2022 National Virtual Pitch Contest II
10 Entrepreneurs Compete to Win Cash & Prizes
August 17 2022 at 5pm Eastern on Zoom!
Contestants from across the U.S. will pitch their business ideas in three minutes for a chance to win their share of over $10,000 in cash and prizes. The top 10 contestants will receive complimentary pitch coaching prior to the contest. This pitch contest was created because at NEA we believe it takes more than just funding to succeed in business. This event provides entrepreneurs with essential tools to take their businesses to the next level. With national exposure, coaching, funding, new computers and a community of supporters, the sky is the limit.
First place winner will receive a $3000 cash prize, a free Dell computer and a one year membership to the National Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)
Second place winner will receive a $1000 cash prize, a free Dell computer and a one year membership to the National Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)
Third place winner will receive a $500 cash prize, a free Dell computer and a one year membership to the National Entrepreneurs Association. (audience choice)
ZaLonya Allen, PhD President/CEO of National Entrepreneurs Association
Dr. ZaLonya Allen is President/CEO of the National Entrepreneurs Association and has 20 years experience in entrepreneurship. As a Leadership Development Speaker and Trainer she has delivered presentations for organizations throughout the country and coached professionals in a variety of industries. In recent years her coaching practice has focused on helping entrepreneurs breakthrough mental barriers. Dr. Allen earned a Bachelors in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University and a Doctorate in Psychology from North Central University.
Program Manager Dell for Startups
Vibrant Vocal Power Inc
Public Speaking Confidence Coach
Senior Vice President and Group Manager for Business Banking
Joseph E. Shephard
Banking Center Vice President
Angela T. Moore, Business Owner, Integrated Health Expert, Radio Show Host
Angela T. Moore is a business owner, integrative health expert, keynote speaker, wellness blog contributor, fitness and health presenter and radio show host. For over three decades, Angela has provided wellness education and programming to individuals, companies, and organizations. She is the Founder and Owner of The Body Principle, an integrative health organization that provides fitness programming, mental health and nutrition counseling, and empowerment coaching in-person and on-line. Angela is also the creator of the Propel℠ Youth Empowerment Program designed to improve the self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy of youth.
Her radio show Empowered on 910 AM Superstation inspires individuals to live an Empowered Life—a life of mental, nutritional, and physical wellbeing. During the weekly live broadcast, she interviews medical and mental health professionals, experts in wellness and prevention, advocates and activists, educators and motivators to help people live an Empowered Life.
She received her Master of Arts in Counseling from Oakland University and is a member of the Chi Sigma Iota, Theta Chapter Honor Society for Counseling. She also has a Master of Science in Business Management from Walsh College and was the President and is a member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society for Business Administration. Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of Virginia
Top 10 Finalists
Shawntia Lee, Founder of College Thriver Education, Davenport Florida
Shawntia Lee has proven talent for aligning recruiting strategy and objectives with established and emerging student engagement paradigms to identify target learner segments and retain students from enrollment through graduation. She is a results-focused leader with experience spanning higher education consulting, lead generation, college prep mentoring, holistic enrollment management, program and policy development, student workflow and journey roadmaps, and assisting students in navigating the entire college admissions process. She is an empathetic and sociable team player adept at building strong community partnerships, communicating successfully at all organizational levels, and innovating college life and education via a strong focus on technology and student-centric initiatives. Lee excels at reimagining education with a focus on gamification, equity access, and lifetime learning. She is passionate about equity and access to education for underserved students and creating solutions to disrupt systemic racism within the Higher Education industry.
Joanna Serra, Founder of Birdy Boutique, Romeo Michigan 2nd Place Winner
Before devoting her talents to building Birdy Boutique, a textile manufacturing company, over the last decade, she had the honor of becoming an award winning educator in Michigan. Now retired from education, she utilizes that experience to incorporate education and purpose into the textile products their company manufactures for various nationwide retailers and corporations. Her goal is to create “products with purpose” meaning each product has a main use but also has a second purpose, whether it's to educate, motivate, inspire or bring joy. The company has two main divisions, wholesale and private label. Some wholesale product lines include Learning Blankets® which are a registered trademark, blanket ponchos and educational tapestries. Their private label capabilities include designing, printing and manufacturing custom textile products for retailers and for internal corporate use. Originally from Poland, the ethic of hard work is deeply ingrained and she is determined to expand their product offerings. In the company, she focuses her efforts on concept design, marketing and expansion. In addition to being passionate about education and business growth, she is an overly active community planner and volunteer and also enjoys bird watching, gardening, and learning from other inspirational entrepreneurs. birdyboutique.com
Deondra Parks, Founder of The RFC Group, Southfield Michigan
As president and CEO of The RFC Group, excellent administrative support outsourcing is what Deondra Parks delivers best. Deondra Parks has serviced many of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the capacity of executive administrative support. With thirty plus years of experience, her extensive knowledge and hands-on experience are fundamental in outsourcing exceptional support personnel and resources. A proud native of Detroit, Michigan, Deondra developed a strong interest in clerical office support during her adolescent years. She has been successful to rebuild her first love of staffing, and has now become an excellent staffing resource in the community. Deondra is an active Ambassador for the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC), a member of the Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC), The American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP). She is also a certified MBE member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women in Defense (WID), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Minority Women-Owned Business, Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Detroit Chapter, as well as a new member to the National Entrepreneurs Association (NEA). Outside of work, Deondra is a loving, dedicated mother of four adult children.
