Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton has voluntarily stepped down as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors, sending shares plunging to new lows.

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NKLA NIKOLA CORPORATION 28.51 +0.93 +3.37%

Milton will be replaced by board member and former General Motors Co. vice chairman Stephen Girsky, effective immediately.

“The focus should be on the Company and its world-changing mission, not me,” Milton said in a letter to employees. “I intend to defend myself against false allegations leveled against me by outside detractors.”

Milton’s resignation comes 10 days after short-seller Hidenberg Research accused Nikola of being an “intricate fraud” that mislead partners about its technology, causing both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice to launch investigations.

Nikola called the claims “false

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‘Making It… With Lowe’s’ invites entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities to pitch their products to Lowe’s executives, for a chance to be sold online and in stores

MOORESVILLE, N.C., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Every day, small businesses across America struggle to get their products in front of a company or business leader who can propel them forward, into the hands of the masses – and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities face even tougher obstacles. Today, Lowe’s and Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and a New York Times best-selling author, are creating opportunities for diverse small businesses to pitch their products to a Fortune 50 company, providing the platform and letting the entrepreneur do the rest. 

Making it… With Lowe’s invites hundreds of entrepreneurs to break through traditional processes and pitch their products directly to Lowe’s for a chance to be sold on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s

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“Shark Tank” investor Daymond John told CNBC on Tuesday that he believes his new effort with Lowe’s to help diverse entrepreneurs can have widespread appeal — and a big impact. 

“You can get a million applicants, hopefully. I want people to step up to this,” he said on “Squawk on the Street.” “When you talk about diversity … you’re not only talking about people of color, you’re talking about females. You’re talking about LGBTQ, you’re talking about veterans, so this could be a lot of people.” 

The initiative is called “Making it… With Lowe’s,” and it gives minority-owned small businesses an opportunity to have their products on the home-improvement retailer’s shelves and website. The application window launches Tuesday and is open through Sept. 25.

Applicants will be narrowed down to eventually five finalists, according to a Lowe’s press release. John will help mentor and prepare them for their pitch directly

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