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2023 National Virtual Pitch Contest 2

10 Entrepreneurs Compete to Win Cash & Prizes



On August 16, 2023 at 5pm Eastern Time entrepreneurs from across the US will pitch their business ideas in 3 minutes for a chance to win their share of $10,000 in cash and prizes at the 2023 National Virtual Pitch Contest presented by the National Entrepreneurs Association in partnership with Dell Technologies. Sponsored in part by Comerica Bank.

*Please note event start times vary according to time zone. NEA operates on Eastern time


1st place is a $3000 cash prize, a Dell computer and a one year membership to the National  Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)

2nd place is a $2000 cash prize, a Dell computer and a one year membership to the National  Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)

3rd place is a $1000 cash prize, and a one year membership to the National Entrepreneurs Association. (audience choice)


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Dr. ZaLonya Allen is President/CEO of the National Entrepreneurs Association, a 501c3 non-profit corporation created to empower entrepreneurs to grow and sustain successful businesses through monthly networking events, training conferences and educational programs. In partnership with Comerica Bank and Dell Technologies, NEA offers the only national entrepreneur certification program of its kind led by experienced entrepreneurs and college professors. As a speaker Dr. Allen has delivered hundreds of presentations for organizations throughout the country. As a leadership and entrepreneurial coach she has worked with professionals in a variety of industries from corporate executives to professional athletes. Using the principles of psychology, Dr. Allen helps her clients master their mindset and get on a path to goal attainment.


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Devin Durrell

CEO of YTI Office Express

NEA Michigan Board Member


Logan Lawler

Global Product Manager at

Dell Technologies

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Meghan Storey

Michigan Director of Small Business

Senior Vice President

Comerica Bank


Jerry Bowen

Southeast Market President and

Director of Middle Market Lending SVP

Comerica Bank

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Colette Hughes

Broker Owner

Virtual Real Estate Services

NEA National Board Member



Jocelyn A. Van Coney, M.P.A 

Founder/CEO of Van Coney Business Strategies , LLC

Topic: Unleashing Your Inner Trailblazer: A Journey into Entrepreneurial Leadership

Jocelyn A. Van Coney, M.P.A. has counseled, mentored, and taught business owners and their teams for more than 30 years in multiple industries and sectors. She began working for her father in her teens in his business and learned first-hand what it meant to be an entrepreneur and business owner. In 2001, she decided to take the plunge and started her first company, Morgaine Avalon Associates which is today, Van Coney Business Strategies LLC, a leadership and culture management firm. She holds certifications as a Facilitator for LEGO SERIOUS PLAY , as a Maxwell D.I.S.C. Method Trainer and Consultant, as a John C. Maxwell Coach, Speaker, and Trainer and is a Maxwell Leadership Certified Team Member and Executive Program Leader. She holds a Certificate in Human Resource Management in addition to her formal education degrees. Jocelyn currently resides in Williamsburg, VA with her husband, son, and cat where she loves to build with Lego bricks in her spare time.


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Tracey Sanders | Lavender Mobile Spa | Detroit Michigan 

Hailing from the great city of Detroit, Tracey Sanders is a graduate of Oakland University with a degree in Marketing. She also received certification in Health & Wellness from Cornell University. She sits on the advisory boards of Dorsey College and Paul Mitchell Beauty School and is a mentor to students pursuing a career in beauty and wellness. Tracey has been in the entrepreneurial eco space for 30 years and In 2010, she founded Lavender Mobile Spa, an on demand spa and wellness company that offers a full suite of customizable spa services that clients enjoy in the comfort of their home, hotel or office. Her clients include large corporations, the hospitality industry, municipalities and individual consumers. Locations include Detroit and Dallas TX with Houston expected to be active in November of this year. Tracey is a wife and mother and enjoys traveling, exceptional culinary experiences and listening to crime podcasts.

Stacey Kohler | Kiddy Crawler LLC | Lake Moor Illinois

Stacey Kohler is a serial entrepreneur from Chicago and two-time inventor of the Sanbagger and Crawligator. She is the CEO and Founder of Kiddy Crawler LLC. Stacey is the revivalist of the Crawligator after 50 years of extinction. From military to babies, she covers a wide range with more than 25 years of experience in innovating, developing and inventing. As a successful entrepreneur, Stacey has been on top television shows and publications. Her Sandbagger invention was featured on the cover of Government Product News, and written about in Entrepreneur, Crain’s Chicago Business Journal and seen on ABC7’s Chicago Made. Her Crawligator invention was featured in Inventor’s Digest and seen on ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir’s #Made In America. 

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Tamera Lincoln | Lincoln Stone Paper | Detroit Michigan 

I am the proud owner and founder of Lincoln Stone Osier. With a passion for sustainability and a drive to make a positive impact on the environment, my company specializes in crafting eco-friendly stationery products. Driven by a deep love for nature and a desire to reduce waste, I established Lincoln Stone Osier as a platform to provide stylish and environmentally conscious stationery options. Our products are carefully designed and made from recycled or sustainable materials, ensuring that every purchase contributes to a greener planet. I firmly believe that small choices can make a big difference, and through Lincoln Stone Osier, I aim to inspire others to embrace sustainable living and eco-conscious choices in their everyday lives. With an unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and environmental responsibility, I strive to create beautiful stationery that not only serves its purpose but also leaves a positive footprint on our planet.

