The College of Southern Nevada team NuLife Kicks was named the Grand Champion of the Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competitions at the StartUp Grind Global 2022. Akeem Anifowoshe and Marquee Anifowoshe, co-founders of NuLife Kicks placed first, winning $20,000.
Akeem and Marquee were one of five student teams selected to pitch in a live final round, after a month of coaching from Blackstone LaunchPad ambassadors. The finals were held live on the main stage of the Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley, California.
Through NuLife Kicks, Akeem and Marquee hope to pioneer the sneaker restoration trade with both a line of sneaker care products and a business model to develop and train other entrepreneurs in sneaker-care techniques.
Nominated and mentored by CSN Professor Kevin Raiford, CSN Blackstone LaunchPad Campus Director, and CSN Professor Maria Schellhase, CSN Blackstone Academic Champion, NuLife Kicks represented to be the top candidate for the pitch competition based on four criteria: Innovation, Business Model, and Viability, Team, and Pitch Quality. Over $50,000 in cash and in-kind prizes were divided between the five student teams that presented.
“The NuLife Kicks team represented the entire state of Nevada with poise and excellent business acumen. Hopefully, this will fortify a legacy to diversifying the economy” said Professor Kevin Raiford. This is CSN’s first year participating in the Blackstone LaunchPad’s network, a network whose mission is to foster a culture of innovative entrepreneurship within the Las Vegas community by developing events and programs that help a diverse student population acquire the expertise necessary to create and sustain a successful business.