Q It's been a year since you won the 2013 Elevator Pitch Competition. What has Curvy Girlz Lingerie been up to?
A Curvy Girlz Lingerie went from being a local, New York-based company to having sales all over the country. Because of the Elevator Pitch Competition, I became a recognized brand that other companies wanted to partner with for greater visibility and sales. I even have customers in other countries! In fact, right now, I am in talks with a multibillion-dollar company that wants to do business with me just because of the press I received from the black enterprise competition.
Q What would you say is your No. 1 takeaway from the competition?
A My No. 1 takeaway? That the sky is the limit for black-owned businesses. I got to compete with the best companies in the nation and I do not take that lightly. In order to win, you must know everything about your business. It was not enough to have a great pitch--I had to know the ins and outs of Curvy Girlz Lingerie and be ready to answer questions at a moment's notice. That helped me get investors interested in my company and close deals.
Q What advice would you give to the 2014 Elevator Pitch competitors?
A Be confident, be bold and unexpected in your approach and delivery, and speak authentically. You have such a short time to make a great impression, and you have to use your passion, energy, and intensity to change the...