Minority Business Owners Compete in “Shark Tank“-style Pitch Competition

The Wilmington Public Library, in partnership with the Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative, will host the first-ever Pitch or Ditch small business competition. During the event, local minority entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges. The judges will then choose which entrepreneur takes home a $5,000 cash prize.

The competition is modeled after ABC’s hit tv-show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs from around the country present their businesses to a panel of potential investors and partners.

Tonight’s panel of judges features local and national business leaders, including American business consultant, Dr. Randall Pinkett, the season four winner of The Apprentice. Here’s a closer look at the judges.

Dr. Randall Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar, and community servant. He is one of the leading voices for his generation in business and technology. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, multimillion-dollar research, consulting, training, technology, and analytics firm based in Newark, New Jersey. BCT works with corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations in the areas of housing and community development, economic development, children and families, health, education, diversity and inclusion, and energy.

  • Sam Waltz is a Global Professional Services consultant from Greenville, DE.  Sam is a long-time Delaware and Mid-Atlantic business/civic leader who in 2014-15 founded the Delaware Business Times. Sam is the Founder of Strategic Capital Services (M&A), including Capital-Finding – both Debt and Equity; Merger & Acquisition (M&A) including Sell-Side and Buy-Side in the Middle Market of closely-held often family-owned firms; Incubation of Early-Stage often Emerging Technology companies; and ReCapitalizations.
  • Vandell Hampton Jr. is the President & CEO of True Access Capital and is responsible for the overall management and operation of the organization. Mr. Hampton has served in this capacity since 2004. Under his leadership, True Access Capital has provided over $20 million in financing to small businesses and community organizations throughout Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania. Prior to joining True Access Capital, Mr. Hampton worked with The Enterprise Center in Philadelphia and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development unit.

    Robert Buccini leads general real estate development, non-hotel management, and leasing efforts for The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), a privately-held, full-service real estate acquisition, development and management company with offices in Wilmington, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Prior to co-founding BPG, Rob was an assistant vice president for real estate development at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Prior to that, Rob was a broker and senior analyst for Kenneth D. Laub & Company, a commercial real estate brokerage firm based in New York City.

    This is a live in-person event open to the public so please come be a spectator as some of Delaware’s finest entrepreneurs pitch their high-level business ventures.

    To watch the event virtually, click here to visit the Wilmington Public Library’s Facebook page.