A&T Student to Participate in Inaugural SXSW Pitch Event

By Renee Douglas / 03/06/2024 College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 6, 2024) – A North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University student will be an alternate for the 16th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) inaugural Student Startup Pitch Competition.  

Jeremiah SmithJeremiah Smith, a third-year mechanical engineering student from Bowie, Maryland, is set to participate in the SXSW event scheduled for mid-March in Austin, Texas. This competition is designed to showcase innovative technology to a panel consisting of industry experts, prominent media personalities, venture capitalists and angel investors.

Smith will introduce his first business venture, BLKHRZN, otherwise known as “Black Horizon,” which aims to improve and support Black representation in the gaming industry. He hopes to attract investor support and expand his network at the event. 

“It’s going to be fun. I’m going to have a really good experience getting some people who are interested in what the issues of diversity are within the gaming world and how to address them,” he said.

Smith intends to connect with at least three potential investors, secure one, and establish a partnership with a sponsor to gain a foothold in the industry.

This year marks the debut of a student startup category at SXSW, offering a platform for early-stage technology startups to present their products and services. Smith will be the only student from a historically Black college or university competing in this category.

Beyond Smith’s business venture, he has made significant contributions to esports and community initiatives. Over the past year, he has participated in pitch competitions and accelerators such as HBCUFI, Pitch HU, and now SXSW, solidifying his presence in the industry.

Additionally, Smith has dedicated four years to the nonprofit known as “Cxmmunity,” which focuses on developing and giving opportunities for minority youth and students in esports and gaming. He has been actively involved in supporting N.C A&T State University’s Esports Program since 2021 and has taken fellow students to the Mountain Dew Real Change Challenge.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

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