In 10 days thousands of entrepreneurs will convene in Columbus Ohio for the biggest celebration of African American entrepreneurship in the country. The Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference and Expo is four days of celebrating startups, and small businesses led by some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the country.
Names like Robert Johnson (BET), Daymond John (Fubu/Shark Tank) and Magic Johnson are staples within the pages of Black Enterprise Magazine and in the halls of the conference in years past, and present.
One of the biggest attractions at the conference is the Elevator Pitch Competition. Entrepreneurs with new startups and small businesses have 60 seconds to pitch a vetting panel and if selected, a panel of judges on site at the conference. 10 semifinalists have been selected from across the country. Those semifinalists will have 60 seconds to pitch the judges. Then, they will eliminate five of the semifinalists and the remaining five will pitch the judges for 30 seconds. After the 30 second pitches, there is a Q&A session with the judges and then one entrepreneur will win $10,000 to help grow their company.
Danielle Inez, Memphis native and founder of Pink Robin Avenue, has been selected as one of the ten semifinalists. Her startup is a tech hybrid that allows users to order everything they need for the perfect party online and in one box. Their favors, decorations, theme pieces, and everything else they need for the perfect event is then delivered to their home.
Inez initially pitched the concept in Memphis at the Upstart 48 Hour Launch in December. Her idea was quickly chosen to develop out over the 48 hour hackathon. By Sunday afternoon she had won the weekend competition. Early feedback recognized how valuable Pink Robin Avenue would be, especially for busy people.
The founder is also key to the success of Pink Robin Avenue. Inez owns a PR company that specializes in high profile, luxury and celebrity events. Inez also spent part of her career as a wedding planner with exquisit taste and is incredibly organized with an eye for design, and detail that many people are just too busy to notice.
Inez is a busy woman. She spends her days tending to the details of her PR firm, diPR which includes a mixed portfolio of clients that touch the luxury world, celebrities and even non profit organizations. She spends another full time jobs’ worth of hours working on Pink Robin Avenue.
Although relatively new to the startup space, Inez has been an entrepreneur her entire life. She got a taste of entrepreneurism and non profits when she started a company focusing on mentoring with her mother. Inez put herself through college helping people plan weddings, events and eventually pivoting that business to the PR company.
Now Inez is ecstatic that a magazine that’s been inspiring her since high school has selected her in the contest. “I’m amazed! I’ve followed the contest for a couple of years and I’ve read the magazine since high school. I’m so happy to be able to represent my city and my network of entrepreneurs from the main stage.” Inez told nibletz.com in an interview.
Inez brings a well versed pitch with a bubbly personality, and she knows her stuff, but above all she’s a fierce competitor; “I’m extremely competitive, so first and foremost, I wanna win! This is also an incredible opportunity for exposure for my business and myself; I plan to plant the seed for potentially valuable connections. Last – but certainly not least – I hope to inspire someone else to step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the platforms that can help grow their business.”
Inez is one of the founding members of Memphis’ Upstart program. Upstart is initiative set in place by Launch Your City and focuses on empowering women entrepreneurs. Elizabeth Lemmonds is the Chief Relationship Office for Launch Your City and the Director for Upstart. She’s been working closely with Inez since December.
” Ever since Danielle brought Pink Robin Avenue into the Launchpad and to our female founder 48 Hour Launch, I’ve been impressed with both her concept and her sheer tenacity. This remarkable opportunity is a testament to both. I’m proud to have worked with her and look forward to the huge things ahead for Pink Robin Avenue!” Lemmonds told us.
Inez’ Pink Robin Avenue and other startups like Mentor Me, currently accelerating in the Seed Hatchery program are a testament to the fast success Upstart Memphis has seen.
The finals for the Black Entreprise Elevator Pitch contest are bitter sweet for Inez who will miss Seed Hatchery’s Demo Day while she is pitching in Columbus at the Black Enterprise Event. “I can’t believe I’m going to miss Brittany’s pitch (Mentor Me), Brit’sbusinss has evolved into something that seems incredibly profitable”. Mentor Me was one of the other startups selected to build out at that Upstart 48 Hour Launch event where Pink Robin Avenue was born.
Here’s Pink Robin Avenue’s second ever pitch at 48 Hour Launch.
Check out Pink Robin Avenue here.
We’ve been tracking Inez and Pink Robin Avenue since day 1 find out more here at nibletz.com