PURCHASE, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MTN DEW® is proud to announce the launch of the MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund, an Ideas Pitch Competition featuring an annual prize pool of $1 Million with an initial commitment through the next five years. The brand is partnering with Howard University, Hampton University and other PepsiCo-affiliated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in an effort to discover, challenge and uplift the next generation of Black innovators and entrepreneurs. MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund initiative reinforces the brand’s commitment to action; with this latest phase making a tangible investment in the Black entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
The MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund launches on the heels of the $400 million commitment made by its parent company, PepsiCo, to uplift Black communities and Black representation.
“MTN DEW recognizes the real need for actionable, tangible change and is committed to fueling what’s right as we seek to drive progress against the systemic racism and inequality faced by Black people in America,” says Nicole Portwood, Vice President, Marketing, MTN DEW. “We believe entrepreneurs exemplify everything that MTN DEW stands for – they are the DOERS and the keys to building up Black-owned businesses, shrinking the historic wealth gap, and broadening the potential for Black generational wealth. We hope to make a lasting impact as we provide resources, programming, funding and empowerment to the next generation through our partnership with this incredible network of HBCUs and launch of the Real Change Opportunity Fund.”
The Real Change Ideas Pitch Competition will provide resources, programming, and funding to future Black Entrepreneurs. With a prize pool of $1 Million, the goal is to inspire and empower HBCU students to go out and Do, and ultimately turn their ideas into real businesses. Existing students and recent alumni are invited to check out mountaindew.com/realchange for updates on acceptance of applications.
The panel of experienced “Doers,” will select the top 50 applicants and invite them to a round of virtual pitches with an all-star panel beginning January 18, 2021. Ten finalists will emerge and have the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of our Real Change panel. The final pool of finalists will compete for a share of the $1 Million prize pool during the virtually streamed finale in February 2021. Each school represented will receive an award fund dedicated to creating real change at their respective university.
To bring the stories of these innovators to life, MTN DEW is partnering with media powerhouses ViacomCBS, iHeartMedia + Entertainment, Inc., Blavity Inc., to highlight the journeys of the ten finalists and their paths to the Real Change Opportunity Fund finale. MTN DEW will be the sole selector of the winners, schools will not be involved or influence selection process.
For more information about MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund, please visit mountaindew.com/realchange.
About MTN DEW
MOUNTAIN DEW®, a product of PepsiCo North America Beverages, is the No. 1 flavored carbonated soft drink in the U.S. With its one-of-a-kind citrus taste, MOUNTAIN DEW exhilarates and quenches with every sip. In addition to the original MOUNTAIN DEW and DIET MOUNTAIN DEW®, the permanent DEW® product line includes MTN DEW® KICKSTART™, MOUNTAIN DEW CODE RED®, MOUNTAIN DEW VOLTAGE®, and MTN DEW® ZERO SUGAR. For more information, check out www.mountaindew.com, www.facebook.com/mountaindew or follow on Twitter @mountaindew.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.