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Rising Tide Capital Announces Their Start Something Challenge Winners

By Afaf Muhammad


A special Thank You to Alex Forrester, for inviting HudInfoNews to share a very special Rising Tide Capital event, the announcement of the winners of the Start Something Challenge.  The challenge provides the opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to pitch their services and ideas to local business and government leaders for a piece of $25,000 in grants and gifts.  The Start Something Challenge will help build a stronger business foundation and strengthen the economy for New Jersey through the support and investments in small businesses and entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, July 28, in Saint Peter’s College’s Pope Lecture Hall Rising Tide Capital, with support from J.P.Morgan Chase and Blackstone Charitable Foundation, proudly presented ten finalist of their 2016 Start Something Challenge. Each participant displayed one final, five minute long presentation of their business venture before the audience and a panel of judges. The judges’ panel consisted of local business owners and government leaders; Scott A. Blow  of Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Deanna Collins of Whole Foods Market, Bruce Davis of The NAACP State Committee on Economic Development, Nana Duncan of TD+Partners, Anthony Frasier  of Newark Venture Partners, Brian Platt of Jersey City office of Innovation, Rob Polishnook, MA, CPC of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group, Sonia Schnee of, and Tracey D. Syphax of Phax Group Construction Design, LLC and Phax Group Real Estate, LLC.

The $25,000 pool of grants and prizes was shared among the entrepreneurs with third place winning $5,000, second place, $7,500, first place $10,000, and finalist each winning an iPad.

The ten, all female, finalist were able to display their business ideas from catering and home services by Charnelle Bain of Simply Elegant Events, Djenaba Johnson Jones of Hudson Kitchen, and Ingri Lucia Torello of Ingrid’s Home Services; to inspirational jewelry and science as art by Natasha Dzurny of Technochic , and second place winner, Tina Tang of Iron Strong Jewelry; to fitness and nutrition by third place winner, Racquel Clarke of FitFund, Pamela Roundtree of New Body. New Mind. New Living, and first place winner Denise Woodard of Vivi’s Life; to women’s self esteem and well-being to strengthening the family and marital bond by Vernesa Everett of Velvet Rope Boudoir Photography, and Nia Reid Allen of Myrtle&Flossie.


Vernesa Everett – Velvet Rope Boudoir Photography



Pamela Roundtree – New Body. New Mind. New Living



Charnelle Bain – Simply Elegant Events


Djenaba Houston – Hudson Kitchen


Natasha Dzuny – Technochic


Tina Tang founder – Iron Strong Jewelry


Nia Reid Allen-Myrtle&Flossie


Denise Woodard-Vivi’s Life


Racquel Clarke-FitFund



Ingri Lucia Torello – Ingri’s Cleaning Service


Alfa Demmellash – CEO Co-founder of Rising Tide Capital (left) Rev. Reginald McCrae – Chief of Diversity and Inclusion, City of Jersey City


Iron Strong jewelry display at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something Challenge event


Jay Sulvich – Managing Director of Programs, Rising Tide Capital


Winners are announced at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Myrtle&Flossie display at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Flower light by Technochic


Natasha Dzuny samples her science as art designs


Ingri Lucia Torello’s display of mini causa bites at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Hudson Kitchen display at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Pamela Roudtree (left) of New Body.New Mind.NewLiving, and Racquel Clarke of FitFund at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Simply Elegant Events display at Rising Tide Capital’s event


Vivi’s Life display at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event


Velvet Rope Boudoir Photography display at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something event

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