Mikáel Pyles says he and his business partners work 25/8 on their business Quikliq. That’s 25 hours a day, eight days a week spent on their unique mobile app, allowing customers to purchase wine, beer and liquor from Black-owned brands and independently operated stores.
“We are grateful to Hyatt for sponsoring the pitch competition because it promotes entrepreneurship, it fosters creativity, and it fosters hope,” said Quikliq president and co-founder Pyles.
“When companies like Hyatt sponsor pitch competitions and give money to these initiatives, it puts the opportunity for Black ownership, entrepreneurship, and innovation on such a higher platform.”
Black Enterprise President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. (far left) and SVP and Executive Editor Alfred Edmond Jr. (far right) present the winning pitch team’s award. Quikliq president and co-founder Mikáel Pyles (center left) and CEO Navarr Grevious (center right) took first place at the BLACK ENTERPRISE Disruptor Summit 2023 pitch competition, sponsored by Hyatt.
“Black entrepreneurship is not only something we are passionate about at Hyatt – it’s something we are committed to supporting as part of Change Starts Here,” said Tyronne Stoudemire, senior vice president of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Hyatt Corporation.
“We are thrilled to be a part of BLACK ENTERPRISE ’s pitch competition which is very much aligned with our vision for a more just and equitable Hyatt community.”
BE Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Alfred Edmond Jr. introduced the competition and each finalist during the summit. A business mentor and coach for more than 25 years, Edmond will provide several coaching sessions to each of the three finalists throughout this year.
“Hyatt provided business grants for the pitching entrepreneurs, as they are investing in businesses that are going to be successful,” Edmond said. “I recommend to every entrepreneur: you should be pitching as much as possible, everywhere you can, because it’s not just about the money; it’s about the relationships.”
From HBCU Classmates to Business Co-Founders
“We are the only platform of our kind dedicated to helping mom-and-pop liquor stores and minority-owned brands stay in business in today’s ever-evolving retail landscape,” Pyles said.
“We can use our platform to increase visibility and accessibility of Black-owned brands.”
“BLACK ENTERPRISE is lauded as the authority for Black excellence, entrepreneurship, and forward movement,” said Pyles, who grew up with copies of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine on his parents’ coffee table.
“To have the opportunity to pitch our business to such a huge platform is a watershed moment and life-changing experience.”
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Source: Black Enterprise