top of page

Meet The 2022 Winners: The Chicago Pitch Competition

Shena Bowers - 1st Place Winner

Shena Bowers is the founder of Belly Candles. Belly Candles are hand-poured and 100% natural soy wax and beeswax with paraben-free fragrances. Unlike their competition, they burn for 100 hours.

These beautifully made candles are enough to light up your home with the best fragrances of vanilla, sage, Merlot, raspberry, and so much more. The best part of these exquisitely curated candles is they provide a bit of laughter, a smile, some inspiration, and encouragement. Shena said, "I pray that my candles will make you happy, laugh, let it out, encourage you, relax you, get you through, make you realize your worth and make you appreciate them, and much more."

Kenyatta Forbes - 2nd Place Winner

Kenyatta Forbes is the founder of a card game called Trading Races. To date, multicultural toys and games represent more than 49% of the US population, but they aren't representative of the Black and Brown community on the shelves.

Trading Races is a card game that's part party game, part educational, and 100% thought-provoking. Their product line consists of their Trading Races starter deck, and they also offer expansion packs, The Chicago and The Stay Woke expansion.

They also provide workshops for individuals, companies, organizations, and educational institutions, an opportunity to examine social constructs of race critically. They have been featured in HBO Vice News, Instagram for Business, and Essence Magazine. Their motto is, "Just remember, the rules are simple. The discussions won't be."

Jamila Parham - 3rd Place Winner

Jamila Parham is the founder of The Tech Unicorn ™, which is changing the face of technology. The mission of The Tech Unicorn is to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related industries through mentorship, actionable impact-driven projects, and partnerships.

The Tech Unicorn™ empowers and uplifts hidden figures and 'unicorns' in STEM through impact and engagement initiatives. Unicorn-ism is thriving and surviving in an industry or environment where barriers exist. Despite the circumstances, unicorns persevere against all of the odds. And The Tech Unicorn is shifting the narrative by challenging the status quo to prove that unicorns exist. They are driving innovation, creating solutions, and leading cutting-edge innovation.

Subscribe to the Digital Orange Juice for juicy ideas and the people who fund them. You can find out about our next pitch competitions here. Also, be sure to join our new community BGV Connect!

83 views0 comments


bottom of page