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Entrepreneurship

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

Black-owned scheduling platform Calendly has been named one of the world’s top private cloud companies on Forbes’ Cloud 100 list.  Calendly, launched in 2013 by Tope Awotona, is a cloud scheduling company on a mission to revolutionize how the world schedules. The platform Tope built to solve a problem is now worth a staggering $3 billion.   The app uses an automated tool to make the process of scheduling easier. According to the website, users can sync their calendars with the platform and share a link that will bring people to their Calendly

B2B startup Vori has raised $10 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based venture fund, The Factory, and included participation from Greylock, E2JDJ, MKT1, and Mollie Stone’s Markets.  Vori, founded in 2019 by Brandon Hill, Robert Pinkerton, and Tremaine Kirkman, is revolutionizing the grocery industry with its B2B operating system. Vori’s platform is committed to enhancing retailers’ inventory workflows by digitizing traditionally labor-intensive processes.  Their work unlocks the data required for grocery retailers, brands, and distributors to effectively address food access and food waste

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

Black-owned digital health platform, She Matters has closed a $1.5 million pre-seed investment fund. The funding round included participation from Oxeon Ventures, Chingona Ventures, New York University, The Fund, and Techstars.  The platform, co-founded by Jade Kearney and Marguerite Pierce, is a social networking platform designed to support Black mothers who experience postpartum comorbidities. The organization provides mothers access to a community, culturally competent healthcare, and culturally relevant resources. Additionally, they train healthcare providers on culturally appropriate healthcare and help them understand Black women’s challenges.  She Matters’ original mission was

Black-owned African integrator system, Bluechip Technologies, has announced its expansion to Europe amid growing demand.  Bluechip Technologies, co-founded in 2008 by Kazeem Tewogbade and Olumide Soyombe, is a software company that works to provide business solutions and strategies to companies. The Nigeria-based organization focuses exclusively on assisting companies in planning, designing, implanting, and operating business application solutions.  The organization gathers data from multiple sources and translates it into information that can help organizations understand trends. This process also allows them to assist businesses with understanding data to make better decisions

Black Business Month is well and truly underway. To celebrate, video-sharing platform TikTok has announced it is now accepting applications for its third annual ‘Support Black Businesses’ accelerator program.  The accelerator program, launched in 2020 in the wake of the George Floyd protests, aims to help elevate the voices of Black-owned businesses on TikTok. Through the initiative, Black entrepreneurs will have exclusive access to resources, benefits, and networking opportunities.  The program will also offer entrepreneurs custom virtual training sessions across four weeks to help them accelerate their business on TikTok.

“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. 

Miami-based cybersecurity startup, Lumu, has closed an $8 million investment round. The funding round led by Panoramic Ventures also included SoftBank Group’s SB Opportunity Fund, KnowBe4 Ventures, Land Bess, a former Zscaler, and Tom Noonan, former CEO at Internet Security Systems.  Lumu, founded in 2019 by Ricardo Villadiego, is a cybersecurity company that helps businesses identify and isolate cyber-compromise in real-time. The platform identifies and isolates potential threats, attacks, and adversaries affecting enterprises. As more nation-state criminal groups continue targeting everything from business IP to government secrets, Lumu’s services have proven to

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