WDM Chamber Offers Minority-Owned Businesses a Chance to win Cash Prizes

Photo from West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

Entrepreneurs of color across the country have a chance to win part of a $40,000 cash prize through a business pitch competition being held in West Des Moines and supported by one of the country’s largest banks.

The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce will accept applications until 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, for business owners of color who are interested in entering the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit Pitch Competition, which will offer cash prizes for the best pitches.

To be eligible to compete in the pitch competition, your business:

  • Has to be at least 51% minority-owned
  • Has to have been in business for at least two years
  • Must have less than 50 employees
  • Must have annual revenues of less than $2.5 million.

To enter the contest, you have to complete the free application and submit a one-minute promo video about you/your company. Visit this link to apply.

Last year’s contest had 22 entries with seven of them taking home cash prizes. The winner was former Iowa City resident Israel Tutson, the founder and CEO of VYBBES Luxury Beats & Instrumentals.

The pitch competition is part of the second annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, which takes place April 21-22. The summit’s “goal is to help advance the minority business community across the country and position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business.”

Besides the business pitch competition, the summit will also include a vendor fair and guest speakers including Pernell Cezar, CEO and co-founder of the Des Moines-based BLK & Bold coffee line, and Daymond John.

John is a judge on ABC’s hit business pitch TV show “Shark Tank” and is the CEO and co-founder of the legendary FUBU streetwear brand. At its peak, FUBU had annual sales of more than $350 million.


  • If you’re interested in applying to participate in the 2022 Athene Black & Brown Business Summit pitch competition, view the application here.
  • Learn more about the summit and purchase tickets here.


by Ty Rushing

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