Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams are combining their star power to help elevate the businesses of HBCU students and alumni.
The “Creed” actor partnered with Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports to bring the inaugural HBCU basketball showcase to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 18. In addition to spotlighting the universities and the talented athletes that attend them, the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic is sponsoring a startup pitch competition that will give current students and alumni the opportunity to win up to $1 million toward growing their businesses.
“Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports have been amazing partners in helping bring this experience to life,” Jordan previously said in a statement announcing the showcase. “I grew up watching basketball games on TNT, so I am confident they will deliver this set of games to a true audience of basketball fans and their families in an exciting way.”
The pitch competition was created in partnership with Serena Williams‘ SerenaVentures and MaC Venture Capital. Participants who want their piece of the pie will be required to submit business proposals and investor decks online now through Nov. 18 to qualify.
“HBCUs are an integral part of our educational ecosystem and have long been centers of entrepreneurial excellence. We are thrilled to be partnering with Michael B. Jordan and MaC Ventures on highlighting the brilliant student and alumni founders,” Serena Ventures General Partner Alison Stillman said in a press release.
According to the competition website, applicants will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists who will pitch their startups to a group of top venture capitalists and receive detailed feedback. Three finalists will be chosen from the group to be invited to a live pitch in front of an HBCU audience and top partners at Serena Ventures, MaC Venture Capital, Harlem Capital, and Cake Ventures. Finally, Jordan and Williams will award the $1M investment during December’s Legacy Classic.
Following the competition, winners will continue to be advised by executives from MaC Ventures, Serena Ventures, Invesco, and more “to ensure longtime success.”
The HBCU college basketball showcase, which will air on TNT, will feature games between Hampton University and North Carolina Central University, plus Howard University versus North Carolina A&T University. A portion of the proceeds from the showcase will be donated to organizations focused on advancing HBCUs, as well as the local Newark community.
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