Motolani Oladitan ‘24 wins Afropreneurship “Fast Pitch” Challenge

Host, Ud Joseph (left) and panelist Brandon Henry, Adore Ellis, Zebedayo Masongo, and Jordan Pierre (right)

Students and young alumni from across the campus and community shared how being entrepreneurs has helped them knock down personal and professional goals. Afropreneurship, a celebration of black entrepreneurs during Black History Month, was organized by Todd B. Rubin Diversity and Inclusion Scholar, Ud Joseph, and sponsored by the LaunchPad.

Ud Joseph guided panelists that included Brandon Henry ’24 (Maxwell), Adore Ellis ’23 (VPA), Jordan Pierre ’23 (Whitman), and Zebedayo Masongo ’23 (School of Law), Syracuse University Alumni Lisa Newcomb, CEO of Thrive in Healing, and LaunchPad Alum Damaris (Koi) Munyua G’22 (Whitman), and community entrepreneur Eli Smith, CEO of So Gone Trash Removal and Eli Smith Contractors — through a dialogue about what Afropreneurs need to succeed.

The panelists explored how generations have defined success, how it is evolving, and where startups can find resources and build networks to succeed. They also discussed why it is vital to help develop businesses in the Black community, and the importance of civic participation.

Motolani Oladitan receives $500 fast pitch challenge award surrounded by other participants and judges

Following the panel presentation, 10 teams presented ideas to solve challenges on campus and in the community. The winner of the $500 Pitch Challenge was Motolani Oladitan for her venture, Ta, a virtual marketplace connecting African beauty and wellness brands with the diaspora, making it easier for consumers to discover and purchase high-quality, authentic African products. Learn more

Attendees listened to panelist, Lisa Newcomb, CEO of Thrive in Healing and Eli Smith, CEO of So Gone Trash Removal and Eli Smith Contractors