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PHILANTHROPY

Legacy Classic Announces Startup Pitch Competition with Serena Williams, MaC Venture Capital

The competition will give college students at HBCUs the chance to earn $1,000,000 in structured investments from MaC Venture Capital and Serena Ventures.

The Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic, which will feature four HBCU men’s basketball teams, has announced partnerships with MaC Venture Capital and Serena Williams’ investment company, Serena Ventures, to create a startup pitch competition. Aspiring business founders who are current students or alumni from HBCUs have the chance to be awarded $1,000,000 in structured investments from both firms. 

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The event will take place Dec. 18 in Newark and will feature Hampton facing North Carolina Central and Howard playing North Carolina A&T. Both games will air on TNT. 

“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,” said Alison Stillman, CFA,  Serena Ventures General Partner.

Participants can submit their business proposals and investor decks on the Legacy Classic website until Nov. 18. Invesco, Thirty Five Ventures, Harlem Capital and Cake Ventures will serve as Advisors for the competition and will help prepare founders for their final pitches. Winners of the competition will be flown to New Jersey and awarded by Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams during halftime of one of the games.

“At MaC we like to say that talent is ubiquitous but access to opportunity is not,” said Michael Palank, MaC Venture Capital General Partner in a statement. “Two of our partners are HBCU alumni and we could not be more excited to uncover and support the amazing entrepreneurial talent we know is thriving at these universities.”

In the lead-up to the event, the basketball showcase is also partnering with esport non-profit Cxmmunity to host an NBA 2K Tournament that will feature 16 HBCU teams. Winners of the tournament will be in attendance at the games. The event will also feature an immersive cultural experience highlighting additional elements of HBCU life and culture, including a band showcase, a live musical performance, and college and career opportunities.

Part of the proceeds from the event will go to support organizations focused on advancing HBCUs as well as the local Newark community.