BUILD announced that Ayesha Curry, New York Times best-selling author, renowned chef, and entrepreneur will be honored at their 21st Anniversary Gala on March 27, 2020 at the Metreon in San Francisco. The event is a fundraiser for BUILD.org, a national nonprofit that teaches entrepreneurship to high school students and equips them to launch real businesses as they chart a path to college and career success.
At the Gala, Curry will receive the “Pitch Prize” – named after Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, one of BUILD’s first and most important investors and one of the first venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. BUILD selected Curry for this award for her many accomplishments as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Curry and her husband, Stephen Curry, launched the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, an organization working to ensure that under resourced children have access to nutritious food, a quality education, and safe places for all children to play and be active.
“I’m so honored to be selected as this year’s recipient of BUILD’s Pitch Prize,” said Ayesha Curry. “As a mom, it breaks my heart that for some kids the idea of going to college and starting your own business seems like an impossible dream. Organizations like BUILD and EAT. LEARN. PLAY. are helping make those dreams into a reality by giving students support and resources that they may normally not have access to.”
Curry follows an esteemed list of prior “Pitch Prize” honorees including: Katrina Lake, Founder & CEO Stitch Fix; Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn; Marissa Mayer, Google and Yahoo!; Ben Silbermann, Pinterest; Nick Woodman, GoPro; Brian Chesky, Airbnb; the Golden State Warriors; Aaron Levie, Box; and Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square —several of whom will be at this year’s event.
The Gala highlights high school entrepreneurs in the BUILD program. At the start of the night, students sell and showcase their original products during the cocktail reception. Then during dinner, two of BUILD’s top business teams representing the East and West Coast pitch to a panel of VIP judges, including Curry, as they compete for cash prizes. The audience also gets to vote for their favorite team.
Baratunde Thurston, Emmy-nominated tv host, writer, comedian, activist, and former Daily Show producer, will serve as the event’s emcee and auctioneer.
Also attending the event will be members of BUILD’s National Board of Directors, including serial entrepreneur Karl Jacob, who is also one of the Gala Co-Chairs along with Jack Dorsey. SVB is a lead supporter with additional sponsors to be named soon.