The pre-seed fund, Visible Hands, has officially launched the second cohort of its “Visionaries Accelerator” program. The initiative, which aims to support overlooked and underrepresented founders, welcomed 51 new founders to its flagship program. The program, which will take place from September to December, will see each company work full-time towards building their business, with financial support from the Visible Hands team. Each founder will receive a starting investment of $25,000. Throughout the program, they will have the chance to earn additional assets of up to $150,000 as they progress.
Black-owned digital bookkeeping platform, Pastel, has raised $5.5 million in a seed funding round. The round led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital also included other VC firms such as Global Founders Capital, Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures and Plug and Play, and Soma Cup. Pastel, co-founded in 2020 by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji, and Izunna Okonkwo, is a platform designed to help build digital tools to provide a solution to issues small businesses across Africa face. The platform’s primary goal is to unlock the potential of
The Black Business Alliance (BBA) has received a $100,000 federal grant to fund their ‘Black Business Funding Superhighway’ initiative. The BBA is a non-profit membership organization that helps support and grow small Black and minority-owned businesses. Their work, designed to address the gap in business access to funding, helps startups by providing them with access to both funding and educational benefits. The free twelve-week Black Business Funding Superhighway program is a mindset, educational, and mentorship program offered to select guests only. The program, designed to help Black or Brown business
LA-based tech non-profit, Minor-IT has expanded its I.T. training services to help African American and minority youths hoping to succeed in the I.T. industry. Minor-IT, founded in 2019 by Stephen Jones, works to enable minority youth to help them pursue I.T. careers through educational experience, peer-to-peer learning, and networking. They offer guidance and mentoring to help students with the tools needed to achieve unlimited career success. They also sponsor counsel and network with children and teens to help facilitate change in an underrepresented industry. “For me, breaking into I.T., getting
Business accelerator program, Comcast RISE, has dedicated $1 million to supporting Philadelphia BIPOC-owned businesses. The program, which was initially launched in 2020 as a response to help small business owners of color who were impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, will award more than 100 Philadelphia small businesses owned by women and people of color with $1 million in grants. According to a press release, Comcast RISE has distributed over $16 million in grants to early-stage businesses, and $75 million in in-kind support for marketing and technology services, impacting more than 9,500
Black-owned SaaS startup, Stimulus recently closed a $2.5 million seed round. The funding round was led by Black Ops VC and included Genius Guild, Morgan Stanley, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, REFASHIOND Ventures, Bronze Valley, The BFM Fund, Plain Sight Capital, Penn Medicine, and a few angel investors. Stimulus, founded in 2017 by Tiffanie Stanard, is a relationship intelligence (SaaS) platform that uses data insights and relationship-building tools to help companies make the best purchasing decisions while assisting them in optimizing, nurturing, and growing their supplier ecosystems. The company’s mission is to help businesses
Backstage Capital, one of the first venture capital firms to pave the way for hundreds of underrepresented founders, has announced Bank of America as the latest investor in its Opportunity Fund I. The investment firm, founded by Arlan Hamilton, has been investing in underestimated founders since 2015. As a result, the platform has one of the largest portfolios of underrepresented founders in venture capital. Their portfolio comprises 200 companies led by women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders. According to a press release, Bank of America recently announced that it had
New research by Imperial College Business School has revealed that businesses are more likely to sacrifice racial diversity on their boards when underperforming or during times of greater productivity. The findings, published in the Organization Science journal, investigate how negative performance feedback impacts board diversity. According to the study, board members tend to perceive others with ‘similar ascriptive backgrounds’ as more trustworthy, which is why they are less inclined to welcome members with diverse backgrounds. The study analyses the boards of over 700 US-listed manufacturing firms, which helped them understand
“If I have to choose between building my tennis resumé and building my family, I choose the latter.” World acclaimed tennis player Serena Williams recently announced in an interview with Vogue that she would be stepping away from tennis and “evolving away from the sport,” – so what does the future look like for Williams? Two years ago, Serena Williams launched her first-ever venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. Williams has used her platform to invest in early-stage companies and has also carried out five exits valued at over $100 million.
Talent x Opportunity has announced the launch of its third cohort. The initiative, designed to support artistic geniuses with the tools they need to scale and grow, welcomed a new set of founders for this year’s program. The TxO program, founded by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”), works to help accelerate the growth and impact of upcoming tech companies. They select elite entrepreneurs and prepare them with the ideal tools to build and expand their companies. Here are five founders joining the TxO community in Fall 2022.