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Black Enterprise kicks off Entrepreneurs Summit

Image from Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit 2014

Image from Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit 2014

Black Enterprise kicks off its annual Entrepreneurs Summit at downtown Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency on Wednesday, May 13 through Friday, May 15.

Now in its 20th year, the signature event pulls in a host of accomplished guest speakers, from business gurus to media personalities and motivational experts.

Noticeable celebrities and keynotes include media mogul Steve Harvey, entrepreneur Lisa Nichols, journalist Roland Martin and businessman Paul Judge, to name a few.

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The three-day business bonanza that draws around 1,000 attendees from across the nation aims to provide strategies and networking opportunities to help businesses reach their full potential and connect with prospective investors. This year is focused on the theme “Where Innovation and Funding Meet.”

“As the U.S. economy is recovering, African American businesses must restore their momentum by aggressively positioning themselves to exploit new opportunities, seize emerging markets, and gain new access to capital,” says Black Enterprise President & CEO Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr.

“With this goal in mind, our Entrepreneurs Summit is designed to provide business owners with the tactical thinking, innovative strategies, and networking opportunities they need to reach that next level of profitability.”

Unsurprisingly, the premiere urban business conference has partnered with major corporate sponsors, from host sponsor Nationwide to presenting sponsors AT&T and Wal-Mart, among others.

2014 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch contest winner, Gwen Jimmere during her pitch at last year’s summit. This year’s ‘Going Up! The Elevator Pitch’ is sponsored by AT&T (photo: courtesy of Black Enterprise)

2014 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch contest winner, Gwen Jimmere during her pitch at last year’s summit. This year’s ‘Going Up! The Elevator Pitch’ is sponsored by AT&T (photo: courtesy of Black Enterprise)

High-powered sessions include How to Secure Millions for Your Business, Need for Speed: Accelerating Your Tech Startup, The Art of Raising Money, and It’s Called Show BUSINESS.

Other highlights include ‘Going Up! The Elevator Pitch’ contest, hosted by AT&T, where a select group of finalists get a one-shot opportunity of a lifetime to pitch their business to a group of judges and go head-to-head for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. The event takes place on Wednesday evening and promises to be a fast-paced and nail-biting experience.

Judges for the contest are Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr., President & CEO, Black Enterprise; Lisa Nichols, CEO, Motivating the Masses;  and Jeff Friday, Founder & CEO, Film Life.

Another event hosted telecommunications giant AT&T are The Corporate Procurement Game: Operating Small, Selling Big’ that takes place on Thursday morning. Senior procurement officers, including AT&T’s Director of Supplier Diversity, Oliver Turman, will offer advice and insider strategies to help win supplier contracts and grow businesses.

AT&T will also present the Techpreneur Award at the Small Business Awards Luncheon, featuring entrepreneur and music producer Jermaine Dupri.

Check out the official event page for more details.

Main photo: 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit ‘Going Up! The Elevator Pitch’, with judges Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr., President & CEO, Black Enterprise and Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub co-founder & CEO. This year’s Elevator Pitch is sponsored by AT&T.

Disclaimer: The above article is an AT&T sponsored post






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    Kunbi Tinuoye
    Kunbi Tinuoye
    Kunbi Tinuoye is the founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz. Previously, she worked as a News Correspondent for NBC’s theGrio. Prior, she was a senior broadcast journalist for the BBC in London. Tinuoye currently sits on the SXSW Pitch Advisory Board and CES Conference Advisory Board. She is a key player in the Atlanta tech startup ecosystem and serves as a mentor for Comcast NBCUniversal’s The Farm Accelerator. Tinuoye has received several awards and accolades, including being honored with a Resolution from the Georgia Legislative.