Louisville Triumphant

Louisville grieves and stumbles, but it never gets knocked down. These four founders represent the best of a city and community of leaders rising up and chasing triumph. Explore this inspiring group of Black entrepreneurs who are reinventing economic power in Louisville. Proudly sponsored by NBA All-Star & Olympic Gold Medalist Allan Houston and his organization FISLL along with NBA Cares, Fanatics, and the Community Foundation of Louisville.

29 people following Louisville Triumphant

Businesses in Louisville Triumphant

JoCari T. Beattie

JoBé Products

Backpack+Desk = Besk!

Tanika Bryant

Buy Black Lou

Buy Black. Buy Local. Buy Lou.

Ricky Mason

BrainSTEM University

EdTech Startup with STEM Focus

Megan & Branden Bell

Next Door Market

Your Mobile Grocery Store

Pitch in and let's solve this challenge together

JoBé Products

JoCari T. Beattie

Challenge: Pitch in with Besk

Jocari needs your help to take Besk to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Buy Black Lou

Tanika Bryant

Challenge: Pitch in with Buy Black Lou

Tanika needs your help to take Buy Black Lou to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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BrainSTEM University

Ricky Mason

Challenge: Pitch in with BrainSTEM

Ricky needs your help to take BrainSTEM to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
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Next Door Market

Megan & Branden Bell

Challenge: Pitch in with Next Door Market

Megan and Branden need your help to take Next Door Market to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Origin Story

JoBé Products

At JoBé Products our vision has always been to create products that help people. Our first product - Besk - does just that. Besk is a backpack that transforms into a desk. I have worked on Besk since 2014. I started with little-to-no-resources but continued to push until people saw value in the product. During Besk's development, I used everything I could find to get each prototype done. Materials ranged from shower curtain rods and yard sticks to coffee containers. One thing we wanted to be sure of was that Besk did not cause more strain on the environment. So, we wanted to be sure to include as many reused and recycled materials when it came to production. In 2020, we had a breakthrough running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Ever since then we have been working diligently to release Besk in August 2021!

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Business Basics

Founders

JoCari T. Beattie

Founding Date:

2018

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American

Solution

Creative Product Technology

Impact Area

Economic Power Health & Food Green / Sustainability Youth & Education

Advising Needs

Growth, Scaling, and Investments Marketing and Communications Product / Service Design

Problem:

The problem we are are addressing is not always having a space to work when and where you want it. Due to the pandemic and the growing trend of remote work, a workspace outside of the office has become a commodity for many students and professionals. There are many people who would like the ability to work outdoors or simply a change in scenery which would energize them and increase their productivity.

Solution:

Our solution is Besk. Besk is a fully functional backpack that transforms into a fully functional desk. Besk allows users to keep something they use everyday to store and transport their goods (a backpack) while adding the value of a desk to ensure no matter where they go they always have a workspace. This is is a tool that can help all levels of education and many professional services.

Market:

Our initial target markets are high school / college-aged students and remote workers. We feel that these groups are the most regularly mobile while having to be productive. We have also gotten a lot of attention from parents, barbers, artists, travelers, and more.

Traction:

We have pre-sold 150+ Besks in 45 days with plans to have 1,000 pre-ordered by the scheduled launch in August 2021. In the first 12 months after launch, we have a projected revenue of $250,000

Origin Story

Buy Black Lou

I started the Buy Black Initiative in 2019 after seeing some disturbing statistics about the lack of generational wealth and ownership in the Black community. I read information stating that it would take Black Americans over 250 years to close the racial wealth gap and that a dollar circulates in Black neighborhoods for only 6 hours versus up to a month in other communities. When I got deeper into my research, I discovered that one major contributing factor is our lack of home and business ownership. Once my eyes were opened to this problem, I decided to be intentional about creating a solution, and Buy Black Lou was born. It started as a Facebook group and grew into much more, now with about 28,000 SM members in our Louisville group. Buy Black Lou provides a place for our Black-owned businesses to advertise their products and services through the social media platform and offers a central location for Black businesses to be found and patronized.

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Business Basics

Founders

Tanika Bryant

Founding Date:

2019

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American Woman-Identified

Solution

Service Technology

Impact Area

Advocacy Economic Power Race & Equity

Advising Needs

Information Technology Marketing and Communications

Problem:

According to our study with over 100 entrepreneurs, one of the top challenges for Black-owned businesses is the lack of advertisement and representation opportunities.

Solution:

We provide a central location for Black businesses to market their products and services and for consumers and businesses to easily find and patronize Black entrepreneurs.

Market:

Our market users are general consumers and businesses who are looking for high-quality products and services and are motivated to support Black-owned businesses as they build generational wealth.

Traction:

We have over 28K SM members in our FB group where we connect the community and Black entrepreneurs. We have 220 businesses listed in the directory in Louisville so far. Our goal is to grow to become the premier Black business directory for the country and beyond.

