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Twenty-five entrepreneurs joined us in Atlanta, GA on March 3-4, 2017 to engage in interactive workshops and build meaningful relationships to launch and develop their businesses. With a range of ventures that spanned social impact through education, to corporate diversity through tech, and even apparel innovation through design.

During the networking reception, our entrepreneurs were put “on-the-spot” and asked to deliver a 30-second pitch + answer (2) randomly selected questions. Three brave volunteers stepped up to the plate, and Kenneth Wright, Jr., CEO and Founder of KleanCollar, Inc. took home $100 towards his venture for his stellar performance. Kenneth’s venture is an apparel and accessories company named after its provisionally patent-pending invention, the “KleanCollar.” Made for men and women, KleanCollar will save consumers money, extend the life of collared shirts and allow for wardrobe expansion. Kenneth plans to enter the Millennial Entrepreneurs Redefined business plan and pitch competitions, while continuing to develop within the start-up ecosystem of Atlanta, GA.

On Saturday, March 4th, the ATL cohort received a wealth of information during a full day of workshops and panels on the entrepreneurial journey. A few highlights are listed below:

  • In Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail, Ann Provo advised participants to understand the characteristics that make a successful entrepreneur and compare those traits to their personal strengths and weaknesses. In addition, she led participants through the sections of a business plan and provided ideation worksheets to complete during the workshop.
  • During The Real: Structuring and Funding Your Business to Remain Financially Secure, Justin Norman discussed why legal incorporation – even for a sole proprietorship – is beneficial; while Chris Gilmore led participants through the ins-and-outs of a capitalization table.
  • Following lunch, Byron Stewart re-energized the crowd by sharing his personal story on fusing your passion with your purpose.
  • In Power Play  – What to Expect for the Road Ahead, panelists across industries and generations shared lessons learned during the entrepreneurial journey. Terrance Johnson (CEO of TCJ AeroTech) asked whether the entrepreneurs were “hungry” or “starving?” How bad did they really want it,  or need it? Blair Maxberry (1/2 of the father-son team at Maxberry Homes and Lofts) discussed his privilege in learning the business from his father, while Octavia Gilmore (Owner & Chief Creative Officer at Creative Juice), and Martice Sutton (Chief Changemaker at Girls Going Global) discussed how to maximize existing employer relationships and transition into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
  • During Controlling Your Narrative: The Impact Story That Scales, Miguel Lloyd (marketing strategist) discussed how to maximize social media and personal connections for expanded business reach.
  • And lastly, in Pitch Prep, Dr. Roshawnna Novellus lead teams of “pitchers” and investors through rounds of role-play and critique. She also shared the top three accomplishments to reach before pitching to an investor.

Overall, the ATL workshop was an overwhelming success. Special thanks to our partners Ryan Wilson and The Gathering Spot, Melvin Coleman and the Atlanta Black Chambers, and HBCU Wall Street, as well as our coaches and facilitators for sharing their knowledge. We look forward to continue to engage with the cohort as they prepare for our upcoming business plan and pitch competitions.

Next Stop: Detroit!