Jason Mercado, Founder of Sweet Mission, Anaheim California
Jason Mercado, CEO of Sweet Mission, is an award winning businessman (2015 American Small Business Championship Winner) and mentor. His story of overcoming adversity and starting his own company out of his passion for baking has been featured every where from Forbes Magazine to the OC Register and was also mentioned on The Steve Harvey Show. Not only is Sweet Mission known for their mouth watering, homemade (from scratch), fresh baked gourmet cookies but they also are known for giving back to their local community through hosting The Annual Thanksgiving Harvest Feast and The Resurrection Celebration Meal for those who are homeless or in need of a hot meal. In addition, Sweet Mission offers jobs and training to individuals with a challenging past to give them a second chance at life and a chance to start their own businesses. Motto: INSPIRE with the story of Sweet Mission, EMPOWER with positivity and ENCOURAGE to go for your dreams regardless of your past is the goal of Sweet Mission. thesweetmission.com
Chasity Pritchett, Founder of Emblem Oil, Chesapeake Virginia 1st Place Winner
Emblem Olive Oil brand of U.S. produced olive oils was founded by Chasity Pritchett in 2019. The company is on a mission to bring the health benefit and exquisite flavor of U.S. olive oil, which Chasity calls "fruit medicine" to diverse communities across the country. Emblem Olive Oil specializes in quality and trusted extra virgin and infused olive oil to help get people excited to cook healthier home-cooked meals. Emblem Olive Oil is a proud member of the North American Olive Oil Association and has the distinction of being the first black, female-owned extra virgin and infused olive oil company in the world. Chasity has grown her company from being a side business to now being her full time career, with her olive oils being used by multiple celebrity chefs, featured as Amazon Choice products, and sold in retailers across the country such as Kroger and Meijer. emblemoil.com
Saamer Mansoor, Founder of BeAware: The Deaf Assistant, Dallas Texas
BeAware: The Deaf Assistant is a popular app for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities with safety and ease of communication in mind. Founder Saamer Mansoor graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor's degree in engineering with an entrepreneurial focus. He has been pushing the boundaries of accessible technology and was able to get BeAware featured on the front page of YCombinator's Hacker News and was showcased as a "New and Noteworthy" app on the Apple App Store. To learn more visit https://deafassistant.com
Satara Holliday, Founder of First Love Tours, Detroit Michigan
Satara Holliday-Twilley is a mother, a wife, and an entrepreneur just to name a few roles. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan she attended Martin Luther King, Jr. Sr. High School for her early studies, graduating from the College Preparatory Program. After graduation, she went on to further her education at Central Michigan University. From CMU, Satara obtained a bachelor's degree in Communication with a minor in marketing. After college, Satara had a host of leadership occupations where she led her co-workers and encouraged teamwork. Her experience ranges from being an operations manager to a loan origination officer. However, her most exhilarating role is entrepreneur. After resigning from corporate American and knowing little about the transportation industry, Satara embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in October of 2019 where she became owner operator of First Love Tours, LLC. First Love Tours, LLC is a 56-passenger motor coach company that specializes in state to state and local travel for family, community, and corporate events. Since starting her company, Satara has been able to establish industry relationships and build a presence for herself as being one of the youngest, female minority owners of a motor coach in the city of Detroit. firstlovetours.com
Yolanda Monahan, Founder of YoBandz, Portage Indiana
Yolanda Monahan is the founder and owner of YoBandz™, LLC located in Portage Indiana. Yolanda started this business with a deep passion for finding a comfortable fitting headband that can be worn for extended periods of time for all ages and genders without the pressure that today’s traditional headbands cause. Yo is currently running this business on her own and has been working for Walgreens for the past 31 years, while working both jobs full-time, which tells you that she is a hard worker. She is in the process of working with Tradewinds to get a manufacturing contract. Tradewinds is an Agency in NWI that provides services and employs people with physical disabilities. Yo is currently working on getting her Women-owned Business Enterprise Certification. She is an entrepreneur and small business owner here to support the community and her mission is to educate people on the positives of why YoBandz™ Headbands can be a part of your everyday hair routine without having pain and headaches. You can also find YoBandz™ at local Framers Markets, Craft Shows, Amazon.com and Walmart.com YoBandz™ seeks to expand its national presence and to increase its product line to become a recognized national brand. yobandz.com
Kimberly Cornner, Founder of Kimmie Stylz Hair Care, Birmingham Alabama 3rd Place Winner
Kimberly Cornner is the founder and CEO of Kimmie Stylz hair care products. She uses her 20+ years of haircare experience and passion for natural hair to teach women to embrace their natural beauty. Kim is a role model to others as a first-generation entrepreneur and CEO, all while juggling being a wife and a mother to two small children. Kimmie Stylz was born after Kim had to take time off work as a Medical Laboratory Technologist while pregnant with her second child. The time off work allowed her creative side to flow, to “Step out on faith,” and created her very own hair care product line that ranges from Detangling Serums to Moisturizers. The hair care line arose from a need to use healthier product ingredients that promotes fuller and healthier hair growth. Kimberly saw many women with damaged hair and in need of better products. She takes volunteers along to trade shows, to learn sales, and to be in the atmosphere of other entrepreneurs. She mentors other young ladies as they pursue their entrepreneur goals. Her hard work and diligence are paying off because her products are now sold online, in salons, and six beauty supply stores. kimmiestylz.com
Darryl Stephens, Founder of Bass Parlour, Atlanta Georgia
Darryl Stephens, founder of the Bass Parlour music app, has a background in both music and entrepreneurship. Darryl worked for several years at video game juggernaut EA Sports, as a Sound Designer for many of their games. He went on to pursue an M.B.A. from Howard University, and soon after graduating opened an Atlanta-based co-working space and recording studio for independent musicians. Darryl launched the Bass Parlour app to empower musicians worldwide with an easy way to find and collaborate with other musicians, regardless of location or genre. bassparlourapp.com
*For information about other NEA events visit our events page at www.nationalentrepreneurs.org/events