Jonathan Bender, Crowdfunder and The Dallas Entrepreneurship Center Partner On Live Pitch Event for Women & Minority Entrepreneurs

Women and minority-owned small businesses are encouraged to pitch their ideas to investors to raise capital for their businesses as part of The Live Pitch, an innovative project created by NBA basketball star turned entrepreneur, Jonathan Bender.

The effort is a partnership with, the leading equity crowdfunding platform, Edison Nation, a leading company helping entrepreneurs take ideas to products, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit support structure focused on stimulating job growth and driving the Dallas economy.

The Live Pitch will take place between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. November 6th at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, 311 North Market Street, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75202. Businesses can apply online at until October 28th.  A workshop on entrepreneurship, marketing and raising capital will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the DEC.

“I created The Live Pitch event to give more minority owned businesses the help they need to succeed,” Bender said. “As a professional athlete and businessman, I’ve had to fill a lot of different shoes so I know, first-hand, how difficult it is to get a great idea off the ground. When I created the resistance-training device, JB Intensive Trainer, I dedicated years of my life to it. I understand the unadulterated passion and drive founders, from all walks of life, need to make an idea a success.”

Lauren Zeien, vice president of programming for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, added, “This fall we’re focused on women & minority owned businesses in North Texas, their challenges, excitement and needs so we are thrilled to see a national event focused on the same mentality & coming to our space.”

A maximum of 20 companies will present a 5-8 minute pitch live on stage to local investors as well as investors watching via live stream during The Live Pitch event. All of the companies selected to pitch will receive a free profile on the Crowdfunder platform. The top three companies that already have at least 1 lead investor will each receive a free Crowdfunder fundraise (valued at $5,000). Investors that are viewing via live stream will be able to submit questions in real time to the applicants, as well as make non-binding investments in the companies pitching via

“Title IV of the JOBS Act, Regulation A+, is changing the landscape for investment in equity-led crowdfunding but there is room for further democratization of the funding process and for minority-owned businesses to take the stage to attract investment,” said Chance Barnett, Crowdfunder’s CEO and cofounder. “At Crowdfunder we’ve built a network of over 100,000 investors and facilitated $100M in investment commitments and we believe we can use our network to help more monitory-owned businesses.”

Businesses eligible for The Live Pitch event must fall into one or more of the following categories to apply: African American, Asian-Indian American, Hispanic American, Female-Owned, Native American, Asian-Pacific American.

Raquel Vincent

Raquel Vincent is a Dallas-based creative with a knack for words and inspired creative direction. When she's not working, you can find Raquel hitting a gallery opening, working on her book, or thrifting for unforgettable vintage finds. She loves music festivals, tacos, and her rescue cat Berlioz.