Inclusive Startup Day: Vendor Showcase & Startup Pitch Competition


I/O Spaces is pleased to host the Inclusive Startup Day: which will include a Startup Pitch Competition on May 26th  and Business Vendor Showcase from 1pm to 7pm on May 28th to showcase the diversity of African Diaspora & Minority entrepreneurs.

Interested vendors looking to participate in the showcase should complete the registration form detailing their venture and should additionally indicate in the form if they wish to participate in the startup pitch competition.




Selected registered applicants will pitch their business plan to a panel of expert judges and the winner will receive $1800 of Coworking services from I/O Spaces, Office hours from all our judges and the chance to present the attendees of the WarPeopleUSA Unity Ball on May 27th. Applicants will be judged on feasibility, monetization strategy, and scalability. Apply for the Startup Competition


The showcase will aim to create a unique vendor experience with featured elements from a curated selection of vendors supporting local businesses, small business owners, showcasing minority owned and African companies in a beautiful space. Registered vendors will participate in Vendor Showcase on May 28th from 1pm to 7pm. Become A Vendor.

How To Enter: To enter, interested persons should complete the online registration no later than 11:59 pm on May 25, 2017 EST. Application for the startup pitch competition is free. Registration for the vendor showcase is paid via Eventbrite.

Use of Conference Materials: I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA reserves the right to use any material prepared for the Startup Pitch Competition in publicizing and promoting the event.I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA may use these materials in any 2017 Pitch Competition printed materials.

Pitch Competition Participants should not expect or assume any rights of confidentiality related to data or information presented or discussed during the public session.

Richard EisendorfCertified Fund Raising Professional
Richard Eisendorf is a Certified Fund Raising Professional who runs local, national and international programs. He specializes in multi-platform fundraising and organizational development.
Charlene BrownFounder & CEO, Recipocare
Dr. Charlene Brown is a Board-certified public health physician expert who is the CEO and Founder of ReciproCare, a social enterprise focused on increasing America’s capacity to provide home care to its elders. Charlene is in the 4th cohort of social entrpreneurs in the Halcyon Incubator; she works on ReciproCare full-time.
Prior to founding ReciproCare, Charlene held a number of public health leadership and management positions in domestic and globs public health, founded a public health consulting company, and served on multiple non-profit advisory boards.
Mckeever E. Conwell, 2ndDeal Team Coordinator, TEDCO
Mckeever is responsible for the coordination of all stages of new deals brought into TEDCO.In October of 2009 Mac co-founded his first tech startup, The team successfully completed two accelerators, Accelerate Baltimore and NewMe Accelerator, where he was later named entrepreneur-in-residence.  Mac and his team sold the technology in 2014.  His next venture, RedBerry, was accepted into the Dreamit Ventures Accelerator in Philadelphia. 
Vendor & Applications:

Startup Pitch Competition is Free. A vendor registration fee is due at the time of vendor application submission; this fee is the same as the vendor fee which will give participants a table at the Entrepreneurship Vendor Showcase on May 28th from 1pm to 7pm. The fee is paid via Eventbrite

The winner will be announced at during Unity Ball Gala and will have the chance present their venture.

Changes to Competition Rules: While not anticipated, these rules and prizes are subject to change at the discretion of I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA at any time. Pitch organizers have the right to interpret these rules according to their own judgment.

Decisions regarding the Competition and the Winners: All decisions regarding the competition rules, procedures, and processes are at the sole discretion of I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA. Changes and/or interpretations of these rules may be made by I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA at any time, even though they may be (or may appear to be) in conflict with some previously published information. The selection of the teams to compete and the decision of the winners are at the sole discretion of the judges, I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA. Competition organizers reserve the right to disqualify any registration submission that is deemed inappropriate, unethical or offensive.


March 28, 2017 – Registrations Opens
May 24 – Startup Competition Finalists notified
May 25 – Vendor Registration deadline
May 26 – Finalists Start-Up Pitch
May 27 – Winner Announced
May 28 – Entrepreneurship Vendor Showcase


Each team must meet the following requirements in order to compete in the 2017 WarPeople Startup Competition:

Nature of Ventures: The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, startup, or early growth stages, serving the African Diaspora or Minority communities. The competition is not restricted to a specific industry- all industry sectors are encouraged to participate. Revenue to date must be less than $50,000.

*I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA leadership teams and all associated sponsors of the War People events and their employees are ineligible to participate.

I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA team has the final decision on which teams are invited to compete in the Pitch Competition and reserves the right to include or exclude any teams for any reasons.

Attendance: All finalists must attend to the Start-up Pitch Competition.


Non-confidentiality: All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to conference attendees. Any and all of these sessions may be broadcasted to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions.

I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or hard copies of the business plan. All presentations are open to the general public, and some presentations may be videotaped.

Copyrights & Permissions: If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.

Information presented by the competitor(s) at the Startup Competition is the sole responsibility of the competitor(s).I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA has not taken, and does not intend to take, any steps to verify the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, materials or statements presented by the competitor(s).

The competitor(s), and not I/O Spaces, UMOJA INC, and War People USA , is responsible for ensuring the competitor(s) compliance with all applicable federal, state and other securities laws, and it is solely the competitor(s)’s responsibility to comply with any of such laws that are applicable.


The vendor registration form must be submitted on or before 11:59pm EST on May 25, 2017. A non-refundable vendor fee (plus service fee) should be paid via Eventbrite.

All startup pitch competition will be notified of the pitch finalist results by May 24, 2017. Failure to confirm participation will result in disqualification from the pitch competition.

By submitting your registration, you agree to the competition terms and conditions. If your business is not selected as a pitch competition finalist, you still have access to your vendor space during the entrepreneurship showcase on March 28th and you are encouraged to attend the Unity Ball.