Hornets Innovation Summit will award $15,000 to a minority business owner in the Charlotte area

By CLTure

January 18, 2023

Hornets Sports & Entertainment have opened applications for their third annual Innovation Summit, awarding one minority business owner in the Charlotte area a $15,000 investment. The social initiative started in 2021 aiming to increase social and financial capital for minority entrepreneurs and businesses. 

“We’re excited to host our third annual Hornets Innovation Summit, and to again be working alongside Bank of America to propel local minority entrepreneurs and businesses forward,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President Fred Whitfield in a press release. 



In addition to the $15,000 investment, the winner will also receive training and resources from national business coaching non-profit, The Lonely Entrepreneur. Each applicant will receive one year of free access to the Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community and electronic toolkit along with mentorship and coaching from senior leaders at Bank of America and the Hornets. 

The application is now open and will close on Monday, February 6. 

Who is eligible? 

Businesses/groups that are at least 51% operated and controlled by minority group members (i.e., individuals who are at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American)

In the case of publicly-owned businesses, at least 51% of stock should be owned by minority group members using the definition above

  • Must be 18 years or older to apply.
  • Cannot be employed by Hornets Sports & Entertainment, any of its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, or a family member of an employee.
  • Applicants must be within 150 miles of Spectrum Center.
  • A full list of rules and regulations can be found here.

Here are some more details about the application process: 

  • Submit the Innovation Summit Application by February 6.
  • An internal panel from Hornets Sports & Entertainment will review all applications. Applicants that are selected for Round 2 will be notified by email on February 10.
  • All video pitches for Round 2 will be uploaded to Hornets.com and become available for fan voting on February 13.
  • Fan voting will close on February 20 and finalists will be announced on March 1.
  • Finalists will be selected to move on to the final round where they will present in person in front of a panel of experts. Winner will be announced at the Hornets game on March 31.

Apply for your chance to receive $15,000 in funding from the Charlotte Hornets. Contact Andie deCelis (adecelis@hornets.com) with any additional questions.




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