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Abbianca Makoni

Spelman senior Inglish Hills has won the grand prize at BearWay Capital’s HBCU New Venture Challenge for her recycling system startup, Save Cycle. The start-up will undercut waste management services and pick up recyclables for businesses at a lower price. Businesses can use the Save Cycle app to schedule pick-ups and rent dumpsters. They can also track their environmental impact, making them eligible for tax advantages. Individuals will use the Save Cycle app to locate deposit boxes. Then, after disposing of their recyclables, they can scan a QR code and

Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan has launched an initiative aimed at tackling the underrepresentation of young Black men in London’s thriving technology sector. The initiative, called the Tech WIN Design Lab 3 is part of Khan’s wider Workforce Integration Network (WIN) program aimed at increasing the number of young Black men in the capital’s key industries. Mr. Khan believes it’s “not right that talented and ambitious black Londoners are not being given the opportunity to prosper in the capital’s tech sector” Statistics already show young Black men make up just five

Zindi is the first data science competition platform in Africa. It hosts an entire data science ecosystem of scientists, engineers, academics, companies, NGOs, governments, and institutions to solve Africa’s most pressing problems. The company recently raised a $1 million seed round, led by San-Francisco-based VC firm Shakti, with Launch Africa, Founders Factory Africa, and five35. How does the startup work? The firm announces challenges and invites its community of data scientists to take part in solution-finding competitions. Participating data scientists submit their solutions, and the winner gets a cash prize. The competition was

The ‘I Heart My HBCU’ app, which uses technology to make donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities easy, has partnered with the Xavier University of Louisiana for a two-year collaboration. During the two-year partnership, Xavier and I Heart My HBCU jointly aim to have 10,000 people join the XULA donor community. For every new donor sign-up, I Heart My HBCU will donate an additional $1, up to $10,000. When first launched in 2017 by Dominique King  – it became the first platform where users could donate spare change to any of

Black Ops Ventures, a Black-owned VC fund, has announced that it has closed its first fund with investments totaling $13 million.  In securing investments for this initial close, Black Ops relied upon long-standing relationships with some of the most respected names in the tech industry. From successful founders including Drew Houston, Jacob Gibson, and Morgan DeBaun to top-tier venture investors, including Ben Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Jeff Bussgang, the Black Ops partners galvanized their network of investors and founders to support their unique strategy. Bank of America and Northwestern Mutual led the fundraising round. Founded in 2020, Black Ops

Netflix said it has fulfilled its pledge to the Black community by moving two percent of its cash holdings – around $100m – into Black-led banks and financial institutions in the US. The funding has been shared between six institutions, including $10m deposited with Hope Credit Union in the form of a transformational deposit to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The move comes after it announced back in June 2020, amid racial-equality protests across America, that it would invest capital in Black banks to

Amazon has partnered with Pharrell Williams’ education equity nonprofit YELLOW and the Georgia Institute of Technology to launch the 2022 “Your Voice is Power” music remix competition.  Now in its second year, the “Your Voice is Power” educational collaboration underscores the partners’ continued commitment to encourage K-12 students to share their perspectives on equity while learning to code new music remixes. Students will use EarSketch, Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, to remix beats and create their own magic. The song selection features Pharrell’s “Entrepreneur,” Alicia Keys’ “Underdog” and Khalid’s “New Normal.” To further prepare the young competitors, the initiative

Virtual trucking carrier CloudTrucks has secured a $115 million Series B funding round on a reported $850 million valuation, according to Forbes.  The firm, which provides a tech platform that helps small trucking businesses manage their administrative duties, including scheduling, instant payments, expense tracking, was founded by Tobenna Arodiogbu, Jin Shieh, and George Ezenna back in 2019. Tiger Global led its Series B round with Menlo Ventures, Flexport, Michael Ovitz, and Opendoor CEO Eric Wu. The round also includes follow-on investments from Caffeinated Capital, Craft Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Abstract, BTV, and Kindred Ventures. This Series B comes

Gozem, a super app that provides a host of services — including transport, e-commerce, and financial services in Francophone Africa — has raised $5 million in Series A financing. The firm is present across 13 cities, having moved to Gabon and Cameroon with over 800,000 registered users and more than 5 million trips completed. The company, which is based in Togo and Singapore, raised funds from AAIC, Thunes (TransferTo), Momentum Ventures (SMRT), Innoport Ventures (Schulte Group), CMC Ventures (National Express), and Liil Ventures (Mobility ADO). Costamagna, in a statement, said

The Parent Company — a publicly traded U.S. cannabis organization backed by Jay-Z — has named Tiffany Mcbride the managing director of its social equity ventures. She will oversee The Parent Company’s Social Equity Ventures program and help identify more minority entrepreneurs working in the cannabis sector to offer them capital and mentorship. “This is an exciting time to join The Parent Company as the Managing Director of Social Equity Ventures to continue to ensure that minority communities have a seat at the table in the cannabis industry,” McBride said in a press

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