Meet The Tech Startups In First-Ever Geekz Ventures Pre-Accelerator
US-based non-profit organization Geekz Ventures has announced the 10 Black and Latine-led startups selected for its inaugural pre-accelerator program.
The 10-week virtual program welcomes startup founders in any industry, but the focus is on Media, Connectivity, Entertainment, and Mobile Technology.
The program, which kicks off in March 2023, offers Black and Latine founders business training, community, and coaching to refine their startup ideas and attract their first paying customers. Participants receive an equity-free grant and follow-up funding opportunities.
The program offers access to world-class mentors and coaches, including former All Raise CEO Mandela SH Dixon, Techstars NYC powered by JP Morgan MD Gary Stewart, Atlanta Ventures partner Marguerite Pressley Davis, Omidyar Network principal Aniyia L. Williams; and LinkedIn creative manager Terry (Kojo) Oppong.
Participants can also participate in workshops and one-to-one office hours, and gain media exposure on the digital platform Urban Geekz.
“We were inundated with applications,” said Kunbi Tinuoye, Geekz Ventures founder and award-winning BBC-trained journalist-turned-serial entrepreneur. “After a rigorous application process, we have selected founding teams that we truly believe can build sustainable and scalable brands.”
Geekz Ventures program manager Brandon Wilkins said, “What’s exciting me the most is being able to witness up-and-coming black-founded tech startups. Black people still represent the tech space in low numbers, and I’m excited to see the innovation and growth.”
Participants also gain access to peer-to-peer networking and an outlet to work on their emotional health, professional relationships, and stress management.
“Our mission is to empower business owners and entrepreneurs of color to create the lives they always imagined for themselves,” said Geekz Watch coach Chantel Cohen, founder of CWC Coaching & Therapy.
“We are excited to work with Geekz Ventures. Through this partnership, our goal is to promote prosperity for underrepresented founders on a global scale.”
Meet the 10 Startups
Hailing from North Carolina, Hayti is the largest Black-owned app that aggregates digital content from newspapers, magazines, videos, and podcasts highlighting content from Black content creators around the world. Founded by Cary Wheelous, Hayti is the first mobile app to feature over 200+ Black publishers and over 1,000 Black Podcasters on both Android and iOS.
Founded by Victor Williamson, Animteam is the first collaborative editing app for traditional 2D frame-by-frame animation. Animators can paint digitally, animate on a timeline, and collaborate in real time on their animated projects.
Founded by Sophronia McKenzie, visuEats is a restaurant web and mobile app that provides photo and video menus creating an interactive and personalized dining experience. visuEats’ turnkey solution offers the restaurant industry a digital menu with reservations, online ordering, and delivery within one platform.
InColorStock’s membership-based model enables photographers to directly showcase their work to brands and companies looking to license racially diverse and culturally accurate stock content that gets it right. InColorStock is founded by veteran journalist and producer Claritza Jimenez.
Founded by Summer “Soulstress” Williams, Lyricster is a collaboration matching app and social network for music creators. We are the solution to organic discovery, networking, and relationship building for songwriters, producers, and composers around the world.
Spawnn is an AI highlight reel detection and data analysis platform for gamers. By finding gamers’ most viral moments, we are focused on building for the over 1 billion people that watch video gaming content every day. Spawnn is the brainchild of the University of Southern California grads Buchi Obi and Will Hollingsworth.
7. ALIVE Podcast Network
Consider us the black Spotify for podcasts. We educate our hosts and entertain our listeners all while building a robust interface to interact and engage with the hosts you love. We’re the media tech company that’s helping black content creators monetize their content, and amplify their voice, all while maintaining ownership of their IP. ALIVE Podcast Network is founded by Angel Livas.
8. Seed At The Table
Seed At The Table is a tech-enabled Financial Ecosystem operating as an LLC (not a fund) that’s committed to providing its community of diverse professionals and entrepreneurs with equitable access to capital, opportunity, and resources. Founder Pierre Le Veaux is the brains behind the brand.
9. The Barter Shop
Founded by Shanice Brown, The Barter Shop mobile app is a revolutionary marketplace that empowers small businesses and individuals to thrive in times of need. The Barter Shop platform allows users to exchange services without the need for money, creating a micro-economy that is community-focused and inclusive.
Founded by Shayla Price, PrimoStats is a searchable database of curated marketing statistics. We help content marketers find and cite relevant statistics to add credibility to their content. That way, content marketers can work smarter, not harder.