Rising Tide Capital Honors the Blackstone Charitable Foundation as a “Champion of Innovation” at the 5th Annual Start Something Champions Gala

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A Celebration of Entrepreneurship, November 1 at the Liberty House

Women and people of color are historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship, and we are committed to making sure all entrepreneurs have the access to capital and entrepreneurial networks they need to start and grow their businesses.

On November 1, 2016 at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City, NJ, Rising Tide Capital will honor the Blackstone Charitable Foundation as their 2016 “Champion of Innovation” at their 5th annual Start Something Champions Gala. Accepting on behalf of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is Tony Tolentino, a Vice President within the organization, who has been involved in the implementation of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to create and support targeted regional programs to empower entrepreneurs.

The gala is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship and community, and it is Rising Tide Capital’s signature fundraiser. It is also the culminating event of The Start Something Challenge (SSC), a statewide business pitch competition that encourages small-business owners to expand their market through social media, network with fellow entrepreneurs, and craft the perfect elevator pitch. Entrants compete for $25,000 in capital and prizes, technology tools, and expert feedback from small business professionals. The grand prize is a $10,000 business grant.

In its 5th year, and with the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, The 2016 SSC received over 100 entries, with applicants coming from as far south as Cumberland county.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, which has helped us to expand the reach of the Start Something Challenge,” said Alfa Demmellash, CEO and co-founder of Rising Tide Capital. “Small and micro businesses are the engines of every local economy, but their owners aren’t thought of as entrepreneurs. When we started the SSC 5 years ago, it was with the goal of giving diverse business owners a platform to say ‘I am an entrepreneur.’ Over the years the Start Something Challenge has become a point of entry to our ecosystem of support and services for entrepreneurs as they work with us to start or grow their ventures. This is why we are proud to honor the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, an organization that is innovating ways to support diverse entrepreneurs throughout the United States.”

A recent example of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s efforts to support diverse entrepreneurs is the recently-launched #FacesofFounders Campaign. Along with partners The Case Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, UBS, and Fast Company, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is providing a platform for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to share their stories and photos, to “help change the narrative around who is and can be an entrepreneur.” 5 winners of the competition will have their stories featured in Fast Company.

“Diversity of thought and perspective is crucial to generating the most innovative ideas and solutions to the world’s increasingly complex problems,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Women and people of color are historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship, and we are committed to making sure all entrepreneurs have the access to capital and entrepreneurial networks they need to start and grow their businesses. In that spirit, we are proud to partner with Rising Tide Capital (RTC) to support the Start Something Challenge to provide New Jersey entrepreneurs with the resources they need to build their business and create thriving communities.”

Tickets are available for the 5th Annual Start Something Champions Gala, which takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City. For more information regarding tickets or sponsorship, please click here; or, contact Amanda Parker at aparker(at)evergreenpr(dot)com or 908.322.1100.

About Rising Tide Capital:

Headquartered in Jersey City with offices in Orange and Newark, Rising Tide Capital, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded with the mission to empower entrepreneurs to create and grow small businesses, which transform lives and communities. The organization’s vision is to build a replicable model for high-quality entrepreneurial development services that can be adopted locally in other low-income communities. Learn more at http://www.RisingTideCapital.org.

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Esther Fraser
Rising Tide Capital
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