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Crunchbase has announced the expansion of its Diversity Spotlight feature to include companies in Europe. This expansion will allow up to one million additional companies on Crunchbase to add Diversity Spotlight tags to their profiles, enhancing the visibility of diverse founders and investors across the continent. Crunchbase’s Diversity Spotlight Crunchbase introduced its Diversity Spotlight feature in 2020 to centralize and highlight data about companies with diverse leadership and the investors who fund them. This feature indicates diversity in an organization’s leadership team, including founders and CEOs for startups and managing

OpenseedVC has reached the first close of its $10 million fund for operator-led startups in Africa and Europe. Founded by former Octopus Ventures and Oxford Seed Fund investor Maria Rotilu, OpenseedVC is a new solo General Partner (GP) that aims to be the first check for startups. OpenSeedVC: Filling a Crucial Funding Gap According to Sifted, Rotilu is Europe’s first Black solo GP and one of the first female solo GPs in the region.  Rotilu’s strategy with OpenseedVC is to back startups even earlier than the pre-seed stage, at a

Tech Nation has revealed the startups selected for the 2024 cohort of their Libra program, which aims to champion underrepresented founders. Based in the UK, Tech Nation is the leading growth platform for tech insights, connections, collaboration, and talent. It empowers ambitious founders and their teams with the access and knowledge they need from their seed stage to their end goal. Over the past decade, Tech Nation has engaged with over 5,000 businesses and accelerated 1,250 through 48 growth programs. The Libra Program Libra is the growth program for underrepresented tech founders

London-based fintech startup Jenesys AI has secured $1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round. Founded in late 2022 by Nicolai Thomson and Dr Tosin Dairo, Jenesys elevates the role of bookkeepers and accountants with a conversational AI named “Jack”. The investment round was led by Twin Path Ventures, with contributions from Fuel Ventures, Antler, Hatcher+ in Singapore, and seasoned angel investors from the US and UK. Meet Jack: The conversational AI Jenesys AI’s flagship product is “Jack,” a conversational AI designed to support finance teams. Integrated with platforms like Slack

Digital news platform UrbanGeekz has unveiled UrbanGeekz 50, its inaugural list of Black disruptors who are leaving a mark on the innovation economy. Presented by Atlanta-based MHR International, the list spotlights gamechangers in tech, venture capital, and entrepreneurship and is set to become an annual tradition. Industry gamechangers The largest category on the list is ‘Community Builders & Ecosystem Warriors,’ showcasing founders and leaders such as those from Goodie Nation, Black Women Talk Tech, and The Gathering Spot. The Venture Capital category brings together familiar names for POCIT readers, such

What opportunities are there for shifting power towards the most racially marginalized? In a world as increasingly digitized as ours, there are urgent questions arising about centralized power, corporate accountability, and the impact on individual freedoms.  An upcoming research report, “What Does Tech Justice Look Like In The UK?” explores Tech Justice and opportunities to empower the most racially marginalized. The research, funded by Catalyst and supported by the Engine Room, was carried out by a team of British women of global majority descent.  Their backgrounds span West and East

Black-owned tech startup Slinger has raised £500,000 ($600,000) in pre-seed funding to shake up the hospitality industry’s hiring process. Brexit and COVID-19 have left the UK’s hospitality industry struggling with staff vacancies – industry vacancies are still 72% higher than pre-pandemic levels. As a result, the industry is having to turn away £25 billion ($30.3 billion) worth of business in the UK.  Slinger aims to change this. Group Chat To Google-backed Founded by Theo-Lee Houston, Slinger aims to make hospitality hiring processes easier and fairer, connecting talent with businesses in

A coalition of 65 UK politicians and 31 leading race equality and human rights organizations have called for an “immediate stop” to live facial recognition (LFR) surveillance. The campaign, led by privacy advocate Big Brother Watch, calls for the police and private companies to stop using the technology in public spaces.   Signatories include former Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti and Liberal Democrat party leader Sir Ed Davey. Amnesty International, Institute of Race Relations, Liberty, Race Equality Foundation, and Human Rights Watch also joined the campaign.  Accessing Passport Database The call

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has upheld the decision to restrict public access to information about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) lie detectors at EU borders. This ruling has sparked concerns among civil rights groups, shedding light on the limitations of the EU’s AI Act in safeguarding the rights of migrants and refugees. The Act is set to become the world’s first comprehensive AI law. AI-Powered Lie Detectors at EU Borders At the center of this controversy lies iBorderCtrl, an emotion recognition pilot project aimed

Copenhagen-based Unconventional Ventures has announced the second close of its €30 million fund ($32 million), dedicated to investing in diverse founding teams and founders. Unconventional Ventures According to Tech Funding News, Unconventional Ventures (UV) is the only European fund with a diversity impact at its heart. It is an impact-focused investment firm investing in early-stage startups led by underrepresented founders in Europe. Launched by Thea Messel and Nora Barvey in 2018, UV has a VC structure and invests across the Nordics in healthcare, women’s health, diversity tech, sustainable fashion, food

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