashad Howard, Entrepreneur, Investor, Change Agent

Terrence J, actor, host, producer, and TMCF National Ambassador

Ebony Pope, Principal, Rethink Education

Mayor Steve Schewel, City of Durham

Davon Snipes, Strategy Lead, Office of the CIO, Google

Harry L. Williams, President & CEO, TMCF

Chris Williams, Franchise Owner, Subway


In past years, prizes for the winning teams have included an opportunity to attend Apple’s WWDC conference, Leadership Exchange Study Abroad Scholarship, Macbooks, and iPads. 

“I am really excited to be a judge for TMCF’s THE PITCH 2019,” said Terrence J, TMCF National Ambassador. “As an entrepreneur myself, I have tremendous respect for these HBCU students competing to use innovation to find solutions through technology.

Note: There are students participating attending North Carolina HBCUs: Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and North Carolina Central University.

For more information about TMCF programs, visit: www.tmcf.org

“I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was but the[n] when Mr. Hamilton came to West Wilkes Middle School it changed my perspective on business careers.”

Caleb Huffman Student West Wilkes Middle School

Being an instructor… allows me to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with the business tools that they need to be successful in our society.

Monica Russell Instructor Inmates to Entrepreneurs

We believe that entrepreneurship unlocks the door to economic opportunity in the United States.

Margaret Froneberger Chief Executive Officer Brian Hamilton Foundation

Having your own company is for everyone, not just those born into privilege.

Brian Hamilton Founder Brian Hamilton Foundation