TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Launch Terre Haute hosted its ‘Pitch Black’ competition at its headquarters on Thursday.
The goal of ‘Pitch Black’ is to shine a light on black entrepreneurs. Several business pitches were made by potential entrepreneurs in front of a panel of local business owners. Those owners then deliberated and would select a winner who would receive $2,000 and other services from Launch Terre Haute.
After a lengthy deliberation process, that panel decided that Tawana Hemphill would be the winner of the ‘Pitch Black’ competition.
Hemphill, A Terre Haute resident who’s originally from North Carolina, plans to bring her business ‘Kiss of the South’ to the area.
She currently operates as a catering services without a concrete, central location for sit-down customers.
Upon hearing her name as the victor of the competition, Hemphill was overwhelmed with emotion as reality started to set in.
“I was like no way,” Hemphill said. “But I did it, God did it, but if not for God it would not have happened.”
Already with a footprint in Terre Haute, Hemphill believes that the support from Launch and this competition will put her over the top and allow her to spread love through her southern food.
“To be able to open my own business,” Hemphill explained. “So people can feel my heart through my cooking and feel my love through my cooking.”
THCC Black Business Alliance Coordinator LT Thompson said that he hopes all of those who participated in the competition gained valuable experience in business. He added that he believes each will be successful moving forward.
“We want everybody to be successful regardless of if that person wins or not,” Thompson explained. “They’ve met with business advisors to understand more about developing their business plan and hopefully have an opportunity to have an economic impact here in the community.
Hemphill said that she’s currently looking for a location to put the business.