MTN DEW partners with Howard University, Hampton University and other PepsiCo HBCUs in an effort to discover, challenge and uplift the next generation of doers

MTN DEW is proud to announce the launch of the MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund, an Ideas Pitch Competition featuring an annual prize pool of US$1m/£751k with an initial commitment through the next five years.

The brand is partnering with Howard University, Hampton University and other PepsiCo-affiliated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in an effort to discover, challenge and uplift the next generation of Black innovators and entrepreneurs.

MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund initiative reinforces the brand’s commitment to action; with this latest phase making a tangible investment in the Black entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund launches on the heels of the $400 million commitment made by its parent company, PepsiCo, to uplift Black communities and Black representation.

“MTN DEW recognises the real need for actionable, tangible change and is committed to fueling what’s right as we seek to drive progress against the systemic racism and inequality faced by Black people in America,” says Nicole Portwood, Vice President, Marketing, MTN DEW.

“We believe entrepreneurs exemplify everything that MTN DEW stands for – they are the DOERS and the keys to building up Black-owned businesses, shrinking the historic wealth gap, and broadening the potential for Black generational wealth. We hope to make a lasting impact as we provide resources, programming, funding and empowerment to the next generation through our partnership with this incredible network of HBCUs and launch of the Real Change Opportunity Fund.”

The Real Change Ideas Pitch Competition will provide resources, programming, and funding to future Black Entrepreneurs. With a prize pool of US$1m/£751k, the goal is to inspire and empower HBCU students to go out and Do, and ultimately turn their ideas into real businesses. Existing students and recent alumni are invited to check out for updates on acceptance of applications.

The panel of experienced “Doers,” will select the top 50 applicants and invite them to a round of virtual pitches with an all-star panel beginning January 18, 2021. Ten finalists will emerge and have the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of our Real Change panel.

The final pool of finalists will compete for a share of the US$1m/£751k prize pool during the virtually streamed finale in February 2021. Each school represented will receive an award fund dedicated to creating real change at their respective university.

To bring the stories of these innovators to life, MTN DEW is partnering with media powerhouses ViacomCBS, iHeartMedia + Entertainment, Inc., Blavity Inc., to highlight the journeys of the ten finalists and their paths to the Real Change Opportunity Fund finale. MTN DEW will be the sole selector of the winners, schools will not be involved or influence the selection process.

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