By Luis R. Castelló
Last evening Miami witnessed four teams of entrepreneurs pitch their business in an effort to win $20,000 at the Miller Lite Tap the Future live pitch event. Teams took the stage of Nikki Beach to impress the audience and a panel of renowned judges, including Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Three teams from Illinois and one team from Alabama presented their ideas, but at the end it was Derrius Quarles and Ras Asan who swept away the judges with Million Dollar Scholar. This business from Chicago created technology that delivers financial-aid education and resources to assist high school and college students from disadvantaged areas to gain scholarships. Pending background checks, Quarles and Asan will receive $20,000 for their business and advance to the final round of Miller Lite Tap the Future to compete for the grand prize of $200,000.
Quarles and Asan (center) from Million Dollar Scholar celebrating victory with Daymond John (left), Steve Canal, MillerCoors manager of community commerce and partnerships, and Kenny Burns, Miller Lite Tap the Future host (right)
The other teams that competed were:
- CANDID Cup (Chicago, IL)
- e-Electricity (Tuscaloosa, AL)
- Bacon Sports (Chicago, IL)
The judging panel included Wifredo Fernandez, co-founder of The LAB Miami, and Neal Gottlieb and Sadie Ash Boggs, co-owners of Three Twins Ice Cream. After the events in Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the selected Miller Lite Tap the Future finalists will present their concepts to the national panel of judges on August 16 at MillerCoors HQ. The winner will walk away with a $200,000 grand prize.
Last year, Miami-based Elebev won $20,000 and was one of the top five finalists in the Miller Lite Tap the Future competition.
Photos provided by Miller Lite Tap The Future