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N.C. A&T Alumnus Riley Chosen for BGV NextGen Program Pitch Competition – North Carolina A&T

By Jackie Torok / 08/23/2022 Alumni, College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Graduate College
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 23, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumnus Daryl “DJ” Riley Jr. ’22 has been recognized as one of the top seven Student Visionaries in the 2022 Black Girl Ventures (BGV) NextGen Program.
The seven Student Visionaries, chosen from a 25-member NextGen cohort, were invited to represent their historically Black college and university in the inaugural BGV x NBA’s NextGen pitch competition in Cleveland. Riley is one of only three men in the cohort.
Riley, who was one of three students to receive an M.S. in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering (COE) in May, is the founder of Tendaji, a Swahili word meaning “make things happen.”
Tendaji’s fashion technology business originally started as a senior design project while Riley and his partners, Stanton Ridley and Jordan Walls, were in their final year at Hampton University. Despite COVID-19 prematurely ending their time at Hampton in 2020, Riley believed this could be more than an A in the class and have a societal impact.
“Tendaji’s ultimate goal is to integrate the productivity that technology provides while also giving our consumers that style and confidence that fashion provides,” said Riley.
Tendaji is still in its business ideation phase but looking to launch as early as January 2024.
The BGV NextGen Program was created for the next generation of students of color who attend HBCUs across the country. The experience is designed to provide access to capital, capacity and community for Student Visionaries between ages 18 and 24.
Student Visionaries work through a curated curriculum in preparation for a demonstration day to showcase their business acumen. Additionally, they receive access to supplier diversity, mentoring and networking opportunities to increase the visibility of their businesses. A tournament-style pitch competition gives them a chance to win additional capital and represent their HBCUs.
At A&T, Riley was a Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Scholar and member of the Graduate Student Advisory Council representing the COE and of the Golden Key International Honour Society. He also served as a lead ambassador for Michael B. Jordan’s Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic.
Riley has earned an IBM Masters Fellowship for Artificial Intelligence and was named TMCF’s “The Pitch 2021” Program MVP. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Hampton University and holds Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
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