Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs: Shark Tank 2017

April 20, 2017

APRIL 20, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Becky’s Fund, a national non-profit committed to ending intimate partner violence, and The Covello Foundation, a non-profit committed to character development of youth through sports, are partnering to sponsor a “Shark Tank” entrepreneurial scholarship competition with students at Friendship Public Charter School Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. During this competition, the students will present business ideas to solve an issue in their community to a panel of “shark” judges. The panel will announce the top three most effective presentations and award them with a total of $6,000 scholarship funds for higher education granted by the Covello Foundation. Hosted by Brandon Andrews, a senior consultant at Values Partnerships, ABC’s Shark Tank casting, this pitch competition will be judged by a panel made up by Danny Boice, Founder of Trustify, Mitch Katz, President of Capital Associates, Apollos Hill, Security Operations for TEK Systems Consulting, Christina Covello, Vice President of The Covello Foundation and Stephanie Covello, President of The Covello Foundation.

Students at Friendship, many of which belong to the football and basketball teams, have been counseled by mentors to develop potential solutions to issues they see in their community.

This initiative will further strengthen the bond between Becky’s Fund and Friendship Collegiate Academy, who have worked together through the Men of C.O.D.E. (Men of Character and Ownership, Dedicated to Leading by Example) program.

“Through Men of C.O.D.E., we have had a tremendous journey working with the student athletes from Friendship Collegiate Academy’s football team, empowering them to become positive male role models for their peers and community,” said Becky Lee, Founder of Becky’s Fund. “We are thrilled to host the Shark Tank pitch competition sponsored by the Covello Foundation at Friendship to encourage creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and help prepare our youth to take charge of their economic destiny.”

When asked about the relationship between this competition and Becky’s Fund mission of ending domestic violence by one of the participants, Lee replied, “Our pitch competition gives you an extraordinary opportunity to practice important communication and negotiation skills while teaching you how to actively listen, which is necessary in maintaining a healthy relationship. Further, financial strife is a large reason for why couples fight, so learning how to create a strong sound financial plan can also assist in helping you secure a happy and healthy relationship now and in the future.”

Led by Coach Mike Hunter, Friendship’s football team has been involved in several community programs that have made an impact on and off the field.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Becky’s Fund and the Covello Foundation to bring Shark Tank to Friendship,” said Coach Hunter. “We have seen the incredible impact of the Men of C.O.D.E. program on our boys over the last three years and are excited to watch them compete and learn about financial literacy hands-on through the upcoming Shark Tank competition.”

The Covello Foundation was started by the Covello family in memory of their father, a lifelong coach, college athlete, and mentor to youth in his community. Through the Foundation, they have been able to continue his legacy by facilitating character development in young people nationwide.

“Our dad was not only an athlete and a coach, but also an entrepreneur who founded a software services company in New Jersey,” said Stephanie Covello, President of the Covello Foundation. “He truly believed that discipline, resilience, and persistence, were all characteristics that develop through sports, which in turn lead to success in business.” “Partnering with Becky’s Fund and the students at Friendship Collegiate is the perfect opportunity to support young athletes in our local community, while fostering entrepreneurship, creative thinking, and teamwork, which honors our father’s legacy,” added Christina Covello, Vice-President of the Covello Foundation.

The live pitch competition will be held on April 26th, 2016 at 6:30-9:00 PM in the auditorium at Friendship Collegiate Academy located at 4095 Minnesota Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. and is open to the public.

Becky’s Fund is a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent intimate partner violence by creating awareness, encouraging advocacy among peers, promoting activism through outreach programs, and providing support for survivors and their families. To learn more about what they do, visit

Established in 2006, the Covello Foundation has sponsored clinics and special training events, provided financial support to young people to allow them to participate in team sports, made significant enhancement to community athletic fields and awarded baseball training scholarships to players who demonstrate that special “heart and soul” approach to the game and their team. To learn more, visit



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