WASHINGTON – Howard University’s Office of Research and humble ventures in partnership with Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial technology solutions, recently announced the winners of PitchHU 3.0, an experiential-learning incubator program that helps accelerate participants' businesses.
Developed by Howard University’s Office of Research and humble ventures in 2021 in partnership with Fiserv, PitchHU celebrates and strengthens minority-owned businesses in the greater Howard University community. Winners were recently announced at an event attended by Howard faculty, past PitchHU incubator winners, and other guests.
The PitchHU 3.0 winners:
- Deeper Skin by Chioma Ndubuisi and Chineme Elobuike, is a full-body self-tanner for people of color. Deeper offers body coverage that works to conceal, camouflage and address skin conditions. Both founders are Howard University alumna and Bay Area, Calif. natives.
- Nasci by Sarah Noel is an e-commerce marketplace that provides scientific reviews of beauty and skin products for people of color. As people of color struggle to find safe and effective skincare, Nasci works with brands and dermatologists who understand the unique challenges and sell directly to those who most in need. Noel is a current sophomore in the Howard University School of Business. She’s from Buffalo, N.Y.
- SwimMission Swim Cap by Candice Banks is a patented swim cap for ethnic hair and people of color. The innovative swim cap design accommodates larger volumes of hair while also maintaining a water-tight fit, ensuring swimmers keep their hair dry. Banks has multiple family connections to Howard; both parents, one grandparent, an uncle, and cousins are HU alumni. She lives in the Washington, D.C. region.
- Our Story Books by Casandra Latney and Paul Miles is classroom-tested, K-12 educational media that promotes reading comprehension. Our Story Books aims to emphasize reading, making it fun and educational through customizable text and other resources to fully engage students. Latney is a project coordinator in the Howard University College of Pharmacy. Paul Miles lives in Virginia Beach, Va.
- Design2Print by Kelvin Ford is a design and wide-format printing service for Washington D.C. neighborhoods Ward 7 and 8. Design2Print offers a 24-hour turnaround time for design and print services like banners, vinyl vehicle wraps, stickers and more. Ford attended Howard University in 2011 and lives in Washington, D.C.
Through previous incubators, PitchHU has successfully awarded more than 50 early-stage businesses. Previous winners have continued to grow their businesses by raising capital, building prototypes, hiring employees and even expanding distribution to local, national and international markets.
“PitchHU is ultimately about helping to drive culture change towards more entrepreneurship within Howard’s research community, which I believe will advance our discoveries further down the innovation stream and increase their commercialization potential,” says Terry Adams, Head of Technology Transfer at Howard. “Howard University’s Office of Research has produced many significant patents, but we need to translate those patents into marketable products and services to be truly successful. PitchHU is helping to chart that path.”
Over the summer, PitchHU’s third incubator session brought together entrepreneurs for an eight-week program. Participants engaged in sessions that provide foundational information for start-up businesses. At the conclusion of the program, participants pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges for the opportunity to receive grant funding sponsored by Fiserv.
“At Fiserv, we understand the grit and determination it takes to take an idea or a passion project and turn it into a business,” says Vivian Greentree, SVP and Head of Global Corporate Citizenship at Fiserv. “We are proud to partner with Howard University and invest in these businesses as they focus on solving unique problems across a variety of industries.”
During the event, the owners of Deeper, Chioma Ndubuisi and Chineme Elobuike, shared how the funding is allowing their idea to become a reality.
“With the funding provided by PitchHU and Fiserv, we are thrilled to launch our first product in April 2024,” said Nbubuisi.
“Before the incubator, we had a vision, but what we’ve learned during this process has transformed our business and opened doors to other accelerators and grants,” added Elobuike.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
Applications Now Open for PitchHU 4.0
Applications are now open for Howard University’s PitchHU 4.0, the fourth installment of the incubator program. Members of the greater Howard University and HBCU communities with an idea-stage or early-stage business are encouraged to apply. The top teams will be invited to pitch a panel of judges for up to $40,000 in non-dilutive funding. For more information, visit PitchHU.com.
About humble ventures
humble ventures is an innovative venture collective championing diverse entrepreneurs and crafting narratives that resonate with human experiences. Through collaborative partnerships with startups and established entities, we emphasize storytelling that truly connects. We prioritize direct investments in early-stage ventures, employing lean startup methodologies and design thinking to strategically address global challenges. Learn more at humble.vc.
Fiserv, Inc. (NYSE: FI) a Fortune 500 company, aspires to move money and information in a way that moves the world. As a global leader in payments and financial technology, the company helps clients achieve best-in-class results through a commitment to innovation and excellence in areas including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; payments; e-commerce; merchant acquiring and processing; and the Clover® cloud-based point-of-sale and business management platform. Fiserv is a member of the S&P 500® Index and one of Fortune® World’s Most Admired Companies™. Visit fiserv.com and follow on social media for more information and the latest company news.
Media contact: Sholnn Freeman; firstname.lastname@example.org