Pivot Fellows’ Ventures Shine at 2024 Pitch Competition 

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Pitch Competition winners Tariq Gaston (left), Damon Donalson-Bey (center), and Herbert Robinson (right) with their prize winnings.

Georgetown Pivot Cohort 6 showcased their business venture plans to a panel of judges in competition for seed funding at the annual Pivot Program Pitch Competition.

This flagship event marks the culmination of nine months of the Fellows’ hard work and creativity throughout the program. The virtual event featured business ideas in a wide range of industries, such as social services, beauty, custodial services, transportation, fitness, interior design, and fashion. 

Nine Fellows in Cohort 6 presented their potential ventures before the judges, who asked questions, provided expertise, and selected the pitches with the most promise. Judges assessed each pitch based on the quality of the idea, presentation, and overall impressions. 

This year, the first place prize went to Tariq Gaston for his venture, Capital City Movers, a junk removal and valet trash transportation company that services property managers and apartment buildings. The lessons he took away from the Pivot Program have already begun to make a difference in his entrepreneurial career.

“The Georgetown Pivot Program offers an invaluable opportunity to learn the fundamentals of launching and organizing your business,” said Gaston. “Through the Pitch Competition process, Georgetown equipped me with the necessary tools to revamp my company’s structure, Capital City Movers, resulting in a notable increase in revenue.”

Damon Donelson-Bey took home second place for Bozan Mobile Makeup, a beauty service app that connects makeup artists and clients with ease and efficiency. For Donelson-Bey, the Pitch Competition was a manifestation of a year of hard work and dedication.

“The skills that I acquired from Pivot made it possible for me to build Bozan Mobile Makeup,” said Donelson-Bey. “This is an experience and an opportunity that every aspiring entrepreneur should have.”

Third place was awarded to Herbert Robinson for AGG Transportation, a freight and moving company Robinson has led since 2018.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to bring my vision to life and share it with others,” said Robinson. “Looking back at my presentation and reflecting on my old business plan, I feel a sense of accomplishment and readiness. I am now confident in embarking on the journey to turn my vision into fruition.”

A prize of $3,500 was awarded to first place, $2,500 to second place, and $1,500 to third place.

Honorable mentions were also recognized and received $1000 each in seed funding:

  • Lewis Collins for Body Infinite, an accessible personal training company that features flexible and sustainable fitness routines
  • Sean Mason for Dynamic Creations, a streetwear fashion brand for big and tall men
  • Antoine Mundell for Monumental Women’s Help Center, a transitional housing and employment program for victims of domestic violence
  • Justin Stover for Steered Straight, a mentorship program that pairs at-risk youth with returning citizen mentors to ensure their successful futures
  • Lossou Wallace for Premier Improvement Ventures, an interior design firm geared toward  homeowners and renters
  • Gregory Williams for Futuristic Cleaning, Inc., a commercial cleaning company that uses advanced technology to cater to office and workspaces

The Pitch Competition provides an opportunity for Fellows to apply the crucial entrepreneurial skills they’ve developed over the course of the program and jumpstart their business careers before they’ve graduated. 

“From the start, entrepreneurship has been an integral part of the Pivot curriculum, and the pitch competition is the final element,” said Pivot Executive and Academic Director Alyssa Lovegrove. “The competition gives them a focus — a chance to develop a plan, and to articulate their vision.”

Pivot’s focus on entrepreneurship contributes to the Fellows’ professional development by providing experience with business planning, problem-solving, networking, and finance. Whether or not a Fellow’s journey includes starting their own business, Pivot’s entrepreneurship curriculum lays a foundation of business knowledge that opens doors for Fellows in any sector.

The aspiring entrepreneurs who competed in this year’s competition will join the legacy of success set by Pivot alumni. Tyronda Ferrell, winner of the 2023 Pivot Pitch Competition, has supported the Fellows on their journey to entrepreneurship as the Pivot Program Administrative Coordinator. 

“I’ve had the honor to witness the brilliance and determination of our fellows shining brightly, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride. They’ve tackled the Pitch Competition with wonderful business ventures that I know will be successful. To my Fellows, never stop reaching for the stars,” said Ferrell.

As Pivot Assistant Director and the winner of the 2021 Pitch Competition, Latasha Moore is deeply familiar with the transformative nature of the program. After this year’s Pitch Competition, she is confident that the Fellows have fruitful paths in store.

“Every day, as I see the growth, resilience, and passion in the Fellows, my heart swells with pride. Each one of them is a shining beacon of potential and promise, and I am honored to witness their journey in remodeling or building their business venture. They’ve trusted the process and are now ready for a future of success,” said Moore.

Watch the full Pitch Competition here.

Special thank you to this year’s Pitch Competition judges: Patricia Grant, Maya McWhorter, Jeff Reid, Chip Sherrill, Rich Williamson, Rohan Williamson, and Edward Yap.