Origin Story

BrainSTEM University

I’m Ricky Mason, the CEO and Founder of BrainSTEM University. It was in the 5th grade that I met a robotics engineer at a school assembly who inspired me not only to think about what I could do as an engineer but to dream big and aspire to change the world. I held that dream close to me, but I wasn’t able to realize it until I went to college. Growing up, I found community in football, though I longed for a community, a group, or a mentor in STEM. I didn't know anyone nor did I know where to find them. I wish I knew that there were other students like me that took their toys apart and tried to fix them or dreamed of making cool robots. I started BrainSTEM University to create a community for students, to inspire them to dream, create, and innovate. As an engineering professor at the University of Kentucky, I noticed students with early exposure to STEM were more prepared and more likely to stick with their STEM major. STEM education literally changed my life and BrainSTEM University will change the lives of so many others. #KeepMakingMoves 🚀

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Business Basics

Founders

Ricky Mason

Founding Date:

2019

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American

Solution

Product Service Technology

Impact Area

Youth & Education Community Support

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Marketing and Communications Product / Service Design

Problem:

The STEM talent deficit is predicted to cost the country $435.7 billion in lost revenue. That’s 1.5% of the whole US economy! To avoid this massive loss, federal experts say we need to increase college STEM graduates by 34 percent per year. In 2017, more than half of U.S. high schools did not offer calculus, 4 in 10 did not offer physics, more than 1 in 4 did not offer chemistry, and more than 1 in 5 did not offer Algebra II. Further, 50% of school districts struggle to recruit and retain STEM educators, making it difficult to expand even basic math and science courses and leaving only 20% of high school grads prepared for a STEM major in college.

Solution:

At BrainSTEM we’re building a kindergarten-to-career pipeline, leading young people from STEM students to STEM professionals. We inspire students to pursue STEM education by creating a vibrant, incentive-based community that connects students and gives parents, teachers, and school admins insight and feedback. Our STEM curriculum is embedded in our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), a gamified learning platform, featuring on-demand, instructor-led courses and clubs enabling schools and community organizations to expand STEM course offerings with the click of a button. All of this helps to curb the shortage in STEM educators and increases access to STEM education for parents and schools nationwide.

Market:

We’re creating a pipeline for K-12 students, leading from STEM students to STEM professionals. In elementary school, students gain digital literacy while exploring basic STEM concepts. In middle school, students learn STEM through career exploration. In high school, students choose a STEM concentration and complete a STEM portfolio. We compile student projects in their BrainSTEM Portfolio, creating the ultimate resume of demonstrated skills for high school grads. The BrainSTEM Portfolio is a resume booster for college applications and proof of skills for STEM careers. We partner with schools and non-profits to secure grants to increase opportunity and access to STEM education.

Traction:

In 2020, BrainSTEM won the Vogt Award, Render Capital Pitch Competition, Venture Sharks, KY-270, and Rise of the Rest. We were featured in Louisville Business First Magazine, Indiana Business Insider Magazine, Louisville Future, Wave 3 News, WHAS-11 News, The Lane Report, and Louisville Future.

Origin Story

Next Door Market

The Next Door Market Mobile Grocery is a mobile grocery store that connects hungry customers to high-quality and fresh foods. It has built an expansive—and ever-expanding product inventory to provide customers a time-saving and safer alternative to physical grocery shopping. We have a large variety of vegan, gluten-free, and organic options to choose from. The Next Door Market offers convenient delivery times, including both weekend and evening options. We combine the delectable triumph of having a full cupboard without the hassle of leaving your home.

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Business Basics

Founders

Megan & Branden Bell

Founding Date:

2020

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American Woman-Identified

Solution

Service

Impact Area

Health & Food

Advising Needs

Growth, Scaling, and Investments Information Technology Marketing and Communications

Problem:

The Next Door Market provides food and household supplies to customers, via delivery and shipping.

Solution:

We alleviate the need for customers to physically shop for groceries, and we supply fresh organic food to areas that have limited access to high quality products.

Market:

A majority of our customers are East Louisville residents with an average household income of 70k per year, 2-5 member households, and more than 95% own a vehicle.

Traction:

We've received over 200 regular customers orders, grown our social media presence (1,351 on Facebook and 998 on Instagram), and set a 2021 revenue goal of $40,000.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Besk Production (75%)

Marketing (25%)

The funds we raise will be allocated toward marketing content and Besk production costs. One of the hurdles of creating new innovative physical products is the high startup cost. Another is marketing new products to let people know that your brand exists.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Operating Costs (66%)

Marketing (34%)

The funds from this campaign will enable us to further our marketing initiative in support of 100 Black entrepreneurs and bring more visibility to the 220 current Black business owners in our directory. We have several efforts underway that need more visibility and this will put us in a good position to launch.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Program Staffing (100%)

The funds in this campaign will allow us to hire two instructors to teach our online live STEM curriculum and offer our first community-wide computer science course starting June 2021. Our programs are expanding throughout the Louisville area, and our strategy will yield high growth in the near future. We're in need of energetic STEM experts to help deliver our STEM curriculum online and in-person. This will allow us to maintain a valuable and personal experience for our students as our usership grows.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Mobile Truck (10%)

Inventory / Warehouse Space (30%)

Payroll / Admin / Supplies (50%)

Marketing (10%)