On the evening of June 8th, we hosted an extraordinary “SHOPPE BLACK Pitch Night” featuring a group of exceptional startups.

The event was held in partnership with Shark Tank and Values Partnerships in order to identify exceptional contestants for the upcoming season of the show.

From pet products to eco-friendly breweries, here are some of the most impressive new businesses to take the stage:

Lick You Silly Pet Products

Lick You Silly Pet Products is a company that makes 100% all-natural dog treats. They were founded in 2016 by Barbara Clarke-Ruiz, who wanted to create healthy and delicious treats for her own dog.


Femly is a Baltimore, Maryland-based company that manufactures and sells plant-based and environmentally friendly period care products. The company was founded in 2016 by Arion Long, who wanted to create a more sustainable and body-friendly alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products.

Black Viking Brewing

Black Viking Brewing is a Montgomery County, Maryland-based brewery founded in 2020 by Jamil Abdur-Raoof and Shaun B. Taylor. They are the first Black-owned brewery in Montgomery County. Black Viking Brewing’s mission is to create a diverse community of beer drinkers where everyone is welcome, and where the warrior spirit is celebrated

Smyle Nation

Smyle Nation is a clear aligner company founded by Dr. Herman Butler in 2016. They offer affordable clear aligner treatment for mild to moderate crowding and spacing. Smyle Nation offers a straighter, whiter smile in as little as four months.

Work BnB

Workbnb is a B2B travel platform focused on the needs of traveling workers. The company was founded in 2017 by Yeves Perez and Daj’Anique Staples. They offer an efficient and user-friendly platform that ensures traveling workers have access to safe and decent housing, eliminating the need for extended stays in hotels and motels.


Sproxxy is a public relations software solution for the speaking circuit, powered by AI. It helps brands find high-value conference opportunities to speak, pitch to conference organizers, track and manage booked speaking opportunities, collaborate across teams, and quantity business impact.

by Tony O. Lawson


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1 Comment

  1. Your campaign to support Black businesses is great & i support it. I try to buy and support Black businesses as much as possible & i spread the word about supporting Black businesses. Whereas i’m proud of the entrepreneurs highlighted, i find that many of the items on sale are too expensive for me. Is there any way to differentiate the sellers of more pricey items from the more reasonably priced ones?

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