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Startup

Black-owned tech firm, Eminent Future, known for providing software development, project management, and analytics services to a range of businesses, has been awarded over $13 billion in a defense contract with the US Airforce and US Spaceforce.  Eminent Future, co-founded by José Risi and Isaac Barnes in 2009, has grown into one of Virginia’s fastest-growing companies. The tech firm, which led software development teams for both President Obama and President Trump’s administrations, uses AI technology to build the framework of their products.  The platform, which “prioritizes people over technology,” works directly with organizations to help

Jenna Wills, a former vice president at Afresh, filed a lawsuit against the company in April. Wills, who is Black, alleges she faced racial discrimination at the grocery-software startup. But an Afresh spokesperson said that Wills’ race was not taken into account in her termination. Here’s what happened. Wills joined Afresh in June 2021. Joining the startup was an easy decision for her because she was inspired by what they were building and their “incredible” mission to use artificial intelligence to help grocery stores order just the right amount of

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

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

Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall are the sister duo and creators behind QuickHire, a hiring platform that connects workers to service and skilled-trade jobs. In November, QuickHire raised $1.41 million in an oversubscribed round of funding, making Gladney and Muhwezi-Hall the first Black women in Kansas to raise over $1 million for a startup, according to AfroTech. The round is a pretty big deal because Black female startup founders received just 0.34% of the total $147 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups through the first half of 2021, according to Crunchbase. QuickHire,

Grammy award-winning artist, Miguel, has just been announced as the newest Global Creative Director for T3MP0, a digital studio that creates web3 communities for A-List talent and brands. He is reportedly the first musical artist of “his stature” to be involved in creating a web3 studio from the ground up, according to the company’s press release. As T3MP0’s creative director, Miguel will extend his extensive collaboration history into partnering with the world’s biggest talent and brands in the web3 space. “We are very excited to support Miguel’s creative vision for the

South African educational technology (edtech) startup FoondaMate has secured $2 million seed funding in a round led by LocalGlobe, a UK-based venture capital firm, to drive uptake of its WhatsApp and Facebook-based learning chatbot across the globe. How does it work? Foondamate helps students with their revision by giving them immediate answers to questions and access to revision papers, while also guiding them in responses to questions. It aims to level the playing field in education by empowering the 345 million+ students who currently have limited access to internet-enabled education

HoneyComb is hiring on Pocitjobs Alayshia Knighten is a seasoned DevOps Engineer with a love of infrastructure and a focus on breaking down technical learning barriers for customers. She recently spoke to POCIT about navigating life in the tech sector as a woman of color and her role at Honeycomb, an observability tool that lets developers quickly make sense of the billions of rows of data needed to fully represent the user experience in your complex and unpredictable systems.  Since joining Honeycomb as a Senior Implementation Engineer in October 2020,

There’s a billboard in Detroit promoting The Lip Bar, a business Melissa Butler launched 10 years ago: “Shark Tank told me to quit. 10 years and 2 million units sold. Thanks, Mr. Wonderful.” That moment on the show when “Mr. Wonderful,” whose real name is Kevin O’Leary, and other investors harshly rejected Butler’s products didn’t stop her because she knew the investors were not the customers she was targeting. She has previously told media that she knew her customer base and she was determined to press forward.  The Lip Bar celebrated its 10th year of operation with

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