Latest posts by Rachel George (see all)
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Cherese Clark dominates the justice system in #Powerheels- September 21, 2016
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Filmmaker Nakia Stephens is on a mission to elevate minority women in film- September 21, 2016
- Race IQ Engineering Firm Wins BIG at PLUGATL Pitch Competition
Author of 'The Power of the Broke' Daymond John served as the event keynote speaker- June 8, 2016
Shark Tank investor Daymond John hosted the PLUGATL $10,000 Pitch Competition Monday night at the Atlanta Symphony Hall of the Woodruff Arts Theatre. The event, sponsored by SunTrust Bank, is a celebration of Atlanta’s rising millennial, entrepreneurial talent given the opportunity to win $10,000 in a pitch competition for their tech/business ideas.
The evening began with an open cocktail hour allowing the attendees to mix and mingle and network among Atlanta’s entrepreneurs. The actual program began in the Symphony Hall with introductions of the notable honorees and judges by multimedia journalist Rashan Ali.
Some of the honorees were Ryan Wilson, owner of The Gathering Spot, and Jewel Burks, CEO and co-founder of Partpic, who was unable to attend.
The judges included Candance Mitchell (Co-founder/CEO of Myavana), Rodney Sampson (Techsquare Labs), Ryan Wilson (The Gathering Spot), Kartik Ram (Fashion Fund), and the guest of honor Daymond John (Power of the Broke).
Tech entrepreneur Justin Dawkins and Joey Womack, Co-founder and CEO of Amplify 4 Good, both received awards for their innovative social impact within the community.
The initial competition began a week before, where 29 semi-finalists were chosen out of 119 applicants. From this group, five finalists were chosen to pitch their ideas to the judges; Race IQ Engineering, firm seeking to improve hybrid-electric (HEV) and alternative-fuel vehicles (AFV) vehicles by merging fuel efficiency and performance, Tydee, Inc., a waste-tech start up looking to redefine trash pick up, Make Music Count, mathematics curriculum that teaches math lessons through learning how to play the piano, Alpha Bride, website helping couples budget their wedding plans through various options and Farrago comics, a free online platform for digital comic books “Spotify for comic books.”
A brief intermission was held just before the panel discussion moderated by Sherell Dorsey (founder of the THEPLUG) with Daymond John, Bridgette Beam (Head of Global Programs & Operations for Google), Eugene Cornelius (SBA), Rodney Sampson (Techsquare labs), Marjorie King (founder of the Woman’s Circle).
The panelists gave great advice on entrepreneurship, wealth and prosperity. “Your following has to be organic,” John said.
A major highlight from the discussion talked about developing a skill, while building and designing your job. Often times, college graduates struggle finding a job suitable to their skills. King suggested young millennials should be as entrepreneurial as possible to gain success.
There was also dialogue about jobs in the STEM field. “People want jobs in STEM, but don’t have the resources,” King said just before explaining the mission of the Winner’s Circle to provide those resources to those in the community.
The panel discussion was followed by a brief Q&A session with the audience. Keynote speaker Daymond John was awarded as the First Annual Icon after his speech. When pursing your dreams or creating an idea, he advised anyone to take affordable steps, find mentors, and to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.
The program ended with the announcment of the winner of the competition, James T. Jones, President and founder of Race IQ engineering.
Daymond John held a brief book signing of his newest release, Power of the Broke, immediately after in the lobby of the hall.
Others supporters of the event included Tiwaworks, The Winning Circle, Atlanta Greek Picnic Weekend, Ohub, and Tech Square Labs.