Real Estate and Construction

Well City Challenge Pitch Event Winners Announced


On March 2 – 4, 2021 we hosted the Well City Challenge Pitch Competitions and were blown away by the impressive ideas and pitches from the 15 finalists! Prior to the competition, the teams participated in a multi-week Social Impact Incubator where they were introduced to business planning concepts involving vision setting, implementation, and storytelling, were connected to an advisor from the Economy League’s network, and developed a 3-minute pitch video.  


There was real excitement and engagement for the pitch competition. Across the three events we had nearly 1,000 attendees and over 3,000 People Choice Award votes. Thank you to our panel of judges for selecting the Grand Prize winners and to all who voted for the People Choice awards. Grand Prize winners will receive $10,000 to advance their idea and People's Choice Award winners will receive $7,500. All winners will be invited to participate in the Well City Challenge Impact Accelerator this spring. We want to extend a huge congratulations to our winning teams: 


Community & Social Connection 


GRAND PRIZE: Hey Auntie! 

Hey, Auntie! is a professional development platform that powers Black women with multi-generational connections and community to rise and thrive in their work-life. This project is spearheaded by Nicole Kenney and was supported through the Well City Social Venture Incubator by advisor Hayward West of Deloitte. 


PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Let’s Talk Philly Conversation Circles  

Let’s Talk Philly Conversation Circles works in partnership with The Welcoming Center to offer immigrant millennials a safe space to practice and improve their English conversation skills, develop social capital, and increase their understanding about immigrant wellness by sharing their stories, breaking stereotypes and prejudice, and ensuring cultural authenticity. This collaboration is led by Yu-Shan Chou, Ana Karen Cervera Noriega, Manuel Portillo, and Maureen Smith and was supported through the Well City Social Venture Incubator by advisor Manuela McDonough of the Jed Foundation.


Food & Nutrition

GRAND PRIZE & PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Freedom Greens + Gardens 

The Freedom Greens & Gardens Project reimagines Malcolm X Park and surrounding blocks as a destination for wellness within the heart of West Philadelphia by providing space, community and ongoing opportunities for millennials to be well and to thrive. This project is led by Jiana Murdic and was supported through the Well City Social Venture Incubator by Donavan West of the Black Business Accelerator



GRAND PRIZE: Shear Balance 

Shear Balance is a program to bring mental health awareness to beauty salons and barber shops through providing knowledge about mental health and wellness. Shear Balance is led by McKenzie Nash and was supported through the Well City Social Venture Incubator by Carniesha Kwashie of Bicycle Transit Systems.



Strides is a running-based fitness community that helps you get in shape, improve your health and boost your mood. Strides combines running and circuit training for well-balanced workouts that you can follow along on our app or at coach-led group workouts in Philadelphia. This venture is led by Takia McClendon and was supported through the Well City Social Venture Incubator by Cathryn Sanderson of Comcast.


Congratulations to all of our teams for their hard work and commitment to millennial health and mental health! We are excited to have the winning teams join the Well City Challenge Impact Accelerator this spring where they’ll further test their ideas and receive resources around market validation, business planning, communications, and funder engagement. The accelerator will conclude with the teams presenting for the chance at a $50,000 seed investment.  


The Well City Challenge is a collective effort that includes support and guidance from a diverse cross-section of leaders. Thank you to Well City Challenge presenting sponsor Independence Blue Cross as well as the Philadelphia Foundation, Knight Foundation, Think Company, and Indiegogo for their support of the Challenge. A special thank you is due to the volunteer leaders who served as advisors for the Well City Social Impact Incubator as well as members of the Well City Advisory and Recruitment & Selection committees.  


If you missed any of the events, you can watch the event recordings via the Economy League YouTube channel.