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Entrepreneurship

London-based venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, has launched its first £10 million ($12 million) pre-seed fund to support fresh startups in the fintech and health sectors. The firm, founded in 2007, works to fill the growing gap in early pre-seed funding for European founders.  Kirsten Connell and Maria Rotilu, veterans of Seedcamp and Uber, will lead the company’s first-ever investment fund. They will bring their extensive experience and knowledge of growing firms from the beginning to the job, enabling them to work closely with start-ups in their early years.  Octopus

Olympian Allyson Felix‘s footwear brand Saysh, co-founded by her brother and business partner Wes Felix,  has secured an $8 million investment in its series A funding round.  The funding round led by Iris Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures saw Gap Inc. acquire an equity stake in Saysh. Additionally, Athleta, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., has agreed to showcase Saysh footwear on their website in partnership with the footwear brand. The news comes after Allyson Felix announced her departure from Nike in 2021, due to claims the company was not doing enough to support pregnant female athletes and

Snapchat has officially launched ‘The Black Creator Accelerator,’ a mentorship program to help emerging talent jumpstart their careers.  The scheme which falls under Snapchat’s content-accelerator program, 523, will see the social networking app invest $3 million into emerging Black creators. In addition, participants will learn creative skills and knowledge to help them pursue successful careers.  Snapchat’s announcement follows similar actions by other tech companies who have decided to help bridge the gap and create an industry that reflects the diversity within our communities.  “The launch of this accelerator program is part of

Entrepreneurs Daa’iyah Fogle, a Claflin University alumnus, and Malcolm Lee, a graduate of Virginia Union University, are the winners of the NBA Foundation’s first-ever pitch competition in partnership with Black Girl Ventures. The joint competition, held in Cleveland, allowed college-aged entrepreneurs from HBCUs across the US to participate and pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The entrepreneurs eligible to participate in the competition were all Black Girl Ventures’ NextGen Program members. The scheme was created to support the next generation of Black and brown business leaders attending

YouTube has officially opened grant applications for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2023. The $100 million funds will amplify and nurture Black voices in the creator community.  The grant program, which the video platform first launched in 2020, was primarily designed to help support and nurture Black creators and artists, from musicians and lawyers to gamers and fitness instructors.  The scheme has welcomed over 300 grantees from the United States, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria in just over two years. The program has not

African technology startup, Theeper, known for creating technology for businesses to support fast, direct, and efficient transactions, has raised $2.1M in seed funding. The funding round, which Raba Partnership led, included VC fintech company Rali_cap Ventures, BYLD, and leading African fintech Chipper Cash and Stitch. Theeper, co-founded by Kosisochukwu Chike Ononye and Michael’ Trojan’ Okoh in 2021, is located at the crossroads of data and finance. They work directly with businesses to address the difficulty of transferring money from one fintech wallet to another fintech. According to Theeper, its API

The community-led startup Afropolitan, also known as the company behind “The Year of Return” event in Ghana, has raised $2.1 million (£1.8 million) in pre-seed funding to bring its vision to life, with Srinivasan being one of its investors. The funding round, which saw African-based VC firms Atlantica Ventures and Microtraction participate, also included angel investors Balaji Srinivasan, Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund, and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of Future Africa. Afropolitan, co-founded by Eche Emole and Chika Uwazie in 2016, works to create community-led events for Africans and those in the

Nigerian health tech startup, Healthtracka, has raised $1.5 million in its first official funding stage. The funding round, which was hosted by Africa-focused VC Ingressive Capital and US-based venture fund Hustle Fund, also included Angel investors, Flying Doctors, and Alumni Angel Alliance. Healthtracka, which was co-founded by Victor Amusan and Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson in May 2021, works with lab partners to help detect early cancer patients. The organization has set up a website that allows people to book lab tests online and get their results back within 48 hours. “As a

Nana Ghartey’s voice assistant software may have started out in his grandmother’s house, but it’s now being used by the thousands of older and visually-impaired people all over Ghana excluded by Western voice technology. How did he get into tech? Ghartey taught himself mobile app development and built desktop applications, websites, and eventually mobile games, none of which were part of his school curriculum, by reading the programming textbooks that an uncle visiting from the US had left behind.  Here’s his story. In 2010, the wealthiest American tech companies had

ANJEL Tech, a Black-owned cloud-based application that turns any smartphone into your personal body cam, has announced a historic partnership with 1 Million Madly Motivated Moms (1M4), an organization led by African American moms to address police brutality through legal action and legislative policy education. We previously interviewed the founder of ANJEL Tech, who told POCIT that he’d struggled to get attention from mainstream reporters and investors when it came to his app. The app in question has been described as an initiative that “could help protect minorities.” When activated, the

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