Brownsville Entrepreneurs Pitch Their Business Ideas to Columbia Business School

Brownsville entrepreneurs pitch their community-based business ideas at the Columbia Startup Lab/We Works in Soho.

The Columbia Business School’s Career Management Center and the Lion’s Lab partnered with The Brownsville Community Justice Center to provide entrepreneurial advice and mentorship to high potential at-risk youth.

The Lion’s Lab hosted a pitch event to four Brownsville entrepreneurs.  The plan is make the initiative sustainable with a designated Lion’s Lab Sounding Board that will provide feedback to the Brownsville entrepreneurs on their pitch/business idea on how to improve the Brownsville community.  Harlem entrepreneurs Curtis Sherrod and Erik Cliette from the Columbia Community Business Program  were also on hand to speak to the entrepreneurs about starting a business in a low-resourced community.

Highlights from the event are in the pitch event video at the top of the page.  The useful advice from the Columbia entrepreneurial community can be used by anyone looking to grow as an individual. Also of use is serial entrepreneur, Curtis Sherrod, President and CEO, All Things Traffic, Inc.  His presentation was so popular we decided to post it in it’s entirety.  Please share with your friends who might benefit from Curtis’s keen advice.

Infact WriterChick, aka, journalist, Mel Hopkins, found Sherrod’s talk so compelling she transcribed it here.

The practice pitch video the Brownsville entrepreneurs used before their live pitch.

This on-going, sustainable initiative benefits everyone, as the saying goes, “when everyone is lifted, we are all lifted.”

Brownsville Filmmakers Lab. L to R: Bilal, Jeff, Ray, Marjorie, Jay. Seated, Amos.
Brownsville Filmmakers Lab. L to R: Bilal, Jeff, Ray, Marjorie, Jay. Seated, Amos.

We also kicked off the Brownsville/Reel Works Media Lab. The lab teaches production, storytelling and leadership skills that can land students possible internships, project work, mentorships and eventually full-time employment.  The group met for three months on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4pm-7pm in the winter and summer. Each participant made a five- to seven-minute film which was screened at a venue in New York City.  You can see the films here.

To learn more about either of these initiatives please contact