THE 3RD ANNUAL PARDI GRAS BALL PROCEEDS TO INVEST CAPITAL AND RESOURCES INTO BLACK AND BROWN TECH FOUNDERS THROUGH NEW BLACK HATCH FUND
The Black Hatch Fund to host inaugural pitch competition awarding 5 founders cash investment and admission to a 12-month pre-accelerator program
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the doors will open at the JW Marriott for the 3rd Annual Pardi Gras Ball - an annual fundraiser that has raised nearly $100,000 to help fund K-12 coding programs. However, at this year’s fundraiser, the organizers are looking to take their mission of diversity and inclusion in tech even further - the Pardi Gras Ball will launch the Black Hatch Fund, a fund and pre-accelerator program to help black and brown founders “hatch” new tech-enabled businesses.
“The stat that it would take 228 years for African American families to close the wealth gap weighed heavy on me. Statistics back the notion that entrepreneurship, particularly those building tech-enabled businesses, is the fastest track to generational wealth. Yet only 4% of Black businesses were receiving financial help to get started. It became quite clear that we had to look inward and find ways to creatively crowdfund and empower our own community’s goals financially,” says Jeff Williams Co-Founder of Pardi Gras Ball.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, the Black Hatch Fund and Pardi Gras Ball will host “Pitch Pardi” an inaugural pitch competition where 5 founders will compete for cash investment and admission to a 12-month pre-accelerator program. The pre-accelerator will help prepare new tech companies for investment and scale.
Three winners from the pitch competition will be announced from the Pardi Gras Ball stage on Saturday, Feb. 23. Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 + admission to the accelerator, 1st runner-up will receive $2,500 + admission to the pre-accelerator, and 2nd runner-up will receive $1,000 and admission to the pre-accelerator. All contestants will receive access to entrepreneurial services totaling over $10,000.
“It is important that we not only change the color of tech entrepreneurship, but also the face and color of those who fund tech entrepreneurship. I’m a double minority - a woman and black - so I know the inherent bias that exists being a black woman launching a business. By launching the new Black Hatch Fund, we have an opportunity to directly work with founders that look like us and give them the access they need to succeed: capital, funder diversity, and network. We’ve had the opportunity to build amazing partnerships over the last three years, and can’t wait to put those partnerships to work for the next generation of Black tech entrepreneurs,” says Kelli N. Jones, Co-Founder of Pardi Gras Ball.
Entrepreneurs who are interested in competing can submit their applications starting Friday, Jan. 4 by visiting www.weliketopardi.com. For partnership or sponsorship inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org