Celebrating Innovation: The Alabama Collective’s App Build & Pitch Competition Showcases HBCU Talent

Montgomery, Alabama – The Rosa Parks Museum was abuzz with excitement on April 10, 2024, as The Alabama Collective in partnership with Innovate Alabama hosted its highly anticipated App Build & Pitch Competition. This event, exclusively featuring participants from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), showcased the incredible tech talent and innovation within the HBCU community.

Competition Highlights
The competition brought together finalists who demonstrated their app development skills by presenting their custom-built applications to a panel of esteemed judges. These finalists competed for their share of the $15,000 prize pool, with the top award being an impressive $10,000. The winners were announced during the event, recognizing the hard work and creativity of these talented individuals.

Celebrating the Winners

πŸ₯ˆSecond Place:
Izuchukwu Mba
Talladega College
App Name: Luminate

πŸ₯‰Third Place
Shemaiah Mbetwa, Olasubomi Olawepo, and Moyinoluwa Adelowo
Alabama A&M University
App Name: HCoach

Networking Opportunities
The event kicked off with a vibrant Community Reception at the Rosa Parks Museum, providing attendees with valuable networking opportunities. Industry professionals, fellow innovators, and potential investors gathered to connect, fostering collaborations and exploring new career avenues. The reception set the stage for a night of celebration and innovation.

Insights from Leaders
β€œIt was thrilling to witness the next generation of tech leaders in action. The future looks promising!” -Cedrick Moore, Senior Program Manager, Google Play

β€œI am thrilled to be a part of this competition, the mentorship was a game changer.” – Shemaiah Mbetwa, Alabama A&M Student, HCoach Team Member

Gratitude to the Panelists and Judges

Thank you to our distinguished panel of entrepreneurs, judges whose expertise and insights were invaluable for our student participants and community stakeholders.

Damian Wilkerson, President/CEO Diamond Hub Enterprise (DHE) (Moderator)
Dr. Gia Wiggins, Owner and CEO Auditocity
Ashley Jernigan, Owner JDB Hospitality
Quincy Minor, Founder and CEO KAM Technologies

Fireside Chat:
Kiondra S. Woods, Alabama State University Alum (Moderator)
Joshua Mundy, CEO and Co-Founder Pivot Technology School

Chriss Diggs, Sr. DevSecOps Engineer, Alaska Northstar Resources
Cedrick Moore, Senior Program Manager, Google Play
Senator Bobby Singleton, Alabama State Senator & Community Advocate
Dr. Gia Wiggins, Owner and CEO, Auditocity
Tija Brown, Director, Koniag Government Services

A Platform for Celebration and Collaboration
The App Build & Pitch Competition provided a platform to celebrate the innovation within the HBCU community. It highlighted the importance of supporting and empowering aspiring app developers, offering them substantial rewards for their hard work and creativity. The event was a testament to the ingenuity and talent present within HBCUs, showcasing the potential for groundbreaking ideas and collaborations.

Looking Ahead
As the winners celebrate their achievements, in partnership with Innovate Alabama, The Alabama Collective looks ahead to continue supporting innovation and entrepreneurship within the HBCU community. The success of the competition demonstrates the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing challenges and driving positive change.

The Alabama Collective takes pride in its role in elevating minority tech and entrepreneurial talent and eagerly anticipates future opportunities to highlight and support the innovation and talent within the HBCU community.


The Alabama Collective is more than an organization - it's a movement championing a diverse, inclusive, and prosperous future for our state.