WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Charlene Brown lives in Northwest Washington. And until February, she worked as a physician specializing in public health and preventive medicine, while devoting much of her spare time to developing a potential business idea.
By then, Brown’s entrepreneurial spirit took over. She quit her job and focused all of her time and energy developing a mobile application that matches caregivers to agencies.
On Thursday night, Brown showed that she – and her company, ReciproCare Solutions – have what it takes as she was the winner in the third annual Technoir Innovator’s Classic before a large crowd at the Ivy City Smokehouse & Tavern. Put on by Events DC and Ghost Note, Technoir is one of the featured events leading up to the sixth annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic® on Saturday, Sept. 17 as the Howard Bison and Hampton Pirates meet at RFK Stadium in the Battle for the Real HU.
“The energy here is incredible,” Brown said. “How many pitch competitions turn into a party?”
Brown’s first-place prize was $5,000 from Microsoft and an AT&T package that included a tablet, mobile device and $300. Additionally, Brown will receive $15,000 in app development services from Marcus Finley of FIN. Digital.
A field of 40 applicants recently had been narrowed to five finalists, who each received five minutes on stage Thursday night to make their pitch to a distinguished panel of judges comprised of minority business owners. With a buzz floating through the air, Brown’s pitch resonated as she passionately spoke about the difference ReciproCare can make.
Hosted by WPGC-FM’s Sunni who was joined by DJ Jealousy, the event drew its biggest attendance to date, with a standing-room-only crowd listening to the program. To kick-off the event, DC Lottery presented the 2016 Outstanding STEM Teacher of the Year award to the 20-year veteran, DC Public Schools science teacher, Angela Benjamin and the 2016 Howard University Outstanding STEM Student of the Year award to computer science major, Alston Clark.
The event also featured brand activations from Microsoft, including an Xbox gaming lounge, while Sam Adams sampled “ALE-tails” at the bar. The Ivy City Smokehouse & Tavern provided guests with a sampling of its finest cuisine including bacon mac and cheese, oysters on the half shell and a plethora of fresh seafood.
The AT&T Nation's Football Classic® is a black college football game held annually at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Now in its sixth year, the 2016 game features Howard University against Hampton University and will be played on Saturday, September 17.
About Ghost Note
In 2014, DC-based digital agency Ghost Note created Technoir to showcase, fund and celebrate Black-owned companies and ideas. Technoir is a membership-based community that believes in the limitless power Black ideas have to change the world. To date, Technoir has awarded thousands of dollars to Black-owned startups, helped to facilitate countless valuable connections for our network and developed partnerships with leading organizations including: AT&T, hit ABC show "Shark Tank", General Assembly, and Georgetown University.