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Our Winner of $1,500 was Budding Student Entrepreneur, Joy Rutledge!

November 2022

Spelman HBCUFI Pitch CompetitionA look into the Spelman HBCU Founders Initiative pre-accelerator pitch competition held Monday! Our winner of $1,500 was budding student entrepreneur Joy Rutledge! Other participants included Veralyn Bingham, Kelsey Cadien, Ashley Casimere, Inglish Hills, Alexis Jacobs, Gia Tejeda!

Thank you to everyone who came out and a special thank you to our judges, entrepreneur Jordyn Weaver and investor De'Havia Stewart, and co-producers Jaycee Holmes, Co-Director of Spelman Innovation Lab, and Sonya C. Rush, Spelpreneur Director.

Joy Rutledge Sustainable Spelman

About Rutledge

Joy Rutledge is a sophomore computer science major with a food studies minor from Atlanta, Georgia. Rutledge is the founder of a technology-based start-up, YardSell. YardSell is an online one-stop-shop for HBCU students to buy products and book appointments with other HBCU student and alumni businesses around the Atlanta University Center! 


Her passion for creating YardSell started after realizing that aside from the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Market Friday and Hump Wednesday, there was no central place to access student entrepreneurs throughout campus. YardSell aims to bridge the gap by providing a platform that enables everyone to shop and book appointments with the creative talent and skilled HBCU students and alumni in the area. This is her second pitch competition at Spelman College, the first being Spelpreneur where her team placed 2nd runner-up. Joy is also a Spelman College Food Studies Scholar, a Codehouse Scholar and completed the first Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) Agri-food Systems Changemakers Summer Program in 2022, with a research and development emphasis on Agri-Tech. After completing her tenure at Spelman, she will continue her entrepreneurship journey and utilize her computer science and food studies background to venture into sustainable agriculture using precision technology. On campus, she also works as a Sustainable Spelman intern, where their goal is to increase action, awareness, and knowledge around sustainable efforts. 

To learn more about YardSell, visit:

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