Mayor Francis Suarez Announces Black History Month Pitch Competition

Published on January 11, 2023

City of Miami seal

City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez announced today a partnership between Venture Miami (City of Miami), eMerge Americas, and Silicon Valley Bank to host the Black History Month Pitch Competition. This pitch competition will provide an opportunity for startups founded by Black founders to pitch their ideas and receive support and resources to grow and succeed.

"We are proud to partner with eMerge and Silicon Valley Bank to present the Black History Month Pitch Competition," said Mayor Suarez. "This pitch competition is an important step towards promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and supporting Black entrepreneurship  in Miami."

The live pitch competition will take place on February 7, 2023 at Monty’s Coconut Grove. Eight startups will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of 3 judges, including investors and industry experts. The grand prize is $15,000, second-place prize of $10,000, third-prize $5,000, and the remaining five participants will each receive $2,000. The top two companies will also get fast tracked into the 2023 eMerge Americas Startup Showcase for the opportunity to win $420,000 investment into their company.

"eMerge is excited to partner with Mayor Suarez and Silicon Valley Bank to present the Black History Month Pitch Competition," said Melissa Medina, President of eMerge Americas. "This pitch competition is one of many ways that we promote diversity & inclusion in the tech industry. Supporting Black- and minority-owned businesses is extremely important to eMerge and to our community as a whole.”

"Silicon Valley Bank is proud to sponsor the  Black History Month Pitch Competition," said Tosh Ernest, Head of Access to Innovation at Silicon Valley Bank. "We believe that supporting Black-owned businesses is key to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and driving economic growth in Miami." 

The Black History Month Pitch Competition is open to Black-owned businesses in the tech industry based out of the South Florida region. Interested businesses can apply to participate in the pitch competition by visiting the application page. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2023.

The event is free and open to the Miami Community to join as supporters, to register as a guest visit the EventBrite page. For more information, on how to apply, visit:

About Venture Miami
Venture Miami is a team that was assembled by City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. The mission and goal of the Venture Miami team is to make Miami the "capital of capital" with an innovative technology ecosystem and economy that delivers for everyone. Our five pillars are (1) provide concierge support for funders & founders. (2) connect talent to jobs. (3) meaningfully promote diversity, equity & inclusion. (4) bridge connections between new to market entities and the existing innovation ecosystem. (5) support regional collaboration amongst other local governments, economic development agencies & organizations.

About eMerge Americas
eMerge Americas is a venture-backed platform focused on transforming Miami into a global tech hub. The eMerge signature event, launched in 2014, is a global tech conference held annually at the Miami Beach Convention Center, attracting more than 20,000 attendees from 50 countries and over 4,000 unique participating organizations. In addition to the annual conference, eMerge organizes and hosts year-round executive summits, innovation challenges, startup pitch competitions, masterclasses, webinars, as well as publishes venture activity and investment insights reports. For the last decade, eMerge has served as a catalyst for innovation and investment across the Americas, working at the forefront of building the South Florida entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem. Visit for more information.

About Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and investors, provides commercial banking services, expertise and insights to the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity, venture capital and premium wine industries. Silicon Valley Bank operates in centers of innovation around the world - including right here in Miami/Brickell - and is one of SVB’s core businesses with SVB Capital, SVB Private and SVB Securities. With global commercial banking services, Silicon Valley Bank helps address the unique needs of its dynamic, fast-growing, innovative clients. Learn more at