And the winners are.......... Round of applause for Innclusive!!! Click the image to visit their site and learn more.

And the winners are.......... Round of applause for Innclusive!!! Click the image to visit their site and learn more.

congratulations to the winners of our $10,000 prize, innclusive - the home sharing platform for everyone

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Thank you for your participation. Finalists will be announced soon.

meet the judges...

From the executive offices of EBONY Magazine, Urban Co-Lab, ScoreMore Shows & WeWork, meet our celebrated panel of judges.


Michael Gibson

Co-Founder and Chairman of CVG (EBONY's parent company), Michael has over 25 years of experience creating, developing, and running successful corporations. Michael’s vast experience in business, his wealth of knowledge in the field of technology, and his valuable connections make him a highly sought after candidate for Boards of Directors for non-profit and for-profit corporations alike.

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ryan smith

Ryan is the Director of Investments at Magic Johnson Enterprises where he oversees the private market investment activities of the basketball legend and business phenomenon. In his role, Ryan primarily focuses upon the sports, entertainment, and tech sectors, aiming to find opportunities that “do well by doing good,” meaning are economically viable and generate positive social impact. In addition to his private sector activities, Ryan is the co-founder of a not-for-profit organization in his hometown of Chicago called Restoring Our Character (ROC).


Founder of the premium brand innovation consultancy, SMASHD Group, James Andrews has made a life for himself pioneering work in marketing, tech and culture. Through his work with SMASHD, this former executive at Columbia Records helps brands cross-innovate for the future. He is an investment advisor for startups and encourages curiosity amongst all.


natalie cofield

As the Founding President for the Austin Black Technology Council and a Top 10 Black Innovator in 2013 by MVMT 50, an initiative of SXSW, Natalie is an expert in technology eco-system development in emerging and diversity markets both domestic and abroad with over a decade of experience. She is the founder of Urban Co-Lab, Walker's Legacy, the SXSW African Diaspora Fellowship and was named the Diversity Technology Evangelist of the Year by Google in 2013.

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Victoria Taylor

Victoria Taylor joined WeWork as their director of digital community after previously serving as reddit's Director of Communications and Director of Talent, assisting with AMAs and more with the reddit community. Prior to reddit, Victoria was on the digital team at ID PR and helped work on digital strategy for a wide variety of nonprofits, individuals, entertainment projects and more. She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is based out of New York City.

Edward Castillo

Edward Castillo is a music industry marketing professional who works for ScoreMore Shows, the Texas-based concert and festival promotions and production company. By providing consistent turnouts through cutting edge promotion for artists like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Steve Aoki and more, ScoreMore has become one of the most highly touted promotional companies in the country.

How it works...

The Rapid Accelerator

Monday, March 6 to Friday, March 10, 2017

Selected semi-finalists will participate in a week-long rapid accelerator including engagement with leaders in the areas of film, tv, music, arts and culture, entertainment and general business.   

Mentors will provide virtual-guidance to selected semifinalists to prepare for the pitch in the form of daily featured fireside chats during the week of March 6 to March 10th. 

Teams can participate in person, if in Austin, and work from the Urban Co-Lab co-working space during this week.  However, this is not required. 

The Pitch

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ready to bring your A-game?  Each of the five (5) selected finalist teams will be granted the opportunity to pitch before a live audience and a panel of celebrities and business leader judges. 

Each team will have 5 minutes to pitch their company followed by a 5 minute Q & A session with the judges. 

The selected grand prize winner will be announced the following day on Monday, March 13th. 

EBONY Magazine VIP Creatives Reception & Awarding Ceremony

Monday, March 13

A private VIP reception, hosted by EBONY Magazine will be held on Monday, March 13th.  This reception will include a celebration of creatives, celebrities and influencers and will include the presentation of the grand prize of $10,000 cash and 6-months of free co-working at a WeWork location of your choosing throughout the country. 


key dates

The Full Schedule


February 8th, 2017


February 24th, 2017
Entry Form Will Close


March 3rd, 2017
Five Finalist Teams Chosen


March 6th - 10th, 2017
Finalists will be paired and work with the mentors


Sunday, March 12th, 2017

@ WeWork Congress
600 Congress. Ave., Floor 14
Austin, TX 78701

Winner will be announced.


March 13th, 2017

Winner will be honored at VIP event.


meet the MENTORS...

These industry leaders & influencers will lend their time and advise to help finalist perfect their pitch during the Rapid Accelerator, being held March 6-10.

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Dame Dash

Damon Dash, also known as Dame Dash, is an American entrepreneur, music producer and actor. Dash is best known as co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records along with Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) and Kareem Burke.

Quincy Jones III

Quincy D. Jones III, DJ, Founder of QD3 Entertainment, and co-founder of Feel Rich Inc., with Shawn Ullman, has recorded and remixed tracks for Prince, Tupac, Ice Cube, L.L. Cool J. and Lionel Ritchie, among others. He is a filmmaker and most famous for The Carter, the Lil Wayne documentary.

Shawn Ullman

Shawn Ullman is the co-founder and CEO of Feel Rich, Inc., a multicultural health and wellness media company. Ullman and Jones say the work they do, producing music videos on health education, creates for a level of consciousness of the obesity crisis in the music and rap industry. "We take these statistics, a personal story about heart disease, and put a spin on it,” Ullman said. “Health, the new status symbol of wealth.”



Bryan-Michael Cox is an American record producer and songwriter who is notable for his extensive work with multiple platinum-selling artists including Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Toni Braxton. He has been acclaimed as the most Grammy Award Winning R&B Producer in history.


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Meet our national media, music and creative partners


coworking space sponsor


Contact Us

Have questions about the competition that can't be answered by the information listed in eligibility?  Have a media inquiry? Interested in partnering with us?  Please complete the following contact information or email us at and a member of our team will get back to you ASAP. 


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