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Meet the 2023 Winners of the NextGen Pitch Competition

Akilah Barrett 1st Place

Akilah is the founder of Akilah's Essentials, a thriving business offering natural and holistic skincare products. Using her grandmother, Brenda Barrett's recipes and her significant knowledge of herbalism, they've created toxic-free skincare products. Focusing on self-care and empowerment, they provide handcrafted skincare solutions using high-quality organic ingredients. Their range includes cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and masks, catered to diverse skin types.


Akilah's Essentials prioritizes sustainability and offers educational resources for incorporating self-care practices. With a customer-centric approach and a commitment to using only gentle and nourishing ingredients, they have become a trusted name in the skincare industry, promoting healthy and radiant skin through their premium products and holistic self-care philosophy.



Anastasia Jackson - 2nd Place

Anastasia is the founder of WeNite Inc., which also includes a passionate group of HBCU Historically Black Colleges and Universities) alums. After noticing the outdated systems of Howard University, they came together to create an AI-centered technology to improve their systems and processes. WeNite Inc. is a transformative business empowering HBCU communities through innovative technology solutions.


Their mission is to drive positive change and create opportunities for growth within these communities. By harnessing the power of technology, WeNite Inc. aims to provide cutting-edge solutions that address the unique challenges HBCUs face. Their movement inspires individuals and businesses to join forces, collaborate, and make a lasting impact. WeNite Inc. invites everyone to be part of this empowering journey and contribute to the advancement of HBCU communities through the power of innovative technology. They plan to expand to other universities and colleges that need the same support.



Quincy Box - 3rd Place

Quincy is the founder of Qtech. An innovative gaming company focused on overcoming the limitations of traditional controllers. Their patented controller with a scroll wheel combines the accuracy and agility of a keyboard and mouse with the convenience and comfort of a controller.


By revolutionizing the gaming experience, they aim to provide gamers with enhanced speed, precision, and ergonomic design. Qtech is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of gaming technology and delivering a truly immersive and enjoyable gaming experience for players worldwide.


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

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