SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today 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.
"We're thrilled to honor Ayesha Curry this year because she's such an incredible role model for the young people we serve," said Ayele Shakur, CEO of BUILD.org. "She's an accomplished businesswoman who cares deeply about her community and giving back. From her restaurants to her TV shows and books, she is blazing an impressive trail and leading the way – she recognizes the importance of using her star power to influence and impact the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs."
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.
About BUILD Founded in 1999, BUILD is a national nonprofit that uses entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equip them for high school, college and career success. BUILD serves high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles. The program gets impressive results. Working with schools located in high poverty, high need communities, 96% of students who complete BUILD graduate on time from high school, and over 80% attend college with double the completion rates for low-income students nationally. (www.BUILD.org)
About Ayesha Curry
New York Times best-selling author, restauranteur, chef, television host and producer Ayesha Curry continues to push the boundaries of her versatile career.
Featured on the prestigious 30 Under 30 List by Forbes Magazine and one of the faces of Covergirl cosmetics, her accessible approach to cooking and passion for creating easy-to-use products has made her one of the most sought after experts in food and lifestyle, with over 8 million avid social media followers and subscribers. She is a frequent guest on the Rachael Ray Show and Good Morning America, a columnist for Woman's Day Magazine and has been featured as a go-to lifestyle expert in top lifestyle print and online publications including Food and Wine, ELLE, Vogue, Forbes, Time, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Essence, POPSUGAR, Refinery29, Elite Daily and Sunset Magazine.
In 2016, she wrote her national bestseller, The Seasoned Life, sharing over 100 of her favorite family recipes, with highlights such as Mama Alexander's Brown Sugar Chicken, Smoked Salmon Scramble, Homemade Granola and Stephen's 5 Ingredient Pasta.
On the television side, Curry has teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres for a new Ellentube digital series, Fempire in which she will use her wisdom and business savvy to help female entrepreneurs of any age achieve the goal of building their own "fempire." The digital series premiered on November 13th.
Earlier this year, Curry served as executive producer and host of ABC's competition show Family Food Fight. The series took homestyle cooking to a new level as families squared off with their most prized family recipes in hopes of impressing a panel of culinary experts including Curry, and renowned chefs and television personalities Cat Cora and Graham Elliot, to take home the $100,000 prize. Robert Lloyd from the Los Angeles Times said he was "moved by the mix of traditions and cultures, in an arena where respect is paid, difference is a virtue and anyone can win."
Curry began her television career hosting her own series, Ayesha's Home Kitchen, on the Food Network and is slated to release a special on the network, chronicling the opening of her first restaurant. She has also appeared as a judge on hit Food Network show's such as Chopped Junior and Guy's Grocery Games.
Curry launched an eponymous line of cookware and bakeware which is called AC Collection and available at retailers nationwide, with a portion of all proceeds donated to No Kid Hungry. She has since expanded her catalog of products for the home by releasing a line of kitchen textiles, a signature bedding collection and a line of indoor gardening products and jewelry. In the spring of 2017, she released her Meal Kit delivery service, featuring family inspired meals developed by Curry herself. The company caught the interest of grocery retailers and she unveiled her meal kits at select Whole Foods Market stores in June 2019, making it more accessible to everyone.
As a restauranteur, Curry teamed up with iconic, award-winning chef Michael Mina, to create International Smoke, a restaurant concept featuring elevated barbecue dishes from around the globe. There are multiple locations currently open to the public in San Francisco, Miami, and most recently San Diego, with Las Vegas opening in January 2020. There are plans to open several more throughout the next few years. International Smoke received a Michelin Plate recognition by Michelin Guide in the first ever California edition.
In July 2019, Curry along with her husband, launched their family-founded charity Eat. Learn. Play. with a mission to end childhood hunger, ensure universal access to quality education and enable healthy active lifestyles. Eat. Learn. Play. creates a new model for communities and families to come together with a commitment to unleash the potential of every child and pave the way for amazing kids and bright futures. Curry is also an ambassador for No Kid Hungry, an organization working to end childhood hunger and is a contributing partner to Team FNV, an initiative spearheaded by Michelle Obama which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into the diet.
Curry resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her three kids, Riley, Ryan and Canon, and husband, Stephen Curry.