Huston-Tillotson University Students Stand to Win $15,000 in First “Social Enterprise Pitch-Off”

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Legacy Collective, a giving community dedicated to funding nonprofits addressing systemic issues with sustainable, innovative solutions, today announces its partnership with Thrivent and Notley to launch the first “Social Enterprise Pitch-Off.” Students in the School of Business and Technology’s Biz Ready Program at Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s only Historical Black College and University, will be challenged to create a nonprofit solution to meet a need in the community. The winning team will receive $15,000 donated by Thrivent and Legacy Collective to launch the nonprofit or donate it to a nonprofit in their community meeting a similar need. 

For the Spring 2021 semester, the group, led by Dr. Rohan Thompson, Interim Dean of the School of Business and Technology, will be divided into three teams, each creating a business plan for a nonprofit organization. Biz Ready is a new program offered within the School of Business to empower students to become business-savvy individuals of tomorrow. The program is designed to take high-performing students beyond the classroom and apply the knowledge obtained from their classes in real-life business environments.

Legacy Collective will provide a mentor to each team to assist them in their efforts. Additionally, Notley and Legacy Collective will provide guest speakers throughout the semester.

“I want to thank Legacy Collective, Thrivent and Notley for their generosity and pathway to impact Austin and the entire Central Texas area,” says Dr. Thompson. “Within the School of Business and Technology, we want to continue to push our students to blend theory with practical experience.”

At the end of the semester, the three teams will present their nonprofit solutions to a panel of judges from the Thrivent and Notley communities. Judges will choose the winner based on their innovative, sustainable solution meeting a need in the community and present the team with $15,000. Additionally, the winning team will be introduced in September 2021 at Austin Philanthropitch, a social impact fast pitch competition helping innovative nonprofits scale and expand impact. Philanthropitch is a Notley initiative.

“Our mission at Notley is to catalyze growth and champion the leaders of tomorrow. We are thrilled to be a part of this pitch competition with Hutson-Tillotson, Legacy Creative and Thrivent,” says MC Deskins, Director of Development at Notley. “We can’t wait to see the creative solutions these budding entrepreneurs come up with and support their efforts now and in the future.”

“This collaboration is something Thrivent has been dreaming up for the past couple of years,” says Kristen Kirkley Ford, Engagement Leader for Thrivent. “We are incredibly excited to have found like-minded organizations in Legacy Collective and Notley to come alongside us to serve the Huston-Tillotson University community. It’s going to be amazing to see what these new social entrepreneurs will create, and the impact we can have together.”

“Legacy Collective is thrilled to partner with Huston-Tillotson University, Thrivent, and Notley as we join forces to empower the next generation of problem solvers and nonprofit leaders,” says Erin Arnheim, CEO of Legacy Collective. “These students are bright and innovative. I cannot wait to see what solutions they bring to the judges in April, as well as support them in bringing these ideas to fruition in the future!”

About Legacy Collective

Legacy Collective works to engage systemic problems related to social issues by resourcing what we believe to be the most innovative efforts and funding the most critical projects. To learn more, visit

Contact: Whitney Otstott, 512-699-7730,

SOURCE Legacy Collective