NGLCC Sip & Pitch Fridays | July 31, 2020

| By Kaela Roeder

Another exciting and inspiring round of the LGBT Sip & Pitch program took place with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) on July 31, 2020. Sip & Pitch is an event for LGBT business owners to present their business ideas, hear advice from corporate professionals and network over coffee and cocktails. Certified LGBTBE® Edge Factory, known for their stunning visuals at the NGLCC Conference and National Dinner, partnered with NGLCC to present this online event.

This week, six businesses presented their ideas to our panel of judges: Debra Quade of Kellogg Co., Kimberly Marcus of AARP, Robyn Best of Johnson & Johnson and Rose Hatcher of Viacom.

The first presenter of the day was Rob Smith, the CEO and Founder of the Phluid Project. Created two years ago as an intersection between fashion and advocacy, the Phluid Project houses gender-free fashion lines, a previous LGBT community center, and now offers certification and training for companies to ensure gender inclusion.

Military Veteran Consulting Solutions (MVET) Consulting Solutions was next, a business that works specializes in information and cybersecurity consulting. With 15 years of experience, Mearieweather and her team specialize in creating, building, and managing solutions that support clients within the public and private sectors.

Erika Karp, the founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group also presented at NGLCC’s LGBT Sip and Pitch Fridays program. Karp and her business focus on the social impact of investing and encourages individuals and companies to partake in sustainable investing. Karp explained the positive impacts sustainable investing has, and how approachable making sustainable investments is with her business model. Cornerstone Capital Group assists individuals, foundations and multi-family offices on how to best invest their dollar.

The Business Team of Houston was next. Founder Kym Adams and her team provide business support services either virtually or remotely. Their specialties include helping with projects like IT help desk, administration and procurement. Each consultant has over 25 years of experience, as well. The company can also help with training, relocations and expanding businesses.

Big Mouth’s owner and design director Jonathan Hart was up next. Known as a “boutique branding experience,” the agency helps brands develop strategy, design and marketing. The company works with a variety of businesses, such as healthcare, technology and real estate. Founded in 2018, Big Mouth has dedicated itself to be more than a typical marketing firm. The company also gives five percent of the work signed to a charity chosen by the client, including Brave Space Alliance, the Chicago Public Libray and Inspiration Corporation.

Social Link closed our program with a stellar presentation on the innovative marketing firm based in Nashville. Specializing in website development, search engine marketing and branding. Working with companies like Hilton and Marriott, Social Link has helped companies big and small adapt their communication strategy to reach wider audiences and improve sales. 

Andrea Ruiz-Hayes, the founder of Eco Strategies Group, co-led our Community and Conversation portion. Andrea has spearheaded the Million Mask Challenge and has been crafting countless masks as COVID-19 relief.

After posting her personal progress of creating masks online, she created a Facebook group that now has over several hundred members from across the nation and has been growing rapidly each day. In it, group members have been posting sewing tutorials and maintaining a running log of hospitals, facilities, and healthcare professionals across the country that are accepting homemade masks. The group has donated almost 60,000 masks and has over 240 people contributing to the cause.

The NGLCC network was floored yet again by the unique and engaging business pitches, and is excited for the next LGBT Sip & Pitch event on August 14.

Want to learn more about LGBT Sip & Pitch Fridays or apply to present your business ideas? Click here to learn more or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

For additional ways to help you, your business, and the LGBT community during this time, visit the NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.