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Speaking during his keynote speech at the Urban League of Hampton Roads’annual Martin Luther King, Jr. awards program on Monday singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams issued a call-to-action for businesses to pledge a more firm commitment to Black entrepreneurs. Although Williams applauded the “smart” companies that have already taken a stand and implanted different ways they can help founders of color, he didn’t hesitate to explain what more needs to be done. He said: “There’s much more work to be done to achieve anything that resembles equality, business — thank God businesses

According to data from Crunchbase, just under 3% of venture capital funding in 2020 went to Black and Latino tech start-ups. That unequal playing field led to the creation of TechRise, a Chicago initiative to support and fund Black and Latino-owned tech companies. It was started by P33, a Chicago nonprofit supporting its city’s tech community. Through weekly pitch competitions, TechRise has awarded more than $900,000 to more than 40 Black and Latino-founded startups since launching in April 2021. In December, the organization held a finale event where some of the best of Chicago’s

We sat down with Ruben Harris, the man everyone is talking about, for an interview discussing everything from imposter syndrome, bootstrapping a company, making time for personal hobbies, and of course his startup, Career Karma, a company that matches career switchers to alternative education paths that might help them break into the tech industry. Career Karma just raised a whopping $40Million from investors. Its Series B fundraise was led by San Francisco-based global venture capital firm Top Tier Capital Partners, with existing investors Softbank’s SB Opportunity Fund, Emerson Collective, 4S

Black Girls In Tech is a European-based organization focused on supporting and uplifting young women from the Black community interested in getting a foot in the tech industry. It was launched by two women, Karen Emelu and Valerie Oyiki, who admit that growing up they were never exposed to a range of industries, and instead, they were encouraged to take on the “traditional” routes, such as medicine and law. The organization was launched during the pandemic at a time when the challenges experienced by Britons and those in Ireland, where

In response to a Black entrepreneur who said VCs are racist, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Joe Lonsdale attributed disparities in venture capital investing to “average black culture” and urged the Black community to step up their game. Funding to Black entrepreneurs in the U.S. hit nearly $1.8 billion through the first half of 2021 — a more than fourfold increase compared to the same time frame last year. Led by funding to early-stage startups, 2021’s half-year total has already surpassed the $1 billion invested in Black founders in all of 2020 and the

Andreessen Horowitz’s Talent x Opportunity (TxO) Fund is a 6-month long accelerator program created for ambitious, underserved founders who have great ideas but lack the typical Silicon Valley startup background and resources. The effort will be led by Nait Jones, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz for the past five years; previously, he worked with their portfolio founders on their go-to-market plans. He moved to Silicon Valley from the midwest almost a decade ago when starting his own company, and as a self-described outsider, he had to overcome some of the same challenges

The Olympic star partnered with Cerebral — the leading online mental health provider — as its Chief Impact Officer (CIO) in October 2021, and now it’s been valued at more than $4 billion. InnovationMap reports that the San Francisco-based company has raised $300 million in venture capital — taking its value to $4.8 billion. The Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and fellow investors including Prysm Capital, Access Industries, WestCap Group, and ARTIS Ventures ended on December 8. The startup focuses on providing regular assessments, video or phone appointments with patients’ prescribers,

Tyson Clark, a general partner at Alphabet Inc.’s venture arm GV and one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent Black startup investors, has died at the age of 43. GV CEO David Krane just issued a statement about the team losing the father-of-three, writing, “With great sadness, we share the news that Tyson Clark, our friend, and GV general partner, passed away yesterday due to sudden complications from a health issue. We are stunned and shattered by this loss. “The GV team extends our deepest sympathies to Tyson’s family and loved ones.

In June last year, in the midst of violence and a pandemic ravaging the streets of US cities – Justin Shaw built Black Money Builder, a fundraising platform to “empower your community and empower yourself.” Its ultimate goal is to help Black communities rebound from the virus by providing financial relief and bring awareness to current issues that affect the communities worldwide and provide a sense of urgency with potential solutions. The crowdfunding platform also provides Black entrepreneurs a space to build capital and help seed Black visionaries from artists,

The popular app, known for its collaborations with the VERZUZ brand, has launched a funding program that will provide Black creators $2,000 in cash and $2,000 in company equity per month on the app. The contracts with the creators begin on January 1, and participants are required to sign a one-year contract with the app to qualify for the payments. The program is called the Triller Assembly for Black Creators. It aims to empower Black creators and talent to deepen the pipeline of Black-owned content across entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, and sports. “Triller and

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