First Place Winner

David Norec | Fit Lit | Mission Texas 

David Norec is a type 2 diabetic. After losing his brother and sister to diabetes in 2013 and 2014, David was inspired to write an interactive children’s book called The Adventures of Exo and Cy that teaches kids about healthy eating while providing them with an actual exercise workout. Mr. Norec now travels around the state promoting his Fit-Lit (fitness literacy) program through a one-of-a-kind, interactive presentation to students in hopes of preventing diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

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MT Strickland | Metric Mate | Atlanta Georgia

M-T is an Electrical Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Co-Founder & CEO of Metric Mate, a data analytics company with a patented Training Accountability Partner (T.A.P.) technology that turns any strength training equipment, into SMART equipment making workouts more effective and more fun. The data collected by the T.A.P. Sensor and T.A.P. App allow Metric Mate to motivate users with leaderboards, competitions, NFT’s and more to motivate users in our current social media landscape and into the metaverse.

Second Place Winner

Karen Hetz | Kids' Cake Boxes | San Francisco California 

Karen Hetz is a mom of three and a military spouse who began her business in 2020. During her husband's time in the Army, Karen often parented alone while her husband missed out on important moments with their children. Determined to help families capture important moments and create memories, and because baking is bonding, she started Kids' Cake Boxes. Karen is committed to delivering happiness, teaching life skills, cultivating childhood creativity, building children's confidence in the kitchen, and strengthening family bonds with each Kids' Cake Boxes baking kit.

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Third Place Winner

Laura Hayes | The Learning Network | Dallas Texas

Laura, a 35 year veteran educator, holds numerous certifications, including: Teacher, Mid-Management Administrator, Mathematics Supervisor, Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Superintendent. Laura is a published author and has contributed to a number of textbook series, articles and white papers. She earned her B.S. from Bishop College and her M.S. from University of North Texas. Laura, a serial entrepreneur, launched The Learning Network a successful ed/tech firm, Bridge to Tomorrow a thriving non-profit and serves on the board of her son’s non-profit Comfort and Joy. Laura is currently the Chair of the Board for the Youth Center at First Baptist Church of Hamilton Park, she is the Immediate Past President of the Board for Head Start of Greater Dallas. Laura is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and as well as the Links Incorporated.



Carl Colvin | AutoTread | Birmingham Alabama

Carl Colvin Jr is the Owner/President of AutoTread. Carl has a total of 25 years of tire experience working as a tire technician on passenger and light truck vehicles.  AutoTread started providing mobile tire services 15 years ago. Being the visionary entrepreneur Carl Colvin saw that there was a need for reliable, convenient, dependable, and no long waits great quality tire service. Being that AutoTread is a mobile tire service, we will bring the tire shop to you.  Our services that we offer are new tire sales, mounting, balancing, tire rotation, flat repair, battery jump, wheel change and roadside assistance.  The concept behind the mobile tire truck is for busy working everyday individuals, traveling families, companies with fleets and for people who don’t want to sit all day in a tire shop.  AutoTread has grown from one employee to three employees and from one service truck to three service trucks. Learn more at


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Shaweta Vasudeva | ShayTheCoach | Phoenix Arizona

Shaweta “Shay” Vasudeva, DAc (Acupuncture, Pending 2023), MA (Psychology), MS (Kinesiology), NFPT-CPT, NASM-CPT-CES, THSA-CNT, and Tai Chi & Black Belt Karate Instructor is a teaching professional, speaker, author, coach, and cat lover! Her passion is to help people become the best version of themselves by using an interdisciplinary and holistic approach, bringing 10+ years of experience in Psychology, Personal Fitness Training, Corrective Exercise, Nutritional Coaching, Cranial Sacral Work, and teaching Karate & Tai Chi classes to her business, ShayTheCoach. She looks forward to expanding her business to include acupuncture.  Shay teaches academic classes in areas of her expertise at colleges and universities as a Faculty Associate and inspires her students to apply what they learn towards their goals and lives.


Mary Harvin | UDRINKIMAKE | Detroit Michigan 

My name is Mary Harvin. I am a Wife, Mom & Entrepreneur with 20+ years of Hospitality experience. That experience, led me to form Udrinkimake (U Drink I Make). Udrinkimake was formed in 2016 as one of the first Mobile Bartending Services nationwide. In 2022, I added Ucareimake (U Care I Make). Ucareimake is a flavored self-care cosmetics line. We offer flavored sugar scrubs & oils, that leave your skin smooth with a hint of flavor on your body. The flavors are designed after beverages & desserts, with the most popular being Strawberry Daiquiri, Mojito & Mama’s Apple Pie. I am constantly working on growing. I have become certified as a National Entrepreneur through the National Entrepreneur’s Association. I received a certification from Cornell University for Women’s Entrepreneurship. I am a pitch contest winner in TechTown Detroit’s Retail Bootcamp. Currently, I am in Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance’s Capital Connect.

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