On October 23, 2021 we pulled off a minor miracle. The MORTAR Homecoming Experience was a mashup of an open house, an old-school block party, a food festival, and a tailgating vibe all rolled together to show gratitude to our alumni, our partners, and our COMMUNITY. We are so thankful for everyone who made it out to the event, and everyone who's been a part of our support system since day one. THANK YOU. Click the link above to check out this recap video by MORTAR alum Keitha Johnson.
THIS IS A BIG DEAL
Tonight, tune in LIVE to see MORTAR alum, Katrina "Aunt Flora" Mincey & her super supportive husband, Ron take the stage of America's Big Deal. According to the show's website, “America’s Big Deal” is a first-of-its-kind, live, and shoppable competition series that invites entrepreneurs from across the country to sell their ready-made products on-air to home viewers in real-time through the show's online platform. Each week, entrepreneurs will take the stage for a bold and innovative product pitch and the person with the highest dollar sales at the end of the night will win the chance to strike a life-changing deal with one of the show’s retail giants. With a mission to lift up America’s greatest small businesses and inventors, this groundbreaking series will empower audiences to shop live Thursdays at 9/8c using ShoppableTV and NBCUniversal Checkout to turn entrepreneurs’ dreams into reality. That being said, PLEASE tune in and make a purchase that could change Aunt Flora's LIFE!
OUR 2OTH LIFE'S A P!+CH COMPETITION!
It's crazy to think that we've done 31 cohorts of hungry entrepreneurs wanting to either get their businesses off of the ground OR take their existing businesses to another level. Equally as astonishing is the fact that our TWENTIETH PITCH NIGHT is right around the corner. Now that is something to be thankful for. Since this time last year, all of our Pitch Night events have been virtual... and let's just say that we hope this is the LAST time that we have to do one of these without a LIVE audience (we miss you all being in the crowd cheering these small business owners on)! PLEASE make plans to join us virtually on November 23rd. If you take a moment to RSVP, send you a reminder to tune in. Special shout out to JP Morgan Chase & Co. for sponsoring this one!
ALSO if you'd like to make a $20 donation (or more) to commemorate our 20th pitch night, your donation will go to MORTAR's Iron Chest Fund, which funds a portion of the prize money that we give to Pitch Night winners and has put nearly $300k directly into the hands of local entrepreneurs in the form of grants, loans, and even an equity investment to assist them in growing their enterprises.
SENDING A BLACK BOUQUET OF ROSES
Shout out to MORTAR alum Means Cameron from Black Owned outerwear for celebrating a monumental 10th year in business! The brand celebrated the milestone with a soiree at Paul Brown Stadium & even launched a collab beer titled Black Bouquet with MORTAR cohort mate Esoteric Beer. You can get a limited edition commemorative jacket here or a grab a 6 pack of their beer here.
MAKE DOUGH & THEN MAKE DOUGH
It's almost that time! Davis Cookie Collection is killing it - but they aren't stopping anytime soon. Next up? Cookie dough that you can take home with you - that way you can handle that cookie craving on-demand. MORTAR alum Christina Davis is one smart cookie! The variety of dough flavors roll out on November 16th. They also have a Holiday Cookie Decoration class for the kiddos; check out their IG page for more details.
After an amazing onboarding experience with the good people at TEDC Creative Capital in Tulsa, they're off to the races and have just completed their first MORTAR cohort! Our expansion Director, Kiaya Carter & Expansion Manager, Ashantia Collins caught a flight down to be a part of their first Pitch Night experience. We're so thrilled to continue having the opportunity to make sure that entrepreneurship is accessible to overlooked communities all throughout the country. If you're interested in funding our ongoing Expansion work throughout the country or know a city that would be interested in a MORTAR Expansion, please feel free to email us to get the ball rolling.