Tom Tom Festival 11th Annual Crowdfunded Pitch Night (CFPN) Winners 

April 30, 2024

Bennett Slosman (Angel Detection Solutions) and Beza Bisrat (Ethiopian Delights) are the crowdfunded and grand prize winners of the 11th Annual Crowdfunded Pitch Night, which took place on April 17, 2024 at 7PM, at The CODE Building. An ongoing partnership of the Tom Tom Foundation and Community Investment Collaborative (CIC), the competition was a part of the Tom Tom Festival and spotlighted eleven local entrepreneurs, who pitched their ideas and businesses to a live audience, in three minutes or less.

Award Details:

Crowdfunded Prize – $2,000 – Bennett Slosman (Angel Detection Solutions): a developer of a disposable cup capable of detecting the addition of date rape drugs to an individual’s drink.

CIC Grand Prize – $5,750 – Beza Bisrat (Ethiopian Delights): a consumer goods company that produces ready-to-eat Ethiopian food

Event information and the full list of finalists can be found at

Judges (Left to Right) Antwon Brinson (Culinary Concepts AB), Janasha “Jay” Bradford (Mahogany and Friends), and Victoria “Tori” Maxey (Fari by Victoria) with Beza Bisrat (Grand Prize Winner) and Bennett Slosman and team (Crowdfunded Prize Winner).

The Crowdfunded Pitch Night offered each of the eleven finalists an opportunity to tell their story and share how their vision could potentially impact the Charlottesville community and surrounding areas. With Natalie Hodge (Rudy’s Girl Media) as the event emcee, the crowd was entertained and encouraged to purchase $10 tokens to vote for their favorites at the event. Donations were collected online in advance. The total of their online donations and in-person votes combined to become the crowdfunded awards for each finalist. Bennett Slosman’s date rape drug detection cup was the clear favorite of the audience.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to share my dream with our community so that we can take the correct steps to right a huge problem in our society,” shared Bennett. “Tom Tom’s Crowdfunded Pitch Night brought together so many amazing people. Taking part in this event showed how much Charlottesville truly cares about their local startup community, as the entire crowd welcomed all of the groups presenting with open arms. We’re grateful for an opportunity to experience something incredible and meet so many inspiring individuals.”

A panel of three (3) entrepreneur judges: Antwon Brinson (Culinary Concepts AB), Victoria “Tori” Maxey (Fari by Victoria), and last year’s CPFN grand prize winner, Janasha Bradford (Mahogany and Friends) chose the 2024 grand prize winner, Beza Bisrat.

“I’m proud of my pitch because my business is deeply personal to me, and I think I presented my vision well.” Beza expresses. “The pitch night was electric, every seat was filled. Thank you to everyone who attended, and thank you to the CIC and Tom Tom for selecting me as a finalist! I met entrepreneurs who are deeply passionate about their businesses, and they had amazing pitches. I’m excited to make the most of it all.”

Each finalist earned at least $350 as a result of their pitches and business promotion efforts. Along with exposure, business development & partnership opportunities, and a growing community of supporters, they each have a new network of fellow entrepreneurs to collaborate with and champion as they continue to expand their ideas and build their businesses.

For a recap on the Crowdfunded Pitch Night and other Tom Tom Festival events, please visit