The Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s (MEDA) Million Dollar Challenge rolls on.
On Wednesday evening, 22 minority entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of 20 judges. The judges then narrowed down the list of national competitors to ten finalists.
Six of the finalists are from Minnesota:
The chosen ten will go on to participate in a boot camp to help them get ready for a final pitch event on Oct. 11.
“All of the competing companies showed so much innovation, skill, and potential” said Barbara Butts Williams, MEDA’s board chair. “We are excited for this group of strong finalists and are eager to see how they grow in the coming weeks as they work toward the final stage of the competition.”
Prior to Wednesday night’s speed-pitch session, MEDA officials say they picked out 22 semi-finalists from a list of more than 500 companies across the country. The Million Dollar Pitch is aimed at leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs of color.
“Studies reveal that there is large disparity between the success of non-minority and minority business due to lack of financial, human, and social capital as well as racial discrimination,” MEDA officials said in a press release.
This year marks the second run of MEDA’s Million Dollar Challenge (which is formally known as Million Dollar Challenge Powered by Chase.)