Up to One Million Dollars in Financing to Be Awarded to Ethnic Minority Companies in Shark Tank-like Business Competition

Applications Open Now Through September 12, 2018

–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#entrepreneurship–Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda):



Minority business owners have historically found it difficult to
gain access to capital. This funding often plays a big part in
determining between the success and failure of the business. Studies
have shown that financial, human, and social capital, as well as
racial discrimination, are primarily responsible for disparities
between non-minority and minority businesses. Achieving parity is
key to significant U.S. economic growth, creating new jobs and
raising wages in economically disadvantaged communities.


To help solve this dilemma and bring attention to this issue, the
Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and the City
of Saint Paul, Minn., are hosting the first-ever national ethnic
minority Million Dollar Challenge – modeled on the television show
“Shark Tank” – where early stage businesses will compete for up to
$1 million in financing.



Ethnic-minority owned businesses from across the country will meet
in Saint Paul, Minn. and will participate in a speed pitching event
to qualify for up to one million dollars in financing. The challenge
is being held by Meda, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s
top-performing minority business development agency in the nation.


Round one will be held on October 10, 2018 as part of Twin
Cities Startup Week and adjacent to the national Blacks in
Technology conference. Up to 10 finalists will move on to the next
round – an “accelerator” offering investor and industry feedback,
mentorship, exposure and professional connections. These finalists
will return to Saint Paul, Minn. in January for the final event,
which will award up to one million dollars in financing. Financing
will be in the form of a convertible note.



The October 10, 2018 event will be held at the Travelers Insurance
corporate headquarters auditorium at 345 Washington Avenue, Saint
Paul, Minn. A reception begins at 5:00 p.m. CT and the speed-pitch
competition will run from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.



Potential ethnic minority businesses wanting to apply can do so at www.meda.net
and complete a nine-question online questionnaire. Applications
are due by 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, September 12. Persons
with questions may contact Andy O’Leary at aoleary@meda.net.



For Meda:
John Scally, 202-878-8333
Alto, 612-455-1719
Andy O’Leary, aoleary@meda.net