The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit was created by national stakeholders to elevate ethnic minorities and bring BIPOC businesses together to assist with connection building, programming, promotion, training, and to provide resources to help businesses grow and prosper.

The third annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit in April will bring everyone from entrepreneurs to seasoned professionals together in a hybrid setting at Athene in Iowa. The Summit includes a pitch competition, breakout sessions led by top experts, Mel Essex Award, inspirational keynote speakers and more. Our 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.

All pitch competition applicants are invited to attend the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit on April 20-21 at Athene in West Des Moines, Iowa. On April 20th, seven (7) of the top applicants will be asked to present their pitch in front of judges and have a chance to win thousands of dollars. In addition, we will select one (1) additional business to pitch on April 20th who will be chosen at random. It is required that you must attend the full day of workshops and networking on April 20th from 8:00am – 5:00pm to qualify to pitch your business at 3:00pm in front of the judges and community for a chance to win. The celebration of pitch winners occurs on April 21st at 2:00pm. Food and beverages will be provided. Over the past two years, winners have shared a monetary pot of $52,000 and everyone takes home a monetary prize. Good luck everyone!

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Businesses must be 51% minority-owned.
  2. Must be an established business. (Organizations – whether product or service businesses – are defined as more than 2 years in business, under 50 employees and under $2.5M annual revenue.)
  3. This pitch is for-profit businesses only. No nonprofit pitches.
  4. Business does not have to be West Des Moines located. ANY business that meets the above requirements is welcome to compete.

Video Rules/Guidelines:
The video does not have to be professionally filmed and can be recorded on a phone or computer. Video cannot exceed 1-minute. If you already have a promo video for your business, you may use a 1-minute excerpt. Vimeo and YouTube video links preferred. Please do not send the video as a file.

Application Deadline:
Both your written application and 1-minute promo video are DUE by 5:00 p.m. on MARCH 1, 2023. NOTE: Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.