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What is a hackathon? These scholars build a deck, submit financials, and pitch the idea in 6 hours

"I had no idea of what a MacBook was before I came to the Flikshop School of Business," says Sierra Stephens, a scholar of the 3-week bootcamp-style program. "Now I'm launching my mental health advocacy business. I can't believe it."

Sierra is one of the scholars in cohort #107 at Flikshop's entrepreneurship program that introduces its participants to the road of entrepreneurship, but in a familiar voice and tone. Flikshop School of Business (FSB) instructors, Marcus Bullock, Anthony Belton, and BJ Paige all have one thing in common with the base the program's scholars...they have all experienced being arrested, going to jail, and scarred with a lifetime record. The instructors enjoy leveraging their own experiences with the criminal justice system to help deliver a strong message to the scholars: it is still possible to be successful, even if you have a felony on your record.

And although some of the scholars in FSB have felony convictions in their past, there are other participants that are simply looking for a new way to learn about the possible paths to tech and entrepreneurship.

"We love that our scholars are coming to class this morning and are excited about the hackathon! This is when the scholars get an opportunity to showcase what they've learned over the last few weeks.", says Marcus Bullock, CEO and founder of Flikshop and Flikshop School of Business.

The Flikshop School of Business hackathon has a few rules:

  1. Break up the class into two teams; each team member has a specific responsibility/role in the company

  2. Each team member selects their role randomly from a hat filled with folded pieces of paper; the roles include CEO, COO, CMO, CTO, and CFO

  3. Each team's CEO selects a random business idea from the hat as well

  4. Each team has 6 hours to produce a pitch deck, a website, and submit financial projections

  5. The CEO of each team pitches the idea live on Flikshop's Facebook/IG pages

"Our scholars at FSB are brilliant and this will show the world that they are just as smart and resourceful as some of the students at your top business schools," says Anthony Belton, Head Instructor for FSB. "Like Marcus always says, they just need social capital and resources."

Flikshop School of Business cohort #107 was sponsored by Delta Air Lines, WeWork, and AWS for Startups.

For more information about Flikshop School of Business, visit



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