2024 Black Career Conference (BCC) Pitch Competition

$20,000 In Prizes For Early-Stage Black Founders

About the BFN BCC Pitch Competition

The Black Career Conference (BCC) is an annual conference hosted by Black Rotman Commerce to provide Black students, graduates, and entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and each other.

The conference will kick off with the BCC Pitch Competition hosted by the Black Founders Network, to provide Black founders at the earliest stages with capital to bring their ideas to life. This year’s competition is open to aspiring or early Black entrepreneurs across Canada, who are at the ideation or pre-revenue stage. Applications are open here until December 15, 2023.

The top 10 scoring applicants will be shortlisted to pitch for their share of $20,000 in grant prizes on January 12, 2024. The grant prizes will then be distributed among the top 5 voted pitches from the audience and judges.


Select the category that best identifies you for quick access to information:

  • What’s In It For You?
    • Win one of 5 prizes ( $5k, $5k Audience Choice Award, $4k, and one of two $3k prizes)
    • An opportunity to share your story and gain exposure for your business
    • Access to resources, networks, and mentorship opportunities as a member of the vibrant BFN Community
  • Deadline to Apply: December 15, 2023

We want YOU to be part of this incredible experience! Whether you’re an industry professional, an entrepreneur, or just someone passionate about innovation, your presence will add to the vibrancy of this event. Why Attend?

  • Learn from seasoned industry professionals and inspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Witness the next wave of innovation in the BCC Pitch Competition.
  • Connect with like-minded individuals and expand your network.
  • Vote for your favourite pitches from the top 10 finalists.

Prizes & Eligibility

  • 1st Prize – $5,000
  • 2nd Prize (Audience Choice Award) – $5,000
  • 3rd Prize – $4,000
  • 4th Prize – $3, 000
  • 5th Prize – $3, 000

  • Business Stage:
    • Early-stage businesses or ideas that have not generated revenue yet.
    • Must have raised less than $5,000 in funding of any form (grants, prizes, investment, etc.).
  • Founder Eligibility:
    • Must self-identify as Black.
    • Must have majority ownership or equity, compared to other co-founders if any.
    • Must be based in Canada.
    • Must not be a previous recipient of funding from BFN (Smart Start Award, Accelerate Funding, Hiring Grant, BCC Prize)
    • Must be available to attend in person on January 12 & 13 if shortlisted as a finalist. The Pitch Competition will take place at Innis Hall (2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto ON.) and the Conference will take place at Rotman School of Management (105 St George Street, Toronto ON).
  • Company Status:
    • The business must be registered (corporation or sole proprietorship are both acceptable) in order to receive a prize.
    • Idea-stage applications are okay to submit without registration, but this must be completed if shortlisted as a finalist.
  • Industry Focus:
    • Open to ideas and businesses from all industries.
  • November 24 – Applications Open
  • December 15 – Applications Close at 5pm.
  • January 5, 2024 – Finalists Notified
  • January 12, 2024 – Final pitches in front of our esteemed judges

Submit your application here by 5:00 pm on December 15, 2023.


  • What is the focus of the BFN BCC pitch competition in January 2024? The pitch competition targets early-stage and ideation businesses, pre-revenue, with founders who are Black, based in Canada and have generated no more than $5k in grants, prizes, or investments. This competition is sector-agnostic, and we especially welcome applicants with social and art-based ventures.
  • Can you provide more information about the Black Career Conference (BCC) and its Pitch Competition? The BCC is an annual conference for Black students, graduates, and entrepreneurs, featuring the BCC Pitch Competition on Day 1. The competition is open to all Black Entrepreneurs, offering $20,000 in prizes. The top submissions will present final pitches in front of a judging panel.
  • What are the eligibility criteria for the BCC Pitch Competition? Early-stage businesses, pre-revenue, with founders identifying as Black, based in Canada, and not previous BFN Smart Start or Accelerate alumni. The business should not have received substantial funding from venture capital or grants (no more than $5,000).
  • How can I apply for the pitch competition? You can apply by filling out the application form here, providing information about your business, founders, and future plans. Specific details about revenue, funding, and impact on the community are also required.
  • What are the prizes for the BCC Pitch Competition?
  • There are five prizes: 1st Prize – $5,000, Audience Choice Award – $5, 000, 3rd Prize – $4,000, 4th and 5th Prizes – $3,000.
  • Can I attend the BCC as a guest? Absolutely! You’re invited to join us as a guest to experience the conference, learn from industry professionals, and witness the pitch competition. Additionally, you can attend in person on January 12, 2024, to vote for the winners from the top 10 pitches.
  • How can I RSVP for the in-person pitch competition? To secure your spot for the live pitch competition, please RSVP here. Keep in mind that spots are limited, so make sure to reserve your place soon.
  • How can I connect with the Black Founders Network and stay updated? Follow BFN on social media and visit the official website for updates. For specific inquiries, you can reach out to bfn@utoronto.ca.

If you have any questions regarding this pitch competition, please contact our Program Coordinator, Justina Kanza (justina.kanza@utoronto.ca).

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2024 Black Career Conference (BCC) Pitch Competition