About the Summit

As part of our Social Justice Platform, the Hornets will be focusing on economic mobility and how we can continue to help build others up, especially in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. In an effort to empower entrepreneurs within our community, the Hornets will be launching an Innovation Summit to increase social and financial capital. The summit will take place virtually with an opportunity to promote innovators and their concepts through social media outlets.

Who was eligible to apply:

  • Businesses/groups that are at least 51% operated and controlled by minority group members (i.e., individuals who are at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American)
    • In the case of publicly-owned businesses, at least 51% of stock should be owned by minority group members using the definition above

Note: Criteria matches that used by the National Minority Supplier Development Council for the Minority Business Enterprise Certification


  • Must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Cannot be employed by Hornets Sports & Entertainment, any of its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, or a family member of an employee
  • Applicants must be within 150 miles of Spectrum Center
  • A full list of rules and regulations can be found here

The Process

We’re excited you’re considering applying for the Charlotte Hornets Foundation Innovation Summit. Wondering what the timeline and steps look like? Please see below for a step-by-step outline of the Innovation Summit.


  • January 18: Application opens
  • February 2: Application closes
  • February 22: Round 2 begins
  • March 8: Round 2 closes
  • March 10: Finalists announced
  • Late-March: Final round (live webinar)
  • April TBD: Winner Accounced

Step 1: Complete the Innovation Summit application and submit your one-minute video pitch.
Step 2: An internal panel from Hornets Sports & Entertainment will review all applications.
Step 3: Applicants that are selected for Round 2 will be notified by email.
Step 4: All video pitches for Round 2 will be uploaded to hornets.com and become available for fan voting.
Step 5: The two videos with the most fan votes and three videos based on an internal selection committee determined by Hornets Sports & Entertainment will move onto the final round.
Step 6: The five finalists will present in a live webinar in front of a panel of experts, which will determine the winner.

Download a PDF version of the application here.

Please contact Bari Pasternack at bpasternack@hornets.com with any questions.


As part of the Innovation Summit, HSE is partnering with The Lonely Entrepreneur, a national nonprofit that provides current and aspiring entrepreneurs with knowledge, tools and support to grow businesses. Each applicant will receive one year of free access to the Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community.

Vote Now

The top two videos with the most fan votes will be selected as a finalist to present their pitch to a live panel of expert judges for a chance to win $15,000.


Close the GAP


Fortika Coffee Co.


Goal Board Services



Hay Trabajo (There's Work)

Jump Institute

Let's Diversifi, PBLLC

Melanin Enterprise

Mental Health United

Patrick Oneil Career Academy

Positive Archer Solutions, LLC

Q-Avery Consulting


The Jurse


WholeBod Technologies


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